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New Accession Highlight: Kenji Nakahashi Pieces

Portions of the first, second and third floors of the Chazen building are now open—make an appointment to visit—and the back area of the Pleasant T. Rowland Gallery now hosts a new accessions exhibit, featuring additions to the Chazen collection gathered from 2018 to now.

Today we’re taking a peek at three pieces by Japanese Conceptual artist Kenji Nakahashi. In both Difference in Time and Time (B), the artist arranged and photographed clocks to make a statement on the subjective experience of time. In Difference in Time, two analog clocks are separated by a distance of one foot. A diagram overlaid on the image explains that although the two clocks appear to display the same time, they are actually (due to the distance between them) .00067 seconds apart. In Time (B), two clocks sit on a scale. One clock, set to 12:15, appears to be heavier than the clock reading 12:04. The absurd implication is that one time carries more weight than another.

Difference in Time by Kenji Nakahashi

Kenji Nakahashi, (Japanese, active in America, 1947-2017), Difference in Time, 1980; printed 1985, Gelatin silver print, 8 7/8 x 13 1/2 in., Anonymous gift in memory of Kenji Nakahashi, 2020.5.03

Time (B) by Kenji Nakahashi

Kenji Nakahashi, (Japanese, active in America, 1947-2017), Time (B), 1980; printed 1993, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 13 in., Anonymous gift in memory of Kenji Nakahashi, 2020.5.04

My Left Hand (below) depicts the artist’s own hand measured and proportioned by accompanying rulers and a wood frame. Playing with the idea of ‘the hand of the artist,’ a traditional indicator of skill and authorship, Nakahashi presents his hand as his primary means of self-expression, and thus, a conceptual self-portrait.

My Left Hand by Kenji Nakahashi

Kenji Nakahashi, (Japanese, active in America, 1947-2017), My Left Hand, 1991; printed 1992, Gelatin silver print, 12 1/16 x 8 3/4 in., Anonymous gift in memory of Kenji Nakahashi, 2020.5.18