Part 1 “HIMALAYA / KAIDAN” October 10-30, 2003
Part 2 “HIMALAYA / RAINBOW” November 4-21, 2003

Press Release

MEM presents Hymalaya, an exhibition of new works by Chie Matsui.
The exhibition contains two parts: “Hymalaya/Kaidan” and “Hymalaya/Rainbow”. In the first portion of the exhibition, the artist will show a DVD-video installation and in the latter part related drawings and prints will be exhibited.

Chie Matsui, one of a few artists exclusively devoting themselves to installation art in Japan, has been creating site-specific works with various kinds of materials including brick, glass, lead, threads, fake fur, drawings, poetry and projected images. By using such materials with different senses of touch and sight to create an entire installation having enough space within which to spend time and to walk around, Matsui tries to arouse emotions and memories of spectators in reference to bodily sensation in her space.

In this exhibition, Matsui shows a video work, “Hymalaya/Kaidan”, which was filmed in a spiral staircase of the building within which MEM is located. The video is projected onto an old removed door similar to a theatrical set. In the video, the artist slowly crawls up and down the spiral staircase. Spectators themselves are supposed to walk up this very stairway in order to reach the exhibition space on the fourth floor in advance of seeing the work. The whole process of repeated action in the spiral construction slowly becomes a ritual event that mesmerizes spectators.

text by Matsui


There lie the Himalaya Mountains.
Day after day the mountains watch our deeds.
“You did it again”, they sometimes sigh.
When the Himalayas breathe,
Life and death roll in circles.
Probably I won’t go to the Himalayas from now on.
The Himalayas are so well known
That I cannot remember when I came to know them.
“HIMALAYA” has always been here inside me
Since I came into existence.
So the Himalayas are in me
And yet far away from me.
The Himalayas
A dead end where a postal carrier cannot deliver mails.
A good for nothing mountain
But good enough for an escape valve from the tribulations of this world.
A longing for a place so dear to our hearts.
Oh how safe or snug are you dear Mountain
That you may embrace us when in need of respite from
The pleasures or pains of this world

(English translation by Yukari Okumura)