Devils Tongue · Onishi Civic Center, Gunma prefecture, Japan.

Devils Tongue, installations view, Onishi Civic Center 2015


Devils Tongue, plaster, ink, and pigment on sliding shoji door, 167 x 91 cm. 2015


Devils Tongue, plaster, ink, and pigment on plywood, 2015


Devils Tongue, plaster, ink, and pigment on sliding shoji door, 2015


Untitled, plywood, plaster, pigment, ink, Rhinoceros beetle and Rhinoceros beetle broods, enclosed by acrylic capsule 60 x 40 cm. 2015


Rhinoceros beetle brood 2015


Rhinoceros beetle 2015


Untitled, plywood, plaster, pigment, ink, and praying mantis, enclosed by acrylic capsule, 65 x 50 cm. 2015


Praying mantis 2015

Devils Tongue, installations view, Onishi Civic Center 2015


Devils Tongue

With its modern architecture the Onishi Civic Center makes a great contrast between the old houses, and the mountains and vegetation surrounding the building. Within this ambiguous setting a large wooden construction is installed. The construction is mainly made out of materials from some of the many empty houses in Gunma that has been torn down – addressing a common issue within Japanese society, in which the rural areas suffers from a declining population, as the youth seeks towards the bigger cities.

The wooden construction serves as a frame for paintings of Konyaku flowers, also known as “Devils Tongue”. The potato like root of the Konyaku plant is a common ingredient in the Japanese food, and is widely distributed from the Gunma prefecture – being Japans biggest source of this specific agricultural product. The picturesque representations of the Konyaku flower are scratched in the surface of painterly compositions made in plaster, giving the flowers a phantom like appearance – a subtle portrayal of the Konyaku flowers fleeting existence, as it only blooms for a short time every fifth year. The flower works are complimented by specially build acrylic terrariums containing insects caught in the Onishi village and surrounding mountains.


Devils Tongue is made during a 5 week residency at Shiro Oni, and is kindly supported by: