ON Flower Gallery

On megumi Akiyoshi

ON Flower Gallery

ON/megumi Akiyoshi is an interdisciplinary/ performance artist interested in challenging the conventional experience of art work in gallery and museum settings. Influenced by Harajuku, a Japanese youth subculture characterized by extreme fashion trends, Akiyoshi uses her own body as the site for her art work. By wearing a flamboyant costume covered in her signature flower motifs, the artist assumes the role of ON Gallery, a mobile art gallery, and walked from 148th to 168th Street in Jamaica for her piece FLOWER Windows at JCAL. For Akiyoshi, the flower serves as a metaphor for the female body, and this self-referential symbol appears in other aspects of her work. As a companion installation for her performance, Akiyoshi also created vivid floral paintings in all of the windows on the façade of JCAL’s landmark building. By appropriating the entire building, Akiyoshi turns the function of the institution inside out; exploding the purpose of the building as a container for art into a work of art itself. Moreover, this installation not only alters the role of the building as a work of art, but by the associative meaning of the flower the building, and by extension, Akiyoshi herself, serves as a womb-like vessel, enveloping all who enter into it. – J.D.

On megumi Akiyoshi, a performance artist originally from Japan, received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts (NY) in 2003. She has participated in a variety of performances and festivals and has presented her work in public places around New York City – including Times Square and the Brooklyn Waterfront – as well as in Shanghai, China. Influenced by Harajuku, an urban youth culture in Japan, Akiyoshi, in a conspicuous, artful fashion, walks around streets and takes pictures of herself with pedestrians. The artist perceives her performance as a walking gallery and names it as “On Gallery” or “On Museum.”