Yuko Mohri

Yuko Mohri / b. 1980, Japan / lives and works in Tokyo


The 5th Ural Biennial Main Project features the work:
“Pleated Image: Butterfly (Pachliopta aristolochiae) 201801–201802” (Mixed media installation, 2016–2018)
Courtesy of the artist and Project Fulfill Art Space, Taipei

Through her installation work, Yuko Mohri creates micro-mechanical worlds from everyday items, electronic parts, and machine components in order to channel intangible energies such as magnetism, gravity, temperature and light. Her systems are often meticulously designed but instead of creating a highly controlled mechanism, Mohri allows contingency, slippages, and errors to take over, which encourages unexpected results. She is interested in the nonhuman and unpredictability, not as magic powers, but as agencies that remind us of the limitation of our perception and experience.

In this kinetic installation, Mohri stages a whimsical scene that gives visual form to the negotiation between the natural and the manmade. A scanner runs rhythmically, capturing the fluttering motions of an artificial butterfly powered by a solar panel with a light source from a bulb. The visual data is produced in a nearly infinite stream and the results are uncanny images continuously showing on the monitor. However, instead of considering them as multiple images of the same butterfly, Mohri intends to explore the concept of a single “pleated image.” In her view, this image, which proliferates each time when a scan is completed, folds movement and time within itself. Different from a moving image, in which time progresses in a linear fashion, this butterfly image is a multi-layered, continuous entity that drags time along and lags, making it acquire volume and depth instead of pointing forward. If we are able to experience time in a non-linear way, will death still haunts us? The image of this Common Rose butterfly (its Latin name noted in the title), with its rough, blurred quality, frequent glitches, and digital noise seems
to capture things that should have not been caught.