Yoga Mat Monster in Monster March, 2016
Art Project “March out ! Yoga Mat Monsters”
Japanese Zen Artist couple hold art exhibition to Raise Awareness of Environmental Issues through Art in Bakuro-cho, Nihombashi, Tokyo
Japanese Zen artist couple, Fumie and Kentaro Mune, have announced plans to launch a new exciting lifestyle movement in Tokyo. The Munes, who opened the world’s first yoga mat gallery, have an established track record of delivering successful workshops and exhibitions in Bangkok and Tokyo, and their designs and philosophy have attracted attention throughout the world. Their art activities have been covered by various world-renowned media outlets, including Wanderlust, one of the largest US yoga online media outlets in the world, and The Mainichi, a major Japanese newspaper. They are also established yoga teachers and have published multiple books, one of which was ranked as an Amazon best seller in 2016. The Mune’s most recent book, titled “One Yoga Mat Revolution,” was published in Japan in January 2017.
The Munes use irony and humor to educate the public on the damaging impacts of over-consumption. The Munes draw attention to how contemporary consumptive behaviors breed immortal monsters that generate mountains of non-biodegradable garbage that will be passed down to future generations. In addition to motivating the audience to stop and think about how their purchase decisions can have major implications for future generations, Mune’s art pieces also teach the viewer how simple actions can change our lifestyle in fun ways and represent the first step toward a bright future.
Thank you and Good Bye PVC Yoga Mats,video, 2:43
Mune’s art pieces use a wide variety of expressions to raise awareness of the relationship between human beings and the environment; for example, ZEN arts of biodegradable yoga mats, video works, large artworks, collage works featuring ancient Japanese paintings, and art pieces made of non-biodegradable yoga mats. During past exhibitions, the Munes granted visitors an opportunity to visit the Mune’s original Japanese Tea Hut, where they enjoyed refreshing teas and an opportunity to communicate with fellow attendees.
“March out, YOGA MAT MONSTERS” ART PROJECT
The worldwide “March Out, Yoga Mat Monsters Exhibition” project is the latest installation in the Mune couple’s efforts to raise awareness of how human behavior is having a detrimental impact on the environment and features inspiring and thought-provoking art pieces that are produced from yoga mats. The theme of the exhibition is “Talk about mass production and garbage with yoga mat monsters,” and it features a range of drawings, paintings, three-dimensional works, music pieces, and videos. The Munes will hold art events and workshops throughout the exhibition period, and visitors are invited to contribute to participatory art pieces.
Duration: 16th August – 20th August, 2017
Time: 11:00 ~ 17:00
Entrance Fee: FREE of Charge
ChoChoGREEN Gallery Info: 1-3-3, Bakuro-Cho, Nihombashi, Chuo-City, Tokyo, 1030002
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Outline of the Artwork
In the exhibition, a Yoga mat monster suddenly appears in a Japanese 1000 years old picture scroll called “Hyakkiyakou”. This chemical modern yoga mat monster seems out of place in the scroll, but its presence silently triggers off the quests to enter into the meditative world of Zen.
Further inside the exhibition, there are video works of “Yoga Mat Bio-degradation art” which shows Mune’s experiment to bury fragments of several types of yoga mats in the soil to observe results after several months. In this video work, it is revealed the strangeness of “undecaying” of yoga mat made of chemical materials which keeps its fresh shape and color for such a long time even after observers’’ death. Mune couple powerfully balance elements of severe irony and humor to express the mysteriousness and eerie lurking behind the everyday life.
Fumie and Kentaro Mune are also established yoga and meditation teachers and have published four books in Japan so far. Having been faced the whirlpool of sizzling interest for yoga and meditation of modern people which is rapidly expanding in the whole world, Mune couple feel discomfort in the situation. Fumie Mune says “it is a lack of dialogue with things”.
“Originally for Japanese, yoga and meditation have been rooted into daily life. And its essence became condensed into Zen and tea ceremony and flourished in the history. Zen and tea ceremonies convey practical teachings that take care of dialogues between human and nature, things and space in our lives. However, nowadays, most of yoga and meditation practitioners pay least attention for dialogues with nature, things and space in their lives, instead, most of them care only for their own minds and bodies. As a result, today even at this moment, mountains of discarded yoga mats have continuously been created in all over the world. From our calculation, only the garbage of discarded yoga mats on earth can become the same volume of a major league baseball stadium within only 3 years. We must prevent our imminent future situation that our children on earth will be surrounded by monsters of yoga mats all over the world. That is our great enthusiasm for our creation of art. And we came to conviction that yoga is a tea ceremony for modern people and yoga mats can be a tea room for modern people.”
“Invite Your Fears to Your Zen Garden”, 2015, Herb Yoga mats/Questionnaire sheet/ stone, Participatory Art