The Japan Foundation, the commissioner of the Japan Pavilion presents Compose, a solo exhibition created by Yuko Mohri and curated by Sook-Kyung Lee at the 60th International Venice Biennale.


Yuko Mohri is known for her installations and sculptures centred on “events” that change with the conditions of the space. The exhibition for the Japan Pavilion, titled Compose, fills the venue with sound, light, movement, and scent, which are changed by the environmental conditions while also transforming the existing architectural space. It consists of two bodies of work by Mohri, Moré Moré (Leaky) and Decomposition


Moré Moré (Leaky) is inspired by various ad hoc efforts seen in Tokyo subway stations to stop water leaks. The staff often use everyday items to cope with such small “crises”, widespread in this city with frequent tectonic activity. The artist will artificially create leaks and then attempt to fix them, improvising with a variety of common household goods available in the vicinity of the Biennale site. In a world where floods affect the environment, and especially in Venice, a city constantly threatened by floods, Moré Moré acquires multiple meanings.


Decomposition generates sounds and light by inserting electrodes into fruits and converting their moisture into electric signals. The work’s distinctive speakers and flickering light bulbs will adorn the wall. The fruits’ internal state shifts constantly, modulating the pitch of the drone and the intensity of the light. Over time, the fruits begin to wither, giving off the sweet smell of decay. The artist will bring spoilt fruits from the local grocery store to the installation.


With a title that etymologically signifies “to place together (com+pose)”, the exhibition asks what it means for people to be and work together in a world facing multiple global crises. Paradoxically, crises bring out the greatest creativity in people—this is the primary idea behind Mohri’s project, initially inspired by the Tokyo subway workers’ resourceful measures against water leaks. The water leaks are never fully fixed, and the fruits end up in the compost to rot in Mohri’s installations, but these apparently futile endeavours indicate the glimpses of the solutions our humble creativity might bring about.

Yuko Mohri (b. 1980, Kanagawa. Based in Tokyo, Japan) is an artist who, with spatial sensitivity, creates kinetic sculptures using reconfigured everyday objects and machine parts in her installation. In doing so, she foregrounds the encounter between object and invisible phenomena like sound, gravity, wind, and light. Her multi-sensory, experiential installations often form their own self-contained ecosystems, the infrastructure of which is pre-determined by the artist and the conditions of its environment. Past and ongoing projects have been influenced by Marcel Duchamp, inspired by repair as adaptive creativity in everyday life, and paying homage to musical scores by “composers of inadvertence” like Eric Satie, John Cage, and Nam June Paik.

Related Topics