Exhibition SAERI KIRITANI: "Golden Dream"

Exhibition SAERI KIRITANI: "Golden Dream"

Location: Gallery of Fine Arts

Time: January 11 - February 11, 2024

Curator: Branko Franceschi

Saeri Kiritani is a Japanese artist who, after a long professional career in New York, moved to Split, which will be the base for her artistic work in the coming years. Her body of work is based on performance, happening, and related artistic disciplines, which she usually conveys to the audience through video works and photographs recorded during performative actions, and then post-produced in various formats and formations adapted to the performance of multimedia and ambient installations. In terms of content, Kiritani focuses on the relationship between the individual and their immediate environment, often exploring the position of the stranger, the unknown, or the different – someone who lives and creates in a culture to which they do not belong by origin, education, and upbringing, and where they are perceived as a foreigner or "the other."

In her second solo exhibition in Split, Saeri Kiritani presents a multimedia installation titled "Golden Dream," realized through the synergy of video projections on monitors and photographic documentation of two recent spatially and thematically specific performances conceived and executed as acts of engagement with the local urban culture. The performances were carried out through interaction with local associations and in locations that are significant and recognizable in the current branding of Split as a global tourist attraction: a performance with Diocletian's legionnaires at the Golden Gate and a game with picigin players at Bačvice. Kiritani joined her local collaborators and environment with her performative alter ego characterized by recognizable elements of Japanese culture: a traditional kimono, whitened face, and specific makeup. The mediator in the staged clash of two cultures is ball-playing with golden balls, known in Japanese culture as kin-tama, with traditional symbolism of wealth and prosperity associated with the fertilizing function of testicles. The large number of golden balls scattered around well-known Split locations in the artist's performance with the local community primarily indicates that intercultural integration contributes to the creative and existential prosperity of the local environment. (excerpt from Branko Franceschi's text)

Saeri Kiritani is an artist from Kanazawa, Japan. She graduated in 1993 from the San Francisco Art Institute and completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA, in 1997. She lived in New York from 1998 until the end of 2022 when she moved to Split. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including venues such as The Museum of Northern California Art (2024), The Nippon Club Gallery in New York (2022), Japan Information and Cultural Center at the Japanese Embassy in Vienna, Austria (2019), The Gallery at Burren College of Art, Ireland (2019), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2018), the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC (2013), Postmaster Gallery, New York (2013), Bosnian Biennial of Contemporary Art, Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013), Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo (2012), HDLU, Zagreb, Croatia (2009), Apex Art, New York (2002), and Contemporary Museum Baltimore (2000). She has received several scholarships, including the one from the Art Academy in Vienna, Austria (2016), New York Foundation for the Arts (2005), Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan (2003), and Pola Art Foundation (2000). She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

Gallery of Fine Arts website: www.galum.hr