Trees Grow On Money: The Intricate Art Of Yuken Teruya

Yuken Teruya: Monopoly, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 22 months ago
Trees Grow On Money: The Intricate Art Of Yuken Teruya Yuken Teruya: Monopoly, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery 4
Fresh shoots spring out currency. Copyright Yuken Teruya, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth gallery.

We first came across Yuken Teruya's work over two years ago and we loved it. Now he's back with more intricately hand cut pieces in his latest exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth gallery.

He's still focussed on consumerism but this time it's all about money. Fresh shoots pop out of money — Monopoly notes and the real deal. Dollar bills form columns that sprout branches, and leaves have serial numbers carved into them.

All the works here link together, for example, the trees cut from paper bags are modelled on the same trees that all the leaves in the show fell from.

We've always liked Teruya's ability to not openly criticise, but simply draw attention to how the consumerist world we live in is still highly dependent on the natural one. Monopoly may be a game about capitalism but the board and all the money is made from organic materials.

The work follows a similar theme from Teruya's last show but it's great to see how he's evolved, giving us aesthetic beauty, while shining a light on our inexhaustible consumerism.

The Monopoly board as a forest floor. Copyright Yuken Teruya, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth gallery.
And seen side on: look how well crafted it is. Copyright Yuken Teruya, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth gallery.
Leaves have the barcodes and denominations from currency carved into them. Copyright Yuken Teruya, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth gallery.

Yuken Teruya: Monopoly is on at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 6 Heddon St, W1B 4BT until 13 February. Entrance is free and the gallery is open Monday-Saturday.

Last Updated 26 January 2016