Karen Knorr Private View at White Conduit Projects

On Sunday 20 January, Japan Society held a private view of Once Only Only Once, the exhibition by Karen Knorr at White Conduit Projects in Angel, north London.

The London-based artist gave a brief talk about her work, which she developed and produced after a visit to Obai-in temple in Kyoto to meet artist, calligrapher and head priest Tagen Kobayashi. The exhibition brings together a series of her photographic works as free-standing Byobu screens, which were specially produced by local artisan Heiando, as well as a number of framed photographic prints.

The images depict birds and animals in the temple settings. There were questions from the audience: why she chose those particular birds and animals – many of the birds she photographed were the birds that migrate across Asia, which also are symbolic in Japanese culture. Karen often uses animals as metaphors of the “natural world” as opposed to civilisation, and in this work, the animals are depicted as if they are super natural beings, which stroll around in temples, or mythic characters in stories such as the Tale of Genji.

The artist also went on to explain how she would make many visits over the years since her initial visit in 2012, having seen the devastating coverage from the earthquake and tsunami in east Japan in 2011.

The exhibition goes on at White Conduit Projects until Sunday 27 January


Monogatari Series, Once Only Only Onc (©) Karen Knorr. Courtesy of the artist


Please click on the image to enlarge


© Karen Knorr

© Karen Knorr



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