Tomo Mori: Concerto Encircling

September 13, 2016 – June 2017

Scherezade GarciaTomo Mori, Memory Ring (detail), 2014, acrylic, canvas on canvas collage, 36 x 36 in., courtesy of the artist.

Curated by Deborah Cullen

A site-specific installation for Miller Theatre, Columbia University in collaboration with The Wallach Art Gallery

Harlem-based visual artist Tomo Mori will transform the Miller Theatre lobby into an immersive work surrounding viewers with a sponge-stamped waterfall of images, based on her cut and painted mosaic process, in which multi-color impressions will cover deep blue walls, while cut transparent vinyl pieces will continue the imagery across the lobby’s glass doors. In contrast to the ultramarine northern lobby, Mori will create “Sakura Sanctuary” on the southern wall, evoking the delicate falling petals of cherry blossom trees.

Tomo Mori considers “Concerto Encircling” as “a journey through memory in time. It comes full circle and goes round and round. Aggregates of small bits of colors create oblique, flowing forms similar to those found in nature, like waterfalls and trees, which are then filtered and disseminated through digital media.” Wallach Art Gallery Director and Chief Curator, Deborah Cullen, notes that “This is a moment to celebrate Mori’s unique work. Her labor-intensive, mosaic-like process reminds us that tessellation exists in both nature’s honeycombs as well as the digital realm.”

Tomo Mori / 毛利友 was born in the countryside of Osaka, Japan. She studied painting and drawing at Tokyo Metropolitan High School for Art, and graduated from Atlanta College of Art with a BFA. She spent 11 years in the CNN newsroom as an editorial design staffer after graduating from college in 1995.  From the experience of being exposed to news reports of ongoing conflicts on a daily basis, she began to seek harmonious beauty of co-existence in her own artwork. 

Tomo Mori's site-specific work for Miller Theatre Lobby is co-commissioned and co-presented by Miller Theatre and the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. This exhibit marks the fourth-annual collaboration between Columbia’s two major artistic presenting spaces.  Mori’s mural succeeds Scherezade Garcia’s swirling, flowing In Transit/Liquid Highway that adorned the walls last season. Mori’s immersive large-scale work will be displayed throughout the 2016-17 season, greeting thousands of concertgoers as they arrive for performances over the course of the year.

Miller Theatre is located north of the Columbia University's main campus gate at 116th St. and Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall. The theatre lobby is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and beginning two hours before each scheduled performance.


Reception and Conversation with Artist Tomo Mori and Wallach Art Gallery Director Deborah Cullen
Date: September 13
Time: 5:30 - 7:00pm
Location: The Lobby at Miller Theatre.

Miller Theatre is located north of the Columbia University's main campus gate at 116th St. and Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.

Creative conversation sponsored by Arts Intitiative