Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

June 27, 2002

Fine arts grads to exhibit works in Japan

Two University of Guelph Fine Arts graduates will make their artistic debut in an international venue this summer.

Rebecca Wood, who graduated from the studio art program this month, and Angela Hajdu, who graduated last year, will show their collaborative installation a clean green abc at the juried “small world tokyo/toronto” exhibition at Galerie LeDeco in Tokyo in August.

“It’s pretty cool – it’s an incredible opportunity,” Wood said. The duo’s chance to show their work overseas came about after Hajdu, who is now teaching English in Japan, saw a notice calling for submissions for the show, which features Japanese and Canadian artists. The exhibition’s theme is “Globalization and the Shrinking Nature of Our World,” and will feature small works that are a maximum of one-foot square.

The concept for Hajdu and Wood’s work began with an anagram of their first names (a clean green abc). They then each created an installation that interpreted the phrase. Wood says this seemed especially appropriate when the two artists were separated by such a distance. “It allowed us the freedom of our own interpretation and also allowed us to bring both our works together in a unified way.”

Wood’s installation, which in part featured 50 bars of Ivory hand soap spelling out the letters a, b and c, “explored the perception and acceptance of cleanliness as godliness and the influence of corporate culture on lifestyle.”

Hajdu’s installation connected the importance of nature in both Japan and Canada. It included a section of plastic grass or a “transportable garden,” as well as everyday objects from her life in Japan, including a rice paper screen, bonsai, tatami mat and soap.

The resulting joint installation in Tokyo will sit in the corner of a room and consist of the square of plastic grass, on which piece of each of the two types of soap used in the original installations will be placed. On one of the walls above it will be Hadju’s drawings of trees and the phrase “a clean green abc” written in English and Japanese, along with an alphabet and a hiragana syllabary on separate pieces of paper. On another wall, images of the artists’ original installations will be mounted. Two wooden airplanes will be hung above the grass.

“The installation deals with globalization, communication and our shrinking planet,” said Wood who will join Hajdu in Tokyo for the show. “The wooden airplanes are the link between both worlds. They signify the space between Canada and Japan; they are the vehicle for the physical connection between the countries and artists."

After the Japanese showing, the work will be shipped to Toronto for exhibit in the Sis Boom Bah Gallery in the fall.

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