October 12 – October 23, 2015
Commons GalleryFlickr images

Artist RYUTA NAKAJIMA brings together multiple artists and their works based on the theme of cephalopods.

For centuries, cephalopod, such as octopus, squid and cuttlefish, has fascinated artists and artisans across many coastline cultures. It has been represented in murals, mosaics, paintings, tattoos, figurines, toys, consumer products, sculptures, jewelry, etc. A simple web search for “octopus” and “squid” images exceeds 55 million hits in English language alone, which well exceeds a search for “Andy Warhol” at 14 million hits. This number is phenomenal considering that most of us have never seen one before. This exhibition attempts to investigate this deep cultural kinship towards cephalopod which may include emotional, socio-political, formal, metaphorical, nutritional, biological, environmental and religious factors. Furthermore, using cephalopod as a vehicle, this exhibition is an attempt to create a truly valuable interdisciplinary platform to discuss the current trends in both art and science. This, in turn, will comparatively help deeper understanding of humanity and its position.

CEPHALOPOD INTERFACE is an exhibition inspired by an interdisciplinary scientific symposium entitled「頭足類学を興す」which roughly translates to “The Start of Cephalopodology” in 2014. The symposium attempted to define a new arena of investigation surrounding one of the most enigmatic group of animal “cephalopod” by bringing together researchers of diverse academic fields such as oceanography, behaviorology, genetics, fishery science, museum study, media and art. This exhibition at the Commons Gallery will feature 13 international artists.

Gaye Chan (HI)
Doucatty (Okinawa)
Katsuko Ishigaki (Okinawa)
Jacob Lunderby (PA)
Ko Masuda (JPN)
Andy Messerschmidt (MN)
Yuka Miyauchi (JPN)
Ryuta Nakajima (MN)
Masaru Nakamoto (Okinawa)
Mamoru Sato (HI)
Michelle Schwengala (HI)
John Stewart (CA)
Aya Taira (Okinawa)
Kyle Usui (HI)

CONVERSATION IN THE GALLERY with Margaret McFall-Ngai + Ryuta Nakajima
Monday, October 12, 1030 – 1130am, The Commons Gallery
Reception to follow 1130am – 1230 pm

McFall-Ngai is a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research program focuses on questions in the frontier field of the role of beneficial bacteria in health and disease. Dr. McFall-Ngai, in collaboration with microbiologists and biochemists, developed the use of a simple animal model system, the squid-vibrio association, for the study of the establishment and maintenance of an animal-bacterial symbiosis.

Nakajima is an artist who teaches at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Gallery Hours / M-F 10 am – 4 pm
Closed Sat.
Admission to exhibition and events is free. Parking fees may apply.