Field Companion

Field Companion

Rowan University Art Gallery presents

Field Companion logo

Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib’s New Immersive Installation, Field Companion, Transforms Rowan University Art Gallery Into a Microcosmic Forest 

Exhibition Dates: September 7 to October 30, 2021 

Philadelphia-based artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, known for their fantastical moving images and alternate realities, have created a new immersive film and installation for Rowan University Art Gallery. Field Companion, set in a microcosmic forest, is inspired by the pine barrens that dot Southern New Jersey. 

Like many, the duo found refuge and solace throughout the COVID-19 pandemic hiking and foraging in these remote, natural landscapes. As America's social fabric frayed deeply over recent years, they considered forest ecosystems in terms of symbiotic and collaborative relationships that sustain coexistence and community. 

In Field Companion, the forest has been condensed and transplanted to a terrarium in the artists' studio. Twelve cubic feet of pines, shrubs, ferns, moss, fungus and carnivorous plants are reflected infinitely in the terrarium's mirrored walls and captured with a motion-controlled camera and specialized macro lens that dramatically shift the scale and perspective of this miniature landscape. Living dwellers—snails, slugs, and insects inhabit the miniature ecosystem, accompanied by digitally rendered part-animal, part-human creatures. Through their conversations and interactions, they look forward, investigating progressive methods of sustainability. Bringing attention to questions surrounding social responsibility and community, Hironaka and Suib transform their microcosmic film set into the home of chimeric forest dwellers who consider themes of precarity, mutualism, and collaborative survival. 

Learn more about Hironaka and Suib's process on this State of the Arts NJ clip - Field Companion: Nadia Hironaka & Matthew Suib.

You can watch a video of the installation on our YouTube channel - Field Companion installation.

Also enjoy clips from the pineLAND ART + ECOLOGY walk with the artists, Professor Duran, and Professor Kitson's Glass Art & Heritage Landscapes class that took place at Black Run Preserve in Evesham, NJ on Oct 15, 2021 - pineLAND ART + ECOLOGY walk.

This project was produced with support from Rowan University Art Gallery and Locust Projects, Miami. Additional support is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. 

Installation photography by Constance Mensh courtesy of Rowan University Art Gallery.