Modernology - restoration -

Exhibition dates: March 3 - 30, 2020
Venue: Ace Hotel New York Gallery ( )

Organizer: Residency Unlimited ( )


Residency Unlimited (RU) is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the work of RU alumnus Takayuki Matsuo at Ace Hotel New York. Modernology: Restoration presents objects found in the vicinity of Ace Hotel New York together with works from Takayuki Matsuo’s Project Ephemeral: #3 RESTORATION(2019), an ongoing archive of found urban sculpture.

Project Ephemeral is a series of exhibitions held in locations such as abandoned buildings, streets, roadsides and vacant lots.

Inspired by “modernology,” a field of study proposed by Japanese folklore scholar Wajiro Kon in 1927, Matsuo’s examination of found objects is informed by a combination of archaeological research methods, criminal investigation and museum conservation techniques, geographic coordinate systems, and historical and site research.

Central to Matsuo’s practice is the Japanese aesthetic sensibility of wabi-sabi and the concept of “the usefulness of the useless” in the writings of the ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu. The wabi-sabi respect of transience and imperfection is informed by Buddhist teaching, in particular the three marks of existence: impermanence, suffering, and emptiness.

Honoring the beauty inherent in an aesthetic that values imperfection and impermanence and following a set of self-assigned rules and guiding principles, Matsuo processes each found object through a four-tiered treatment of investigation, cleaning, restoration, and preservation in order to archive “the modest thing that is already in there.”

Written by Rachel Gugelberger