Field Companion

A Project by Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, 4k video with sound, 2021, RT: 20:40

Set in a microcosmic forest, the film is based loosely on the pine barrens that dot Southern New Jersey near the home of Hironaka & Suib. 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. The film also touches upon the notion of forest-bathing, the Japanese practice of exploring the natural environment through our senses.

Field Companion was co-commissioned by Rowan University Art Gallery, Locust Projects and the New Jersey Council on the Arts.

Installation Views

Field Companion On PBS

State of the Arts, Season 40 Episode 1

Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have collaborated on films, videos, public artworks, and immersive installations for over a decade. Field Companion was a microcosmic forest that they installed at Rowan University Art Gallery that drew upon their walks in the New Jersey Pine Barrens during the pandemic. Humor and fantasy draw the viewer into a deeply beautiful and thought-provoking art work. Aired 10/30/2021

CLICK HERE to watch PBS’s State of the Arts insight into Field Companion