A Shapeshifting World

Takayuki Hara Solo Show

22 February 2013 – 14 March 2013

‘A Shapeshifting World’ Takayuki Hara’s solo exhibition at Unit 24 is a collective display of Hara’s three year project “Shapeshifters”. Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Hara started his project in 2009, he created a series of drawings and sculptures based on the idea of our ever-changing and fluid identity.


20 Great Guildford Street

London SE1 0FD



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‘Nothing retains its original form, but Nature, the goddess of all renewal, keeps altering one shape into another. Nothing at all in the world can perish, things merely vary and change their appearance. What we call birth is merely becoming a different entity; what we call death is ceasing to be the same.’ –Ovid ‘Metamorphosis’ Book 15


The idea of shapeshifters has travelled through history. It can be found in many myths and stories all over the world, or even in many forms of contemporary culture such as film and literature. My work is not concerned with the details of these stories, but rather what they represent and reveal metaphorically in this world of uncertainty.


One of my inspirations was the poem “Metamorphosis” by Ovid, in which human forms constantly transform into other entities, suggesting a new potentiality of being. In this world we are living in, nothing ever stays the same, we are in a constant state of flux; shapeshifting. I became interested in the idea of shapeshifting as a way to open up the unknown space hidden underneath the surface where organs are revealed.  Full of potentiality as an opposed idea of psychoanalysis, a concept Freud and Lacan coined, based on the binary ideas of ‘conscious’ and ‘unconscious’, or ‘whole’ and ‘lack’. My aim is to go beyond psychoanalysis to free ourselves from restraint, to reach a place where endless potentiality exists without boundaries.


French Philosopher Giles Deleuze’ coinage: ‘becoming’ and ‘rhizome’ were other ideas that influenced my work. They are models of thinking, an ever-expanding labyrinth without a centre, capable of either opening up or closing down. Although Deleuze’s idea leads to an extreme emergence which excludes others, blurring the boundaries of identities, into the singular entity of immanence. I am interested in the process of our identities becoming blurred and multiple before becoming a singular existence.  A chaotic emergence where organization is impossible, what is hidden reveals itself, what is different no longer differs.

With my work, I would like to evoke the awareness or recognition to open up, the potential to become a new entity, the possibility to embrace the differences, rather than dismissing the differences as demonic, to emerge as one.




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