An untitled painting by Tomokazu Matsuyama
featured in "Sacred Monsters."
Three exhibitions are coming soon to the Tufts University Art Gallery, featuring paintings and new media from Japanese artists and a Boston-based projectionist.
"Sacred Monsters: Everyday Animism in Contemporary Japanese Art and Anime," which includes work from eight artists, and Brian Knep's "Exempla" run from Sept. 10 through mid-November. Tadashi Moriyama's "Flight Home," a digital video and animation project, runs from Sept. 10 through Dec. 20.
Animism - the idea that life exists in inanimate objects, and that spirits exist separate from bodies - connects two of the exhibitions, according to gallery director Amy Ingrid Schlegel.
"The theme connecting 'Sacred Monsters' and Tadashi Moriyama's animation is animism," she said in an e-mail. "The Brian Knep exhibition may turn out to have some very nice connections on a more philosophical level."
Tufts professor and anime scholar Susan J. Napier selected Moriyama's film, which was inspired by a 13-hour plane ride and includes "grainy live footage" and computer generated cityscapes, according to the gallery's website.
The eight contemporary artists in "Sacred Monsters" offer paintings, soft sculptures, and other works that illustrate the spirit life of traditional Japanese myth.
Knep, who lives in Boston, presents six interactive projections in "Exempla," with viewers casting their shadows on creatures with exaggerated limbs and faces.
"The pieces are more about futility than emergence," he said in a statement posted to the gallery's site. "The works use child-like drawings to examine the illusions that drive us, in a humorous way."
Opening receptions for "Sacred Monsters" and "Exempla" are scheduled for Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m.