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MOCA Geffen will be closed all day Saturday, April 13 and will return to regular hours on Sunday, April 14. MOCA Grand Avenue will maintain regular hours.

Kelly Akashi: Formations Book Signing and Shells Film Screening

Kelly Akashi, Hybrid Life Forms, 2019-2021, Lost-wax cast bronze, 3.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches, 9 x 19 x 24 cm. Courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery and the artist. Photo by Paul Salveson.

Kelly Akashi: Formations
Book Signing and Shells Film Screening

Screening MOCA Store

MOCA Store is pleased to host the launch and book signing for the new monograph Kelly Akashi: Formations (Inventory Press/San José Museum of Art, 2023), as well as a special screening of Akashi's film Shells (2019).

As the first in-depth monograph on the artist, Kelly Akashi: Formations accompanies the major survey exhibition organized by the San José Museum of Art and traveling nationally. Much like the artist’s own work, the catalogue cultivates relationships between objects and materials to investigate how they can actively convey their histories and potential for change. Spanning nearly ten years of her practice, the publication follows the artist from graduate school to more recent research into the inherited impact of Japanese Americans’ incarceration during World War II.

Akashi’s works in glass, cast bronze, multipart installations, and photographic contact prints are given further context through scholarly essays by San José Museum of Art’s senior curator Lauren Schell Dickens, curator Ruba Katrib, and art historian Dr. Jenni Sorkin, as well as a conversation between Akashi and painter Julien Nguyen. Dickens provides an overview of some of the themes in Akashi’s work as they spiral through each other: studies of weeds, fossils, and rocks expand to consider time, ancestry and inheritance, botanical and geologic memory, and kinship between beings. Sorkin examines Akashi’s practice within a larger context of skilled craft, what she terms “geoaesthetics,” and vernacular culture in California. Katrib looks at the centrality of the artist’s hands and body in her practice. Along with extensive plates and installation photography, the book features a new photography project by Akashi, a record of her scavenging for history in the site of her family’s imprisonment in a WWII Japanese American incarceration camp.

For her looping video Shells, Kelly Akashi collaborated with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles's Invertebrate Paleontology department to document shell fossils from extinct species in the collection. Using CT scanning, Akashi created hundreds of cross sectional images of each fossil, revealing the shells' swirling inner chambers, some of which are filled with other fossilized shell fragments. Combined into a pulsing animation, the work dwells on interiority, transference from organic to mineral, and the spiral as a non-linear model for time.

Now Available: Kelly Akashi's Fingerbowl

This year, MOCA is proud to release Kelly Akashi's Fingerbowl, the latest multiple commissioned by the MOCA Projects Council. Akashi has created a series of cast bronze sculptures representing her own hand melded with a bowl. Although this is an editioned series, each work is in fact a unique cast, resulting in variations across the series of sculptures.

Kelly Akashi
Fingerbowl, 2023
Lost-wax cast bronze
Dimensions variable (approx. 6 1/2 W x 6 1/2 D x 4 H inches)
Edition of 25 with 5 APs
Each hand signed and numbered at bottom of "bowl"
Certificate of Authenticity included

Each Fingerbowl retails for $6,000, plus tax and shipping. Net proceeds from this work support MOCA's exhibitions and education programming.
Shop the edition here.

Kelly Akashi (born in 1983, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. Trained as a photographer, Akashi approaches her sculptural practice with an eye toward the indexical, leading her to materials like wax, glass, and cast metal that can capture a fleeting moment in hard materials. Throughout her work, Akashi brings a documentarian’s instinct and curiosity to a practice that embraces a range of diverse materials and age-old processes.

Kelly Akashi’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Jose Museum of Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; CC Foundation, Shanghai; X Museum, Beijing; The Perimeter, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Sifang Museum, Nanjing, among others.

Credits:
Kelly Akashi, Shells, 2019, digital video, 10 min 37 sec, looped.

Kelly Akashi, Conjoined Weeds, 2020-2021, Lost-wax cast bronze, cut and scratched copper foil, 35 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches, 89 x 21.5 x 16.5 cm. Courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery and the artist. Photo by Paul Salveson.

Kelly Akashi, Hybrid Life Forms, 2019-2021, Lost-wax cast bronze, 3.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches, 9 x 19 x 24 cm. Courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery and the artist. Photo by Paul Salveson.