Japanese, born in 1961
Rei Naito was born in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1961 and lives and works in Tokyo. Favouring “understated, fragile things”, she uses familiar materials like fabric, bits of wood, beads and shells in combination with unusual lighting that transforms the visitor’s experience into a time of recollection and contemplation.
The earthquake and nuclear disaster at Fukushima in March 2011 brought an even older catastrophe – one buried within her – to the surface: that of the nuclear bombing of her birthplace, Hiroshima, in August 1945. Until then, Hiroshima’s painful past had not featured in the artist’s work, but from then on it became its central focus. Questioning her way of comprehending the world and our relationship with it, Rei Naito works with the void, with space and absence, with delicate, insignificant forms of life like dust and variations in light. Through her discreet installations, at times at the limit of the visible, her work echoes
the violence and most indescribable weaknesses of our lives.