Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum celebrates its ten year anniversary with global-looking Japanese art.
To celebrate its tenth year, the Mori Art Museum is hosting “Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT” (21 September 2013 to 13 January 2014), a group exhibition including Japanese art stars that examines the country’s contemporary art from a global perspective.
Since 2004, “Roppongi Crossing”, a Japanese survey show, has been held every three years. This fourth edition, “Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT” running from 21 September 2013 to 13 January 2014, is curated by Kataoka Mami, Chief Curator of Mori Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery‘s Asian Contemporary Curator Reuben Keehan and Gabriel Ritter, Assistant Curator at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Surveying current Japanese contemporary art, the exhibition features the works of 29 artists and groups. Many of the selected artists were born in the 1970s and 1980s, but a some historical figures such as Akasegawa Genpei and Nakamura Hiroshi are included.
- Akasegawa Genpei
- Akira Akira
- Arai Takashi
- Arakawa Ei and Minamikawa Shimon
- Asakai Yoko
- Chiba Masaya
- Endo Ichiro
- Simon Fujiwara
- Iwata Sohei×Prominority
- Izumi Taro
- Kaneuji Teppei
- Kazama Sachiko
- Kobayashi Fumiko
- Koizumi Meiro
- Mitsuta Haruo
- Mori Chihiro
- Nakahira Takuma
- Nakamura Hiroshi
- Nakamura Yuta
- Niwa Yoshinori
- Okumura Yuki
- Project FUKUSHIMA! [Formed in 2011, active in Fukushima]
- Ryui Koji
- Sasamoto Aki
- Shitamichi Motoyuki
- Suga Kishio
- Tajima Mika
- Takasaka Masato
- Yanagi Yukinori
In the curatorial statement, the curators specify they are looking at art that references history, includes global perspectives and reflects “the social awareness that has clearly been heightened since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the triple disaster.”
Artworks in the exhibition range from paintings, sculptures and drawings, to architectural plans, performances and actual living experiences.
Iwata Sohei: Living art works
One such process-based piece is the work of artist Iwata Sohei. When Sohei finished his postgraduate studies at Tokyo University of Arts in 2003, he began clay construction work in India before becoming a representative of the Sarajevo International Culture Exchange (SICE), where he invited young artists from all over the world to work on art projects.
In 2008, he moved to India and lived in the countryside for four years. This experience culminated in a collaborative project with the residents of a Santali ethnic minority village, building a water tower, housing, and a local library. His art collective Prominority, founded in 2012, is a platform to connect and aid artists and ethnic minorities through various collaborative activities.
At the Mori Art Museum before the exhibition in August, five Santali people worked with Iwata Sohei×Prominority and built a traditional mud-wall house in Roppongi Hills Mohri Garden.
Art for ants
Yanagi Yukinori’s world flags made of coloured sand are disrupted by the moving pathways of living ants: during the course of the exhibition, the clearly defined lines of the flags blur and dissolve, resulting in chaos.
The power of performance art
Niwa Yoshinori is a performance artist whose simple metaphorical acts refer to deeper issues. In Duplicating My House Key and Distributing the Copies (2012) Niwa hands out duplicate house keys to his home to strangers in a busy district of Tokyo, as a way to show the difficulty of connecting with others.
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