Rei Naito  

Rei Naito's art is a delicate thing. Made of love, light and the shadows of angels one wonders if the works are really there. In an elegant installation, Gallery Koyanagi in Ginza is exhibiting several of Rei Naito's works on paper.

Six sheets of white paper are displayed at about eye-level. Each is strongly lit. After time, the color glowing from the center of the sheet is revealed not the result of a reaction in your eyes to the bright light, but actually there - pigment on paper.

The first sheet glows partly red and yellow the next green and yellow then through the spectrum to blue and purple. The spectrum of colors is applied to paper ever so lightly -- a fairy's touch. Rei

Naito was born in Hiroshima in the early 1960's. She has had a short but stellar art career culminating in her installation at the 47th Venice Biennale (1997). There, she created a tent-like installation with tiny ephemeral sculptural elements inside. Another 1997 installation 'Being Called' was organized by the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt.

A relic from this Frankfurt installation is also on display at Koyanagi. Titled 'Pillow for the Dead', it is a little pillow made of silk organza and thread. It is a mysterious tiny thing so delicate that only an angel could lay its head upon it without crushing it.

There is 'an unbearable lightness' to Naito's art that infuriates as much as it intrigues. To a skeptic her works are all light and dust -- nothing more than a twinkle in the eye of a bedazzled art-world. Eyes that are always eager to believe in the next exotic miracle. However, as Naito has said of her art, "Only those who really want to see my work should see it. Encountering my work should be a serious experience". Perhaps her art really is a little like fairies you have to believe in them to see them.

Gallery Koyanagi
To November 7