Clifford • Smith Gallery is pleased to announce our November
exhibition of new work by Nao Tomii. There will be a reception for
the artist on Friday, November 5th, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
In his most recent sculptural installation, Nao Tomii continues to
create the plants and creatures that inhabit his metaphorical parallel
world. In the main gallery, anthropomorphized plants called Plump
form a veritable forest of pastel pinks, greens and blues. Alternately
cute and creepy, Tomii’s plants range from young sprouts only
6” high to fully developed plants nearly 40” tall, each
sporting a tiny “genuine crystal” stud earring in their
ear. These listening plants point to Tomii’s continuing interest
in ambient sound. In an earlier installation at the gallery, Tomii’s
small Gossiper sculptures oozed from the walls and floors referencing
the constant chatter of gossiping that never ceases regardless of
About his work, Tomii says: “The underlying concept for the
pieces I call Plump stems from my thinking about the noises that are
created by modern civilization. These noises may emanate from the
news on TV, simple everyday occurrences... just about anything. How
do plants, in the ground, the earth, listen to these “noises”?
If they keep listening, do these plants start evolving? Do they become
more colorful? Do the shapes become different?”
In the project room, a small installation of Plump sit quietly in
a field adjacent to a highway construction site buzzing with small
bugs (wearing headphones), called Gossipers. The odd shift in scale
reiterates the sweet/menacing nature of Tomii’s work. Although
the Plump sitting quietly (listening) in the field of Astro-turf are
the tiny sculptures (relative to their larger cousins in the main
gallery) they dwarf the nearby roadway under construction. It’s
as though our own world has been taken over by alien creatures, mute,
but always listening.
Nao Tomii holds a diploma from the Montserrat College of Art. He
lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts.