- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Adam Pendleton: Untitled
- Raqs Media Collective: The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
- Stefano Arienti: Wild Carrot
- Luisa Lambri: Portrait
- Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye–9 Artists 9 Projections
- (TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
- Points of View: 20 Years Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
- Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
- Danijel Zezelj: Once
- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections
- Su-Mei Tse: Floating Memories
- Luisa Rabbia: Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008
- Cliff Evans: Empyrean
- Stefano Arienti: The Asian Shore
- Sculpture and Memory: Works from the Gardner and by Luigi Ontani
- Henrik Håkansson: Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001
- Michele Iodice: A Pagan Feast
- Variations On a Theme by Sol Lewitt and Paula Robison
- Danijel Zezelj: Stray Dogs
- Dayanita Singh: Chairs
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: TV Dinner
- Elaine Reichek: madamimadam
- Joseph Kosuth: Artist, Curator, Collector
- Nari Ward: Episodes: Bus Park & Forevermore
- Manfred Bischoff
- Ackroyd & Harvey: Presence
- Laura Owens
- New Works by Denise Marika
- Artists By 1996
Mona Higuchi is an installation artist. She has been creating site-specific work since 1988. Many of her artworks have focused on human rights issues and historical events, such as the Japanese American Internment, Kristallnacht, the Relocation of the Aleuts in WWII, and the Disappeared in Central and South America. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, Asia, and Europe. She has collaborated with sound and video artist Richard Lerman on many projects. She lives in Phoenix, AZ.
While in residence at the Museum, Higuchi became fascinated by the diaries and scrapbooks that Isabella Gardner kept of her 1883 tour of Japan, which was when Gardner first encountered Asian art and society. Higuchi also came across photographs of the old Chinese or Buddha Room, a room of Chinese and Japanese artworks and artifacts first seen when the Museum opened in 1903 and later reinstalled as a private and somber space, now dismantled.
Higuchi developed the new work Bamboo Echoes, which was inspired by her time, research, and experiences at the Museum, which made her the fourth visual artist to create a new work that directly responded to the permanent collection and history of the Gardner. In Bamboo Echoes, Higuchi continued her exploration of the great injustices of the century, and of human rights and memory with a meditation on lost life, and history. The piece, in both its material and symbolic choices, referred to two distinct stories: that of the Asian Comfort Women and the Museum's Buddha or Chinese Room.
Bamboo Echoes was dedicated to the lives of the Comfort Women. These women—mostly Korean, many of them teenagers—were forcibly taken by the Japanese during World War II and installed in "comfort stations" throughout occupied Asia as sexual slaves for Japanese soldiers, and designated as "military supplies." Their horrific and not uncommon story had recently been made public after a generation of silence and shame.
Khuan-yin, one of the few pieces remaining in the Museum from the Buddha Room, is a twelfth-century polychrome Chinese sculpture of a bodhisattva, a deity of compassion. Enlightened and beneficent, Khuan-yin surrenders nirvana so that it might save others. Usually installed in the Chinese Loggia, Higuchi used Khuan-yin as a link between the dismantled Buddha Room and the dishonored Comfort Women. She placed it in a central location in the installation to safeguard the honor and memory of the Comfort Women, as well as to remind us of the former Buddha Room.
Higuchi also worked with eighth and ninth graders from three neighborhood schools, the Boston Latin School, the City on a Hill Charter School, and the Lawrence School. Together they explored various human rights issues of the students' choosing through art.