Starting Points: Japanese Art of the ‘80s

2018.7.7 (Sat.) - 2018.10.21 (Sun.)

As a repercussion of the conceptual and stoic art of the 1970s, and in response to trends in Europe and the United States, Japan in the ’80s bore witness to movements that urged the reinstatement of the painting and sculpture media. What came to prevail as a result was “New Painting” characterized by vibrantly colorful and dynamic brushstrokes that reflected the flourishing economic circumstances of the times. In the ‘90s, art thrived on the energy of ’80s subcultures such as “otaku,” but as a consequence, ’80s art faded from art historical discourse. In recent years both in Japan and abroad, rapid progress has been made in research on Postwar Japanese art up until the 1970s including “Gutai” and “Mono-ha.” Hence, we now find ourselves compelled to examine Japanese art of the intervening decade— the ’80s. Looking back, over 30 years later, we will see that art forms and concepts fundamental to today’s art blossomed in the ’80s, such as the art installation, viewer participation in the artwork, valuing relationship with society, the concept of alternative space, media art, perspectives of relativizing the institution of "art,” and the sensitivity to find significance in mundanity and lightness. This exhibition reconsiders Japanese art of the 1980s through contemporary perspectives and introduces works that represent “Starting Points.”

Ay Tjoe Christine : Spirituality and Allegory

2018.4.28 (Sat.) - 2018.8.19 (Sun.)

Ay Tjoe Christine (b. 1973) was born in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, and is a renowned contemporary artist active in Indonesia today. She studies intaglio printing methods such as drypoint and then turned to working with textiles. Her artistic activities got their real start around 2000. Ay Tjoe Christine’s works express themes based on Christian mythologies and spiritual concepts, supported by her deep insight into human incompletion and Janus-faced nature. The color fragments that scatter and float across her pictures reveal, on one hand, the actions of her own wavering emotions, while the abstract images that set up fascinating harmonies with the canvas’ negative space reveal her sincere stance as she investigates the relationship between humans and all things. This is Ay Tjoe Crhistine’s first solo exhibition at a Japanese museum, presenting about 50 works that trace her two decades of multifaceted creativity, from early period drawings and drypoint, to a group of oil paintings that explore the potential for expression from the representational to the abstract, soft sculptures and large-scale installations, and large format paintings created for this exhibition.

We Are Getting Highly Overrated Because You've Never Known Us 01 (detail) 2015
170x300cm Oil on canvas Private Collection
©Ay Tjoe Christine, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts


DeathLAB: Democratizing Death

2018.7.7 (Sat.) - 2019.3.24 (Sun.)

DeathLAB, founded by Karla Rothstein at Columbia University in 2013, is an interdisciplinary initiative exploring the space and social consequence of urban disposition and memorialization. Housed at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, DeathLAB’s cross-cutting research engages diverse academic fields, including architecture, environmental engineering, religious studies and sociology. We will introduce the lab’s ongoing work, which intertwines sacred space and civic life.

Constellation Park 2014
©LATENT Productions and Columbia GSAPP DeathLAB

Aperto 08 Nanakarage Ayano

2018.4.28 (Sat.) - 2018.9.24 (Mon.)

Taking as her theme the vastness of nature seen in mountains and forests, and the ephemerality of rainbows and mist, NANAKARAGE Ayano (1987-) meditates on such natural phenomena and, blending in her own interpretations and analogies, evokes its qualities in wood sculptures. Her “rainbows edge” series, featured in this exhibition, conjoins her own fabric-draped figure with the shapes of dried banana stems and other dried and withered plants. Her fusion of withered and gnarled plants with smooth drapery (a human figure) conveys a disquieting impression of old age melded with youth or some bizarre creature hidden under the fabric. At the same time, the works evoke the serenity of Buddhist or Shinto deity sculptures as well as the dread of having seen something forbidden. Vibrant living organisms age with time and grow dry and gnarled, and slowly change form. In such transformation, Nanakarage discovers a transcendent beauty. Her eye, as such, has the power to refresh our values as people of contemporary society conditioned to look away from deterioration and decay.

rainbows edgeI 2015

Culture City of East Asia 2018 Kanazawa

Altering Home

2018.9.15 (Sat.) - 2018.11.4 (Sun.)

Works of “home” theme by Japanese, Chinese and Korean contemporary artists
In our modern age, a “home” is structured as a social system. Although the architectural, physical “house” is easy to generalize, the meaning of “home,” which is entwined with emotions, customs and culture, is difficult to capture unless it is considered multilaterally. In particular, nowadays when mobilization has become permanent by means of globalization, can “houses” or “homes” be found anywhere – or possibly, nowhere? Based on this question, within some of the unused spaces of Kanazawa, contemporary artists from Japan, China and Korea will present their works on the theme of “home.”

Han Seok Hyun Super-Natural 2011/2016
Courtesy of the artist


Qiu Zhijie Living Writing

2018.9.8 (Sat.) - 2019.3.3 (Sun.)

Living Writing

Through writing, primarily using the Chinese traditional calligraphy he learned as a child, QIU Zhijie has continually inquired into universal, primordial human existence. Fujian Province, where he was born, was once a vital center for seaborne trade, rich in cultural exchange born from commerce and immigration. Qiu’s works with their dynamic, free perspective are deeply influenced by the culture of his home region. This exhibition examines the art and expressive power of Qiu Zhijie, who sees the world comprehensively and merges his own existence with representation of the relationships between people and things.

Propagator in the Darkness 2008
© QUI Zhijie


Akram Khan: Chotto Desh

2018.8.17 (Fri.) - 2018.8.18 (Sat.)

Journey with a young boy through a mysterious, fairytale world
A summer-holiday dance treat for all ages, featuring the journey of a young boy with a cultural heritage spanning both Britain and Bangladesh, who dreams of becoming a dancer. Projection mapping and music are used effectively to portray a fairytale world, in a show as stunning for its visuals as its dancing. The “chotto desh” of the title is Bengali for “small homeland.”

Venue :
Theater 21/ 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Photo: Richard Haughton

Ito Kaori: Je danse parce que je me méfie des mots / I dance because I do not trust words

2018.8.4 (Sat.) - 2018.8.5 (Sun.)

Estranged father and daughter bridge a gap to reunite
"I  dance because I do not trust words" is a duet by dancer and choreographer Ito Kaori and her father, the sculptor Ito Hiroshi. Enjoying a stellar career in France, Ito Kaori put together a work that addresses head on her relationship with her father, in order to restore something that had been lost. Estranged due to a gulf that had arisen between them, father and daughter join forces here to express in dance an intimate relationship that is distant, yet close.

Venue :
Theater 21/ 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Photo: Gregory Batardon

&21 joint arts exchange project

Inconsiderate produced by iaku

2018.7.28 (Sat.) - 2018.7.29 (Sun.)

" I will support Adeko's life, to the extent that I can."
A spring Sunday afternoon. The cherry-blossoms have gone. Three women are having tea in a café, after visiting their colleague Adeko, who is hospitalized because of a traffic accident. They have to prepare for a performance for their friend Kaori’s wedding today, but they don’t feel like it. Adeko’s right arm had to be amputated in surgery. How will they support Adeko, who is still so young? With each of them carrying the weight of their personal lives, the conversation continues.

Playwright and Direction: Takuya Yokoyama
Duration: 60 minutes
Premiere: 2012
Appearance: Risa Yoshikawa, Iyuri Hashizume, Hana Ebise 

With English Subtitles
This stage has English subtitles for tourists and foreigners living in Japan to enjoy Japanese contemporary theater. This work is a conversation play in Kansai dialect, in which there are no elements such as singing and dancing.

Venue :
Theater 21/ 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

&21 joint arts exchange project

LIRY Project 01 “4 x Person”

2018.7.20 (Fri.) - 2018.7.21 (Sat.)

Joint performance and exhibition by four artists based in Belgium, France and Ishikawa. A workshop run by a dancer with the Rosas dance company will also be held to coincide with the event.

&21 joint arts exchange project: “&21” (Ando Nijuichi) is a program in which the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa calls for/adopts projects of sophisticated artistry and creativity with the aim of boosting local culture, providing PR and production support in a collaborative capacity. For 2018, five projects have been chosen.

Venue :
Theater 21/ 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
For More Information:
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Phone: +81-76-220-2811