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Nicolas Buffe, The Dream of Polifilo
by Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Location: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Artist(s): Nicolas BUFFE
Date: 19 Apr - 29 Jun 2014

The Hara Museum is proud to present the first solo exhibition at a museum by the rising French artist Nicolas Buffe. Born in Paris and currently based in Tokyo, Buffe creates art that is grand and yet lighthearted, whose influences range from Renaissance grotesques and Baroque ornament to American and Japanese sub-cultures such as manga, anime and video games. His fusion of Eastern and Western traditions both classical and modern has been garnering attention not only within art circles, but also in areas as diverse as opera and fashion.

This exhibition pays homage to the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili(1) , a book published in Venice in 1499. During his first encounter with the book, Buffe was struck by the structural similarity between the story of Polifilo and the initiation quests that he experienced in video games such as Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros and Final Fantasy. Like the book, this exhibition comprises an allegorical dream in which the hero (the visitor) must make it through several stages of an adventure during which he encounters magical objects and images, makes discoveries, plays games and even engages in interactive play through the magic of Augmented Reality (AR)(2) . Buffe plays on the architectural characteristics of the museum to transform all of its spaces into a wonderland.

(1) Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: Translated into English as Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream, this book is the story of Poliphilo who pursues his true love Polia through a dreamlike landscape. The title Hypnerotomachia comes from the Greek hýpnos for ″dream,″ éros for ″love,″ and máchÄ“ for ″battle.″
(2) AR: Augmented Reality. An enhanced version of reality produced by the overlaying of digital information onto image data from a camera.

*image (left)
Peau de licorne (Unicorn Pelt), 2010,
Weaving project for Cité internationale de la tapisserie et de l′art tissé, Musée de la tapisserie d′ Aubusso
© Nicolas Buffe 

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