HABITAT: MIKA HORIBUCHI

Feb 5, 2016 / by Katherine McMahon / Art News



Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artistsin their workspaces.

This week’s studio: Mika Horibuchi; Ukrainian Village, Chicago.“Do you see a rabbit or a duck?”Mika Horibuchiasked as we looked a simple drawing that once appeared in a German humor magazine and laterfound fame after being included byLudwig Wittgenstein in hisPhilosophical Investigationsas an example of different ways of seeing. It looked like both a rabbit and a duck. “At first, you’re able to see without any sort of pre-judgement,” Horibuchi said. “Then you make a switch cognitively based on the influence of outside information.I’m interested in the cognitive switch that happens in relation to the exterior physical world.”

Herlabor-intensivepaintings playfullyexplore these inconsistencies, offering up images that areimmaculately rendered but slippery. Even as you recognizesomething, other readings seem to lurk, just out of sight. Awork painted atop table resembles a chess setand thena bit of weaving, a painting on linen shows fruit in a tree or maybe a playing card oreven a die.

Horibuchi originally moved to Chicago from theBay Areato attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has stayed for the artistic community and number of opportunities that might not be afforded to a young artist in other cities. Economically, she described Chicago as “friendly.” In addition to working as an artist, she also helped found4th Ward Project Space, an artist-run space in Hyde Park. “It’s a small space that’s based on a foundation of mutual trust with the artists,” she said. “We don’t want to have too much of a curatorial hand in the exhibitions.”

Horibuchiis currently at work on pieces forseveral shows and projects, including a group exhibition atLoudhailer Galleryin Los Angeles this month, a show with Jordan Nassar atLVL3 Galleryin Chicagoin the spring, a group show atAnat Ebgi Galleryin Los Angeles in June, and a solo show at Patron Galleryin Chicago, also in June.