JAPANESE ARTISTS ART FAIRS
Mio Coxon, guest blogger for Glass magazine, which has offices in the UK and in China, has published a series of snappy yet in-depth reviews of what selected booths had to offer at Art Fair Tokyo 2011. Five Japanese galleries are highlighted.
Yuka Contemporary showed work by one artist, Nobuyuki Osaki, that combined watercolour paintings with video loops of their formation and disappearance. “I was instantly captured by the warm spontaneous quality of the portraits with their resemblance to Elizabeth Peyton,” writes Coxon. “The video loop is mesmerizing: washing away the identity of the person as well as revealing the artist’s practice, so that it becomes a self-reflexive mode of portraiture.”
Kei Imazu’s oil series ‘All is Flux’ (2011) was presented solo at Tokyo gallery Yamamoto Gendai. Imazu is a young Tama Art University graduate whose “works appear to shift and fluctuate, emitting a radiant light.”
The dripping graffiti-like brushstrokes on work by Shigeru Nishikawa, represented at the fair by Neutron Tokyo, also put Coxon in mind of evaporation. “He skilfully contrasts this with his hyper-realistic landscapes, with the frame of the painting or the horizon being disturbed by dripping brushstrokes, giving a surreal effect, as if the artist is ‘wiping away’ his own works.”
In a move away from a focus on ephemerality, Coxon’s attention is drawn next to the bright humour-filled works presented by Nagoya-based Gallery Apa. Chizuru Kondo’s “appropriated use of familiar Japanese symbols such as masks, flags, calligraphy, with Western contemporary miscellanea created visual electricity” and Takeshi Haguri’s “camphor wood sculptures of semi-naked tattooed men in festival garb and Noh masks” brought a smile to the writer’s face.
Coxon looks finally at one of Japan’s premier contemporary art spaces, Taka Ishii Gallery, who brought work by three artists to the fair: Taro Shinoda, Marijke van Warmerdam and Daido Moriyama. Of the Japanese artists, Coxon states that “one could not help seeing these works together, as a resonant comment on nature and the continuity of the natural world.”
Art Fair Tokyo, which ran from 29 to 31 July in 2011, provided a venue for 133 domestic and international galleries selling antiquities, modern and contemporary art. Sales results and audience attendance figures for the 2011 edition are yet to be released.
- What art fairs will contemporary galleries be heading to in 2011? – June 2011 – Art Basel Miami Beach tops most lists but some Asian fairs also get a mention
- ART HK 11 Hong Kong art fair: What did galleries bring to ART HK 11? Picture feast – May 2011 – you’ve read about what was brought to Art Fair Tokyo, now take a look at ART HK 11
- Japanese contemporary art book resource: Tokyo Visualist – May 2011 – access the world of Japanese contemporary art through interviews, essays, biographies
- 2 Japanese video artists at Auckland Arts Festival 2011 – profile – March 2011 – Ko Nakajima and Kentaro Taki exhibited new video installations
- Japanese contemporary art – changes and trends – by gallerist Koyanagi – March 2009 – gallerist Atsuko Koyanagi on how Japanese and Western art collectors differ, among other things
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