Collection Exhibition

Son et Lumière – Material, Transition, Time

2012.4.28 (Sat.) - 2012.11.4 (Sun.)

In light there is darkness, in sound silence. Neither of these pairings are mutually exclusive concepts.
Rather in each case the latter is a property inherent in the former. “Son” is the French word for “sound,”
“lumière” for “light.” The origins of “son et lumière” can be traced back to an event in France in 1952.
Since then the term has come to designate an elaborate outdoor spectacle featuring dramatic sound
effects, narration, and lighting projected onto the façade of a famous building or ruin. Once the sun has
set, lights pierce the darkness, music swells, and the glitzy and magical scene fills the audience with
awe. These presentations impose a rigid uniformity on the place in question, substituting its unique
qualities with superficial light and sound effects.
In this contemporary age of information overload and excessive energy consumption, we find ourselves
at the mercy of mechanical devices that measure and constrain our every waking moment. But once
freed from the tyranny of time, our perception is transformed; ordinary phenomena appear before us in
fresh and new forms. Beams of light, movements of sound, the waning and waxing of the moon, the
patina of age on metal—within these organic temporal spaces, the passage of time is multi-vectored,
and each individual experience becomes a journey with an unknowable multiplicity of meanings.
This exhibition conceives of the artist as a traveler on this journey and reexamines the world through the
prisms of “material,” “transition,” and “time.” In their work, the fourteen artists featured here—Akiyama
Yo, Awazu Kiyoshi, Jan Fabre, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Kimura Taiyo, Kishimoto Sayako, Kusama
Yayoi, Gordon Matta-Clark, Carsten Nicolai, Gerhard Richter, Saito Makato, Tashima Etsuko, Magnus
Wallin, Andy Warhol—impose physical form onto that which is inherently immaterial—the self, images,
and actions—through their mastery of the properties and power of materials. Or, put differently, their
artistic expression as determined by the materials is manifested to us as a state of motion, launching us
on our own unknowable journey.
While the stroll through the cosmos of thought that this exhibition affords visitors may indeed be
transitory and ephemeral, it will leave each person with a unique and indelible memory.

Art Crafting towards the Future

2012.4.28 (Sat.) - 2012.8.31 (Fri.)

“Art Crafting towards the Future” inquires into the contemporary validity of kôgei (Japanese artisan craft) and universalness of its appeal. The exhibition, this is to say, asks: Is kôgei an art genre expressive of our times, capable of speaking to people everywhere? Like other visual media, today’s kôgei is subject to the post-modern trends of the times. Like animation, manga, design, and contemporary art, it is an expressive medium used to create compelling new images. To this end, it employs methods specific to kôgei, and it references kôgei’s historical vision. Yet, today’s kôgei takes a clearly different approach from past kôgei.
In its visual imagery, for example, today’s kôgei resonates with animation, manga, design, and contemporary art—genres from which it has previously stood apart. In its attitude towards exhibiting, as well—while exhibit methods differ contingent on the creativity of each artist—today’s kôgei is turned to face the world at large. There is, thus, a clear trend of kôgei artists working in widely varying styles who are showing their works as art of the present day.
For this exhibition, I would like to refer to kôgei work of such character as “futurist,” in the sense of “kôgei of a new age” and “future-oriented kôgei.” The exhibits by the 12 featured artists are all kôgei, but I would like viewers to see and enjoy them as today’s art.
(Exhibition curator: AKIMOTO Yuji, Director, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)

The Creative Power of “Olive” 1982-2003

2012.2.25 (Sat.) - 2012.7.1 (Sun.)

Olive magazine was highly popular with teenage girls in the 1980s and ‘90s. It was a culture magazine as well as a fashion magazine, and its pages abounded with ideas for richly enjoyable living, and perspectives for creatively personalizing fashions. This exhibition will penetrate to the essence of the magazine through analysis of back numbers and the voices of former readers and people involved in the magazine’s publication.

Silent Echoes: Collection Exhibition II

2011.9.17 (Sat.) - 2012.4.8 (Sun.)

How did it come? For a minute the opening balanced from one side to the other. Like a walk or march. Like God strutting in the night. The outside of her was suddenly froze and only that first part of the music was hot inside her heart. She could not even hear what sounded after, but she sat there waiting and froze, with her fists tight. After a while the music came again, harder and loud. It didn’t have anything to do with God. This was her, Mick Kelly, walking in the daytime and by herself at night. In the hot sun and in the dark with all the plans and feelings. This music was her – the real plain her.1

“Silent Echo: Collection Exhibition II” makes a special presentation of L’echo and Mistelpartition by TSE Su-Mei, an artist born in Luxembourg whose work resonates deeply with the world of music and human life conveyed by the above quote from Carson McCullers’s novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. This exhibition reveals possibilities of the museum collection that have seldom been discussed before.
Through selected works from the museum collection, we highlight an artistic world created through a complete fusion of self, technique, and the world, which is exemplified by L’echo and Mistelpartition, artworks based on a process of connecting and blending a wide variety of phenomena related to the body, sound, technique, and the self. This show refers to a new vantage point that has emerged in recent years, a concept that might be called “craft-like formation.” It is based on a new way of evaluating artistic expression, appreciating art and artistic acts developed “as a result of intimate dialogue between makers and their materials, nature, the environment and the other, and the complete immersion of the maker in the process through which objects come into being.”2 We reexamine the art and artistic acts derived from a dialogue with self, other, and material in the work of TSE Su-Mei, Anish KAPOOR, AWAZU Kiyoshi, YAMAZAKI Tsuruko, KUZE Kenji, and KADONAGA Kazuo. Their work shows great strength as well as sensitivity in its quiet dialogues and resonances, telling stories of ways that people engage with and live in this world and revealing new possibilities and hope for living through troubled times.

Notes
1. Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Mariner Books, p. 118.
2. FUDO Misato, “In the Process of Becoming”, Alternative Paradise, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa,
2005, pp. 8-11. On the recent development of a theory of craft-like formation, see MURATA Daisuke, “Ron Mueck: Form as Dialogue”, Ron Mueck, Foil, 2008; “Anti-Gravity Structure – The Form as ‘History of History’”, Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History, Shinsozai Kenkyūjo, 2008; “The Form as ‘Knit Cafe in My Room”, “Knit Cafe in My Room” by Mitsuharu Hirose and Minako Nishiyama, 21st Century Museum of Art, Kanazawa, 2009; “What Would Hiroshi Sugimoto Do? What Would Museums Do? Deified Artist and Museum: Hiroshi Sugimoto’s ‘History of History,’” AAS-ISS Joint Conference, 2011
(http://www.asian-studies.org/Conference/index.htm).