AWAZU Kiyoshi: What Can Design Do

2019.5.18 (Sat.) - 2019.9.23 (Mon.)

With approximately 3,000 works and reference materials related to AWAZU Kiyoshi donated to its collection from 2006 until present, The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa has continued to engage in on-going surveys and research regarding Awazu’s life and oeuvre. In 2007, the museum held the special exhibition “Graphism in Wilderness: KIYOSHI AWAZU” which presented over 1,750 principle works by Awazu from the collection alongside accounts and interviews with individuals who had been involved in various aspects of his practice, while organized workshops and performances were also hosted throughout its duration. Through the “AWAZU Kiyoshi: Makurihirogeru (EXPOSE)” series held in five installments from 2014 to 2018, the museum had focused on respective themes of performance, architecture, and photography among others in order to diversely explore and introduce the world of Awazu’s work.
In 2019, 10 years since Awazu’s passing, the museum is once again pleased to present an exhibition of Awazu Kiyoshi’s work as a comprehensive culmination of its long-term investigation and research. Inviting AWAZU Ken as supervisor, the exhibition serves to shed light upon the essence of Awazu Kiyoshi’s designs through his gaze towards the masses that penetrates his work, and from perspectives that contemplate “means for designing society.” Such perspectives are indeed important for us too, living in current times. Furthermore, in correspondence to the exhibition, the museum will open its entire Awazu Kiyoshi archive database to the public, even enabling images of some works to be downloaded. Through the exhibition medium, we in this moment attempt to “expose” the very ideas and philosophies of Awazu who had regarded duplication as “the icon of the masses,” liberated from confinements of hierarchy.

Oscar Oiwa Journey to the Light

2019.4.27 (Sat.) - 2019.8.25 (Sun.)

With brilliant, light-filled colors and dynamic spatial structures, Oscar OIWA creates vivid depictions of contemporary society that are infused with critical and humorous qualities. Born in São Paulo, Brazil to Japanese parents in 1965, Oiwa splits his time between Tokyo and New York, making works that share both the perspective of an ordinary urban dweller and an objective bird’s eye view. Addressing themes such as the cities and societies he inhabits and environmental problems, Oiwa freely integrates photographs, printed matter, and images from the Internet to realize a unique worldview that wavers between reality and fantasy, artifice and nature, and light and shadow. This exhibition explores Oiwa’s vision through a collection of approximately 60 works, with an emphasis on recent efforts, and a 27-meter-long drawing executed on a wall in the museum. In addition, the composer Chad CANNON was invited to take part in a collaborative project, in which Oiwa’s work served as the inspiration for a magnificent symphony that coalesces with the paintings. With any luck, the light that Oiwa pursues in his work while traveling all over the world will reawaken a sense of hope, helping us deal with the difficulty of living in the current era.

Special Exhibition

NAWA Kohei "Foam"

2019.4.27 (Sat.) - 2019.8.25 (Sun.)

NAWA Kohei will display Foam, an installation employing foam and light. Foam—tiny bubbles appearing in succession and coalescing in a mass. Nawa expresses foam’s power to autonomously create an organic structure. The individual bubbles, which are born and die in a process resembling the cellular processes of metabolism and circulation, awaken in viewers associations with the source of life.

Koichi Sato: Third Landscape

2019.4.6 (Sat.) - 2019.9.23 (Mon.)

At a time when artworks centered on the visual sense still predominate, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is proud to be staging a exhibition that explore the next possibilities for art museum activities by embracing new expression that stirs not only the sense of sight but also the non-visual senses of hearing and smell.
Based on an interest in anthropology and botany, SATO Koichi (b. 1990) has examined the possibilities of entities that teeter ambiguously on various boundaries. He inquires into the boundary – invisible but certainly present – between “the self” and “that which is not the self,” complexly combining not only video and installations but also non-visual media such as sound and smell to present a future in which these entities co-exist while fluctuating between the two.
The exhibition title, “Third Landscape,” derives from a concept put forward by leading French gardener / garden designer Gilles Clément, indicating space in which the evolution of the landscape is left entirely to nature. According to this concept, places such as vacant city lots, abandoned land in farming villages and borders between countries that have been neglected or suppressed by humans are assessed positively as privileged places receptive to biodiversity. One could say that this “third landscape,” in which various elements are able to exist complexly alongside each other, offers a range of suggestions as to the nature of the relationship between people and plants in our society going forward. Based on this symbolic term and including such works as the fig reproduction-themed Mutant Variations and a new work on the theme of artificial lakes, this exhibition provides a bird’s eye view of Koichi Sato’s current practice.

Aperto 10

YOKOYAMA Nami Memories of Love and Me

2019.4.6 (Sat.) - 2019.6.30 (Sun.)

YOKOYAMA Nami (1986-) produces paintings depicting motifs of objects that are consumed or discarded in everyday life. By giving a leading role to items ordinarily ignored, whose fate it is to be thrown away, she distances herself from predefined meanings and uses, endeavoring to see in new ways and express “the primordial beauty and meaning of existence inherent in all things.”
This exhibition will feature works addressing the themes she has recently turned her energies to—“What is love?” and “What is beauty?” Yokoyama’s neon series of paintings depict both the beautiful light of the neon tubes—their leading role—and their “unsightly” wiring, power cords, and mounting hidden at the back. In this way, she gives equal prominence to our ideals and aspirations and our hidden side we are unable to gloss over. Then, her charcoal drawing series Memories of Love and Me, whose name lends this exhibition its title, depicts scenes of her memories of a girl and a dog named Love. After hearing the news that advances in selective breeding to meet people’s preferences in fact shorten the dogs’ lives, she felt compelled to examine the “love” we give our dogs.
“Love”—a word used too casually these days. By exercising her qualms and misgivings or else serious emotions about “love” in artworks, she pursues the meaning of this word tossed around in everyday life. Through some 30 paintings and drawings—the fruits of Yokoyama’s investigation into “love”—visitors will have occasion to ponder the essential nature of things.


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