Born in Japan and now working and living in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Yukari 海堀 Kaihori’s work develops an interest in the More-than-Human-World and draws on practices located in Japanese folk animism, to consider the life-force in materials and things by building on a material practice of respect and awareness of the immediate environment.
Returning to Tāmaki Makaurau from a short visit to Japan in early 2023, a chance encounter made Kaihori aware of a connection between Japan and Aotearoa through iron sand extraction and heavy industry. Immediately identifying this chance encounter as a moment of ‘En’ (a Japanese spiritual term likening to chance, karma or fate), Kaihori follows this thread through to a materially-led inquiry around the intersection between the natural and human-made.
Directly listening to and learning from materials by spending time with them in the studio, Kaihori draws parallels with Japanese theorist Keiji Iwata on the theory of animism; “If you want to learn about bamboo, you need to listen to bamboo. If you want to learn about pines, you need to listen to pines”.
Working with hand-made ceramics that animate natural processes, cast sculptural objects of organic matter sourced from around the Te Tuhi premises and low grade iron ore with 57 per cent iron by weight and 7.6 per cent titanium dioxide, two sides of the moon imagines a life-force within materials, considering where the essence of materiality begins and ends.
The artist would like to acknowledge and thank Taini Drummond for her help with this project.
About Yukari 海堀 Kaihori
Born in Japan and now living and working in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Yukari 海堀 Kaihori is currently working on her Doctoral degree at Elam School of Fine Arts. Her work expands on theories around the More-than-Human-World, working mindfully with materials in her studio practice to highlight a tactful immediacy with overlooked and mundane elements in specific locations.
the group exhibition, Wiggling together, Falling apart at Michael Lett gallery and the solo exhibition, Touching Time at Audio Foundation, both in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, The Moon and the Pavement, a group exhibition in partnership with The Physics Room Ōtautahi Christchurch and Ashburton Art Gallery, and the solo exhibition THE QUIET PLACE I SEARCH FOR: In situ (ɪn ˈsɪtju /室/ Shitsu しつ) at Meanwhile Gallery in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Prior to this, Kaihori has shown in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, RM Gallery for her solo exhibition In Searching for Deities in 2021. She was a recipient of the Foundation North, Asian Artist Grant (2022, 2023) and Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2015
 Iwata, Keiji. 草木虫魚の人類学 アニミズムの世界 [Soumokuchigyo no Jinrui gaku, Aminizumu no Sekai] Anthropology of Soumokuchigyo: The Animism World, (Tōkyō: Kodansha, 1973).