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DCA Archive

Hiraki Sawa


We invite you to discover the work of Hiraki Sawa whose videos and animations create a strange world in which familiar objects perform unbelievable, beautiful acts. In Lenticular everyday items do fantastic things: toy aeroplanes take off into domestic flight paths, vinyl records unravel and clocks and teapots grow legs.

For his exhibition at DCA, Sawa has created a new film shot at Dundee’s Mills Observatory. The work was inspired by the self-taught astronomer who is employed by the Observatory, who shared his knowledge of the solar system and the stars beyond with the artist. This newly commissioned work is a loose portrait of the astronomer and the planetarium itself.

Lineament (2012) is a work that raises questions about memory, fiction and reality. Based on the experiences of a friend who suffered from amnesia, in this video the motif of an unravelling vinyl record captures the uncertainty of remembered experience. The work is accompanied by a score, composed by Dale Berning and Ute Kanngiesser, which has been pressed onto vinyl and is played in the Gallery.

The exhibition will also include Sawa’s earlier animation Unseen Park (2006) which was made with the assistance of nine Taiwanese children who imagined being transported by make believe vehicles. The resultant animation is accompanied by a music box soundtrack.

Hiraki Sawa was born in 1977 in Ishikawa, Japan and lives and works in London. He studied Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art (MFA) and Fine Art at the University of East London (BA). Significant exhibitions of Sawa's work have been presented at Chisenhale Gallery, London; Kresge Art Museum, Michigan; and the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art.

Lenticular has been programmed in partnership with Discovery Film Festival, Scotland’s International Film Festival for Young Audiences. Held annually at DCA, the festival brings you the best in international film for children and young people, along with an exhibition in the Galleries and a packed programme of workshops and events for all the family. The festival runs from 19 October until 3 November 2013, find out more at

Lenticular is presented in association with Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.
The exhibition is kindly supported by the DAIWA Anglo-Japanese Foundation. All work courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York.