Shohei Katayama: As Below, So Above Until May 19, 2024 Mattress Factory 500 Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh, PA 15212 United States
As Below, So Above invites viewers to challenge their perceived reality and consider their place in a complex and ever-changing world. The exhibition draws inspiration from the ancient Hermetic phrase, “As Above, So Below” and explores the interplay and interconnectedness of ‘all things’ through a dynamic work spanning two levels of the Mattress Factory’s original warehouse building.
Throughout the museum’s lobby, seventeen wooden floorboards have been selectively and precisely removed. In their place, transparent panels fill the voids, allowing light from the first floor to enter the underground gallery below. As visitors traverse the lobby, their movements unknowingly influence the light shining into the darkened basement. Simultaneously, via motion and sound sensors, visitors navigating the lower-level gallery will activate the lobby space above with subtle sounds and movements. In doing so, the spaces become intertwined, highlighting the relationship between these separate rooms, and blurring the boundaries between observer and observed.
Equal parts architectural intervention, minimalist earthwork, and meditative environment, the installation encourages reflection on the invisible forces that bind us together. Using light, sound, and sculpture, Katayama seeks to foster an awareness of the far-reaching consequences of our actions on others, while at the same time, create moments of awe and curiosity. Katayama’s work asks us to embrace the unknown and unpredictable on a scale that’s both micro and macro. As Below, So Above, is a reminder of the intricate web of relationships that shape our existence and highlights the responsibility we bear in cultivating a collective future.
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