AYOMI YOSHIDA’S INSTALLATION initially presents itself as a quiet complement to the Asia Society's stunning great hall. At least, that's until the ambient rain pattering within the main, immersive piece, ramps up to a rolling thunderstorm. Then you’re frozen in the middle of the hall beneath a suspended veil of flower petals, suddenly caught up in the deluge of the Japanese artist's Texas debut timed alongside the first Harvey anniversary.

 

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To create the work, Yoshida—a former architecture student herself—referenced the Center's Yoshio Taniguchi architecture in a delicate play with space that elevates the experience of entering one of the city's most stunning buildings. It’s an exhibition you can walk into and throughout and thoroughly soak in, all without feeling as though there’s a rigid, installed path for viewing. 

The water theme should hold a natural emotional resonance for Houstonians, as we know so well the impact of a storm. But one finds peace, not turmoil, among the petals that dance and lay static overhead, with some blossoms recalling bluebonnets. These are soft works, the main piece supported by divisive scrim, bisecting the openness of the main hall with a facsimile extension of the outdoor water garden as video projectors transform the fabric barrier into a rippling pool.

Herself the granddaughter of legendary artist Hiroshi Yoshida, Ayomi Yoshida here strikes a tenuous balance between nostalgia, tradition, and contemporary art; from the meticulous paper petals and the woodblock paintings, to the projector and soundscape, dynamic presentation teases the audience with tension and release. The overall effect is fantastic—work that engages, enhances its surroundings, and boasts alchemical beauty all at once.

Thru Jan. 13. Free. Asia Society Texas, 1370 Southmore Blvd. 713-496-9901. More info at asiasocietytexas.org. 

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