Once an hour, for something like a half a minute, a mist sprays down on the ceramic sculptures below. Like a bell calling you to dinner, it's a break in the Zen silence, reminding the viewer not that earth and fire make ceramics, but that earth and water make an environment suitable for life--in this case, Mizuno's moss-covered sculptures. Despite the aesthetics and attention to detail, the water/fire yin/yang thing comes across as a bit tenuous.Hydrating Apparatus
Growing things bring a note of transience or temporality to the work, something that's not conjured up in Mizuno's large-scale color washed pieces on the patio and in the first room. For anyone who's been to the high altitude desserts of the southwest and seen a bristlecone pine growing from a fissure in a rock, there is the sense that there may be an appearance of coexistance, but eventually, living things get the upper hand. Survival goes to the fit and the adaptable.Mineo Mizuno's Untitled, 2008
And for all the affectations of a Zen moss garden--the gallery even provides benches for contemplation--I can't shake the thought of a chia pet rock.
Mineo Mizuno's exhibition Coexistence is on view at Samuel Freeman in Bergamot Station through March 21, 2009.Mineo Mizuno's Untitled, 2008