Graphism in Wilderness : KIYOSHI AWAZU

2007.11.23 (Fri.) - 2008.3.20 (Thu.)

"Graphism in the Wilderness: Kiyoshi Awazu" presents the full scope of Kiyoshi Awazu's oeuvre and considers its meaning for us today through the display of over 1,750 principal works -including drawings, works never exhibited, and experimental films -from among the 2,600 Awazu works in the collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

In his dedication to experimental expression, Kiyoshi Awazu has traversed wide-ranging genres, saying, "In all expressive fields, I resolve to remove not only the boundaries among forms of expression; I will also remove class, category, disparity, and the upward and downward that have appeared in art." A singular genius with a ceaseless interest in the world around him, Awazu took up art amid his country's reconstruction from the ruins of war and went on to build a foundation for graphic design in Japan. He has since blazed a career cutting freely across the genres of painting, posters, prints, book design, architecture, music, film, performance, and theater.

Having lost his father in a railroad accident soon after he was born, Awazu could look only to a newspaper article about the accident and three portrait photographs for clues to his father's existence. "The city raised me, " he says of a youth surrounded by ex-soldiers, joiners, and factory workers in his neighborhood. After the war, while bouncing from job to job, he began to sketch and paint on his own, using movies and art magazines as textbooks. An enormous volume of sketches -studies of passengers on Yamanote Line trains and people seen along roadsides- remain from that time. After winning the Grand Prize at the 1955 Nissenbi (Japan Advertising Artists' Club) Exhibition for his poster, "Umi wo Kaese" (Give Our Sea Back), Awazu entered the field of design, where he had experience with image reproduction and mass production using printing technology. "It was all a wilderness. The word 'graphic' didn't even exist," he recollects of that time. Perceiving as "graphism" the permeation of everyday life by automatically self-reproducing visual messages driven by modern reproduction technology, he searched intuitively for creative methods that were, by comparison, vulgar and pre-modern and formulated his own style.

While pioneering a world of uniquely personal line drawing, Awazu embarked on a pilgrimage-like journey among idiosyncratic popular icons -fingerprints, palm lines, maps, and ink seals in the 1960s, and turtles, birds, camellias, Mona Lisas, and Abe Sadas in the 1970s. Recalling a childhood interest in reincarnation upon hearing the cellist Pablo Casals perform "Song of the Birds," Awazu furthermore began to depict birds. Since the 1980s, he has developed a strong interest in the global environment and state of human civilization. Amid his journey of revisiting the starting point of his thinking, he has expanded his range of vision to encompass prehistoric cave drawings and pictographs found in ethnic art -subjects transcending time and place. A pilgrim thus among icons having origins in extremely fundamental existence, Kiyoshi Awazu continues, even now, to stand alone in the wilderness.

*exclusive site
http://www.kanazawa21.jp/exhibit/awazu/index_en.html

AWAZU Kiyoshi
A PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN COUP, 1977

Collection II

2007.9.15 (Sat.) - 2008.4.13 (Sun.)

Artworks from the Museum collection are introduced. Particularly, works that respond to the change or conversion in the social value system elaboratingvarious perspectives are exhibited. This examines intricate relationshipsbetween human expressions and the society.

Passion Complex: Selected Works from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

2007.8.1 (Wed.) - 2007.11.11 (Sun.)

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has developed its marvelous collection, focusing on artists whose works reflect their contemporaneity of their time, the "here and now".

The exhibition "Passion Complex: Selected Works from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery" introduces 15 artists who have radical points of view, whose works mirror the intricacies of human inner worlds and the incredible ranges of passion in our contemporary life.

These artists gain insights into mundane landscape of our daily life and complexities of human relationships. For some, their expressions take as motifs the familiar in our ordinary, such as a plastic bag and a fluorescent light, and, by simple transformation of size or color, generate something unknown, or extraordinary.

Concealed with their apparent familiarity and surface beauty, the works that reflect the absurdity, ennui, or anxiety of everyday life using inescapable memory drag us to the realm of passion that has been buried deeply inside today's world.

*exclusive site
http://www.kanazawa21.jp/exhibit/p_complex/index_en.html

Gillian Wearing
Self-Portrait at 17 years old from Album, 2003 digital print
©Gillian Wearing Courtesy: Maureen Paley, London

My Civilisation: Grayson Perry

2007.4.28 (Sat.) - 2007.8.31 (Fri.)

In this first solo exhibition of the work of Grayson Perry ever mounted in Japan, an attempt has been made to introduced the full scope of the artist’s oeuvre, from early works to his most recent. Perry, the Turner Prize winner of 2003, is one of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the U.K., known primarily for his provocative ceramic works.
Grayson Perry was born in Chelmsford (U.K.) in 1960, and currently lives in London. In addition to creating his highly elaborated ceramic works, Perry works in a wide range of media such as embroidery, photography, printmaking and sculpture. A consistent element in all his work, however, is the way he deals unflinchingly with such serious subjects as violence, prejudices, sexual suppression and the conventional customs and beliefs that people rely on, without fear of being misunderstood. His artistic expression is often flavored with fantasy and humor, as well as self-identification. Many of his works contain autobiographical elements. Perry often dresses as a transvestite and his female image, Claire, appears as an important character in many of his creations. Another important character that often appears in Perry’s works is Alan Measles, a teddy bear that can be a “surrogate father” figure and the artist’s protector.
With about 70 works, including dozens of new creations, this exhibition invites us to set out on a voyage through a unique world that Perry calls his ‘civilization’.

*exclusive site
http://www.kanazawa21.jp/exhibit/perry/index_e.html

Grayson PERRY
What’s not to like? (detail), 2006
Courtesy: Artist / Victoria Miro Gallery
©Grayson PERRY

Collection I

2007.4.28 (Sat.) - 2007.7.16 (Mon.)

Artworks from the Museum collection are introduced. Particularly, works that respond to the change or conversion in the social value system elaboratingvarious perspectives are exhibited. This examines intricate relationshipsbetween human expressions and the society.

Katsuhiko HIBINO Art Project " HOME AND AWAY" SYSTEM

2007.4.1 (Sun.) - 2008.3.20 (Thu.)

Katsuhiko HIBINO Art Project " HOME AND AWAY" SYSTEM is almost a-year on-going project. Its educational part is modeld on "Zon Moderna" in Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. A part of this Art Project, "Asatte Asagao Project 21" starts from April and continues until November 2007. The exhibition of Katsuhiko HIBINO is on view from September 29, 2007.


*exclusive site
http://www.kanazawa21.jp/exhibit/hibino/photo_e.html

Atelier Bow-Wow “IKI-IKI Machiya Project”

2007.4.1 (Sun.) - 2007.9.17 (Mon.)

Atelier Bow-Wow, an architectural team formed of TSUKAMOTO Yoshiharu and KAIJIMA Momoyo, investigates the city of Kanazawa and constructs a proposal for a vibrant architectural space. Atelier Bow-Wow is noted for creating unique designs based on regional investigations, such as “Moving Furniture” and “Movable Classroom.” In this project, they explore the possibilities of collaborations between architects and regional volunteers.

Atelier Bow-Wow
Furni-cycle, 2002
Collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Real Utopia - Stories of the Unlimited

2006.11.23 (Thu.) - 2007.3.21 (Wed.)

"Real Utopia - Stories of the Unlimited" is an exhibition which perceive patterns of human's perception of the world and the world itself as mixture of axis of multiple times and spaces, and it explores such images through artworks by Lee Bul, Yayoi Kusama, Sayako Kishimoto, and Taiyo Kimura. Lee's cyborg or monster images revolve around human's relation to the nature and the boarder of the reality and human's creations over times. Live and death, self and the world, Kusama explores such relations through endless creation of artworks. Kishimoto, through her performance and painting, pursued the significance of the individual existence and art expression in society by her own theory of social criticism. Artworks of Kimura's, which delineate unique humors and sarcasm, show particular ways of perception of the reality. These artworks show diversity of human's perception of the reality and its complicate relations to the collective and society, and indicate landscapes of human's quest for the existence in their own roots, their utopian places, living at the present moment. These pursuit, in other words, are to consider how they place themselves at the present, traveling around various time-space.

KIMURA Taiyo
Hatarake Hatarake ( Work Work ), 2005
Collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Yoshitomo Nara: Moonlight Serenade

2006.9.30 (Sat.) - 2007.3.21 (Wed.)

Yoshitomo Nara: Moonlight Serenade overviews the whole process of Nara's creativity and perception of the world. It introduces the new projects such as; the new installation Voyage of the Moon in close collaboration with a creative unit graf; the extra large staffed animal production project “Pup Up the Dog”; and “Pup Patrol” that schoolchildren in dog costumes designed by Nara make explorations of the museum. Furthermore, in “Studio Cafe yngm:k”, graf creates “hut”-like wooden space, where they run a cafe. The next to the cafe becomes the studio for Nara's residency-production. Through theses devices as platforms, this exhibition creates the poetic space-time, bringing variety of artistic activities such as music and performances along with exhibiting new sculpture and paintings.



*exclusive site
http://www.kanazawa21.jp/nara/index_e.html

NARA Yoshitomo + graf
Voyage of the Moon (Resting Moon) / Voyage of the Moon, 2006
Collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
© NARA Yoshitomo + graf
Photo: NAKAMICHI Atsushi / Nacása & Partners

Collection II

2006.9.1 (Fri.) - 2007.4.12 (Thu.)

Artworks from the Museum collection are introduced. Particularly, works that respond to the change or conversion in the social value system elaboratingvarious perspectives are exhibited. This examines intricate relationshipsbetween human expressions and the society.

*exclusive site
http://www.kanazawa21.jp/collection06_2/en/index.html

eft: Tony CRAGG, One Way or Another, 2001
right: Tony CRAGG, My Own, 2001