Nelly Agassi

Kyu Yamakano
Title|mountain wishes come true
Title|mountain wishes come true
Photo by Gu Kenryou
Curator’s Text
Title: 《mountain wishes come true》

Nelly Agassi, the renowned Chicago-based multi-disciplinary artist, has formed a unique bond with the old Yamakano building, where her first large-scale exhibition in Japan, "mountain wishes come true," will be presented.
Yamakano was a focal point for the local Fujiyoshida community and industry up until earlier this year when the shop and warehouse were emptied by its owner. It is another addition to the growing list of empty buildings in the town whose future is yet to be determined.

"mountain wishes come true" (a literal translation of the building's name) unveils Agassi's dialogue with the Yamakano building and its surrounding community.
Following her ongoing practice, here, too, she skillfully integrates local elements into her artistic vision, bridging tradition and innovation.
Agassi engages physical and metaphysical elements – time, memories, found objects, and imagination – to touch upon the space's history, recent changes, and boundless potential future. She introduces elements from her ongoing practice into the newly emptied structure. This exhibition includes a number of collaborations with people, some of whom are very close to her (such as her 10-year-old son Jonah and her long-lasting sound collaborator, Ryan Packard) and some she has met during recent months.

A highlight of these collaborations is the main installation that forms a new soft architecture in the old warehouse. Born from a dialogue with the local textile research institute, Yamanashi Industrial Technology Center, the collaboration with the artist transformed a fading yet central motif from the building’s facade into a new form and shape that explores a new state of matter. The outcome of this dialogue and experiment embodies the merging of artistic practices and local expertise.
"mountain wishes come true" observes the interplay between an artist, a space, and a local community with its traditions, environment and mood.
Artist Profile
Nelly Agassi
Photo by Itai Neeman

Nelly Agassi

Nelly Agassi (b.1973, Israel) is a multi-disciplinary artist who works with performance, installation, video, animation, textile and works on paper. Her work deals with materials, body and space. She is particularly interested in public spaces in relation to architecture. Agassi often works site-specifically, inspired to reveal fragments of the site’s biography through threading vulnerable threads of her own personal history and life experience.

Chicago-based artist Agassi received her MFA from Chelsea College of Arts and her BFA from Central St. Martins, both in London. Her work has been shown internationally at institutions and galleries such as Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (Chicago), Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago rooms), The Arts Club of Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Israel Museum (Jerusalem), Tate Modern (London), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv), Design Museum (Milano), Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw), Foksal Gallery(Warsaw). Agassi is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization Fieldwork Collaborative Projects and a 2019 Graham Foundation Fellow. Her work is part of museums and private collections nationally and internationally. Recently her work was acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago.

Upcoming projects: Solo Show (Foksal Gallery, Warsaw, Fall 2023), ORD T5 commission project (O’hare airport international terminal, summer 2023), Group Show (Pola Magnetyczne, Warsaw Fall 2023), Viennacontemporary(Art Fair Vienna, Fall 2023) including Solo Show (The International Museum of Surgical Science, Spring 2024).
She is represented by Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv and Pola Magnetyczne, Warsaw.

Sound:Ryan Packard
Technical Cooperation: Yamanashi Industrial Technology Center
Production Cooperation: Makita Shoten