A collaboration (of sorts) between Mother Nature and Los Angeles-based artist Emilie Halpern, Shōka, Halpern’s current show at Peppin Moore, has been on view since the autumnal equinox on September 22nd, and it closes on the upcoming winter solstice on December 21st. The exhibition has three stages, which is a concept derived in part from the shōka style of ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of floral composition. The shōka style, cultivated in the Ikenobō school in the 15th century, is a minimal description of the universe in three parts: the earth (地), the heavens (天), and humanity (人).
The first part of her exhibition titled 地 (pronounced chi, meaning ‘earth’) consists of fluorescent rocks set up in a rectangle according to the proportions of the gallery. In the day, the lights appear to be minimal earthwork. At night when exposed to black light they become fluorescent.
Part two was titled Shōka 天 (pronounced ten, meaning ‘heaven’) and it documented the sunlight in the gallery on the first day of the show. Gold leaf marks the gallery space at the time when diret sunlight hit the interior on October 26, 2013.
The final part of the show is 人 (pronounced jin, meaning ‘human’) and it consists of a collection of Halpern’s pottery works. Representative of the human interaction and manipulation of the two prior elements, pottery is an apt culminating medium.
Halpern’s exhibitions are the final for Pepin Moore Gallery.