“How Do We Remember?” at Gordon Parks Gallery encourages viewers to reflect on their personal experiences of education, identity and vocation

Saint Paul, Minn.— Metropolitan State University Gordon Parks Gallery presents “How Do We Remember?” a solo exhibition by Japanese-American artist Kinji Akagawa. In this installation, mixed media drawings adorn the walls and vintage school desks occupy the gallery floor to address the subject of learning.

Akagawa experienced both the Japanese and American education systems as a student and by having taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for 40 years. Ruminating on the collective and individual experience of learning, he says, “I am interested in study of independent individual-self to the transformative process of becoming a participative ecological-self. This installation shifts the focus from the art-object-making praxis to the relationship-making of being and ‘eventness’: teaching and learning.”

“Although Akagawa is best known for his public sculptures and outdoor gathering places—such as benches, bridges, gardens—this exhibition is an atypical formal and conceptual exploration for the artist,” gallery director Erica Rasmussen said. “Other than the two-dimensional pieces on the walls, the objects in the gallery were manufactured by someone other than the artist. The arrangement and relationship of the desks are part of ‘the given’ and ‘the creative’ act, which asks for emotive and intellectual responses from the viewers.”

Visitors are invited to interact with the exhibit by sitting at the desks and reflecting on their personal experiences of education, and the shaping of their own identities and vocations. The arrangement of the desks will change from week to week, to suggest that learning doesn’t adhere to any particular style or model.

The exhibit opens with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26 with a gallery talk and discussion with the artist. The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 24.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday. The gallery is located at the university’s Saint Paul Campus in the Library and Learning Center, 645 East Seventh Street.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Erica Rasmussen, gallery director,
at 651-999-5942 or e-mail her at erica.rasmussen@metrostate.edu.

Metropolitan State University, a member of Minnesota State, is the Twin Cities’ public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning, and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

In this installation by Japanese-American artist Kinji Akagawa, mixed media drawings adorn the walls and vintage school desks occupy the gallery floor to address the subject of learning.