Aiko Miyanaga is a young Japanese artist who often works with the chemical compound Napthalene, which she uses to model everyday objects. The properties of the chemical then cause the objects to gradually transition from a solid to a gas, illustrating a fleeting and almost destructive sense of time. We wrote about her back in 2009 but she’s come a long way since and recently landed a site-specific installation at Liverpool Central Library’s Picton Reading Room.
In collaboration with White Rainbow gallery Miyanaga created Strata, an ever-evolving series of objects like books and keys made from Napthalene. “Instead of disappearing into air, it is continuously crystallised through the conditions of temperature and humidity, and even the breath of the visitors.”
These objects, constantly in flux, are contrasted with a series of cast naphthalene keys that are embedded in resin books and hence remain dormant, “waiting to be awakened.” The installation was on display last month in September.
Here’s a statement from the press release: “Miyanaga’s work connects with a larger whole, a stage in the continuous cycle of the elements – it is an apparatus that asks us to pause, to look beyond the present and to wonder with serendipity.”