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Milk Bath

17 February – 16 March 2024 | East Gallery

For Milk Bath, Koko Gate’s first UK solo exhibition, visitors encounter an alternative landscape.

A new 3D animated film expands beyond the confines of the traditional cinematic frame as elements leach into the gallery space beyond. Sculptures become animate, perch upon plinths and backdrops form new tableaus. It is the making of her digital environment writ large, insidiously questioning what is reality, and what is fiction.

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In the titular work, the film Milk Bath, viewers meet two protagonists, digital angels who have fallen to earth, perplexed, and bemused by all they find. The film asks us to consider, what would such beings make of contemporary humanity? The celestial beings become vessels of the artist’s subconscious, creating moments of fantasy connection and unexpected tenderness. Experimental dialogue evokes an unfamiliar tone, whilst the expansive environment immerses visitors in a dream-like world. Here, boundaries between reality and fantasy blur, inviting discussion around digital voyeurism and what it means to be human at the dawn of a new era.

Koko Gate is a contemporary artist whose work operates at the intersection of experimental and mainstream animation. She likens her creations to uncanny avatars, creating strange but familiar, relatable characters that exist in a parallel universe; one that lives on long after the viewer has departed. The inhabitants of her psychedelic digital space proffer ideas of a life lived beyond the moment that we see them – that they too will age, change, engage in mundane and every day. It is the suggestion of an alternate world that both entices and terrifies in equal measure.

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Humour is very important in Koko Gate’s work and punctuates her storylines, allowing some brevity amongst heavier subject matter. Sitting outside contemporary influences, her work is more closely aligned with the leftfield, counterculture animations and collages of the 1960s. Terry Gilliam’s surrealist concoctions for Monty Python, and The Beatles Yellow Submarine animation in 1967, all play a notable role in her development as an artist, whilst her practice both resembles and resists the features of mainstream animation to suitably play with audience expectation.

Koko Gate’s work has drawn notable attention and plaudits. She has had screenings within both film festivals and galleries, from Sundance, SXSW, and BFI Film Festivals; to gallery spaces such as Tate Modern and Whitechapel. In 2023, she was shortlisted for the prestigious Jarman Award, the first animator to be nominated in the awards history.

East Gallery is based in the heart of Norwich, our address is:

Cavendish House
St Andrews Street

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Opening times:
Tuesday – Friday 12–5pm, Saturday 12–4pm
Admission free

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