Showcasing diverse Japanese artworks connected to the theme of water’s vitality to the existence of life, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) will unveil its new exhibition, Primal Water, on June 29. The exhibition is curated by Midori Nishizawa and includes important works of post-war and contemporary Japanese art.
Primal Water includes 28 works in various forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, site-specific installation and film. The 14 featured artists span over four generations, and each work approaches the theme of water in different ways: from documenting its absence, capturing its abundance, decontextualizing its existence and exploring its relationship with humanity.
“Life revolves around water, and regions with an abundance of water fostered the growth of civilization around the globe. Las Vegas, having prospered as an oasis in the desert, has a meaningful connection with this theme,” said Midori Nishizawa, independent curator of the exhibition. “These artworks allow us to contemplate water as the source of life and the dangers of its depletion. Featuring such artworks in Primal Water draws attention to the preciousness of water.”
Primal Water includes works such as Sh?ji Ueda’s Seascape (1933) and portraits of his family at the Tottori Sand Dunes taken from 1949 to 1963; Japanese scientist Ukichiro Nakaya’s pioneering film Snow Crystals (1939), which documents his research of the formation of snowflakes; and Noriyuki Haraguchi’s Ship 13 (1966), a sculpture inspired by battleships located on the U.S. Naval base at Yokosuka, home to Haraguchi and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet. The exhibition also includes several commissioned and site-specific works, including Vertical Emptiness BG, 2018, a large installation created from local Mesquite tree branches and other materials, then suspended from the ceiling by Yasuaki Onishi. Additionally, for the first time, the exhibit expands beyond the walls of the gallery, with Work (Water), 1956/2018 by Sadamasa Motonaga installed in the lobby atrium of ARIA Resort & Casino.
Further artists featured in the exhibition include Noe Aoki, K?ji Enokura, Yayoi Kusama, Yukio Nakagawa, Fujiko Nakaya, Rei Naito, Machiko Ogawa, Motonao Takasaki and Nao Yoshigai.
Primal Water will be on view Friday, June 29 through Sunday, Oct. 21. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for Nevada residents, seniors 65 and older, and students, teachers and military with valid ID. Children 12 and younger are free. For groups of 10 or more, the gallery offers special pricing of $10 per person. For additional information, call (702) 693-7871 or (877) 957-9777, or visit bellagio.com/bgfa.
BGFA is open daily 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Last admissions are sold 30 minutes prior to closing. Guests may enjoy complimentary daily docent tours at 2 p.m., and private docent tours are available at an additional cost.