2012.11.23 (Fri.) - 2013.3.17 (Sun.)
Through the artist’s re-creation of his private home, the place where his memories and experiences reside, “Do Ho Suh - Perfect Home” will demonstrate how, by traversing the differing territories of contemporary society, Do Ho Suh places people’s values in contrast and underscores their diversity.Do Ho Suh was born in Korea in 1962. After graduating from Seoul National University, he relocated to the US in order to study painting and sculpture. Suh sought to reflect in his artworks the discord he felt between the culture of the United States of America, where he lived as a racial minority, and his own Korean culture. He subsequently achieved worldwide renown with artworks displaying delicacy and precision, in the handling of materials, and simultaneously, qualities of ambiguity and suspension that resonate with the spirit of our times.
Suh’s lightweight artworks, which originate in his concept of “carrying a space in a suitcase,” are created using thin, translucent fabrics. In many cases, the fabric is modeled into the form of stairs, corridors, bridges, or gates and represents boundaries between inside and outside, and public and private. For Suh, who lives nomadically, appearing in exhibitions and projects around the world while maintaining bases in London, New York and Seoul, references to “home” are an extension of the inquiry into identity. His works are nevertheless two-sided, however, for his use of plain, monotone fabric erases the specific features of the “Do Ho Suh home,” so that someone’s possession becomes no one’s possession.Through a complete re-creation of Do Ho Suh’s original home, as well as new works adapted for the spaces of this museum, the exhibition will consider what “home” means to Suh. The same “home,” however, when placed in the specific context of Kanazawa, will take on new meanings. Viewers will thus have occasion to see how “home” changes in meaning, depending on its cultural context, and they will feel incentive, accordingly, to ponder what “home” means to them.
2012.9.15 (Sat.) - 2013.3.17 (Sun.)
On the face of it, it seems that modern civil society has secured freedom and material abundance through economic development, science and technology. In our information-oriented society, speed, comfort, and convenience are regarded both as beneficial and wholesome values. At the same time, however, in order to facilitate the pursuit of these benefits, human life has become more and more regimented. In other words, we are controlled by the institutions and authorities of the society to which we belong. The earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster completely undermined the sense of security, happiness, and freedom that form the foundations of society. The economic, social, and other systems that democratic societies have chosen in order to realize human freedom have become threats to the very survival of human society.
"Son et Lumière, et sagesse profonde" (Sound and light, and wisdom) explores the potential for humans to confront head on the contradictions in the world and remain standing in the midst of such despair. Some of the artists whose work is on show direct a piercing gaze at human society and bring to light the festering matter. Others embrace despair itself, using methods that can only be described as semi-masochistic to depict individuals who are determined to survive against the odds. Their expression exposes the fabric of a human society that is destitute and helpless. They see in despair the seeds of the future, and in the human condition an existence possessed of a life force that is fleeting yet struggling to survive amidst a maelstrom of suffering and chaos.
(KITADE Chieko, curator of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
2012.7.21 (Sat.) - 2012.11.25 (Sun.)
A fresh beauty waits to be discovered—in scenery you pass every day and never give thought to. For the Japanese, beauty was not a transcendental concept but rather a sensitive appreciation of the hidden layers in nature and everyday life. The Japanese Eye means a perspective of “noticing beauty,” fostered through long history.
Since debuting in 2005, fashion design brand matohu has stood out at the Tokyo Collection with its distinctive concept of “creating new clothing from traditional Japanese aesthetics.” As of 2010, furthermore, matohu has each season taken up a traditional Japanese aesthetic concept and expressed it in clothing design under the theme, “The Japanese Eye.”
The Design Gallery at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa will explore matohu’s rediscovery and expression of Japanese aesthetics through such keywords as kasane (layers), muji (plainness), utsuri (reflection), and yatsushi (to assume a humble appearance). Displayed will be matohu’s most representative collection item, “Nagagi”—clothing of unchanging design that matohu newly produces each season in line with the collection theme.
How might traditional Japanese aesthetics be evoked in contemporary lifestyle and a perception of noticing beauty reawakened in our lives? This exhibition will offer a tantalizing glimpse of the answer.
2012.5.3 (Thu.) - 2013.3.17 (Sun.)
This is the second year (in fact, the sixth year of the project as a whole) of the museum’s three-year plan of “the Kanazawa Youth Dream Challenge Art Programme: Museum as Mediator”(*1). This year’s theme is “the existence of others,”─encounters and dialogues with others as well as one’s inner self through “seeing, hearing, feeling and expressing.” Musicians, who are interested in sound/music expression and relationships with the society and others, are invited to the museum to collaborate with young people, encourage them to experience the pleasure in expressing without being held back by stereotypical ideas. In order to do that, they need to use their five senses, despite the fact that museums are generally regarded as a place for visual arts. Now the museum faces the space-time axes of music expression.
Notes: (*1) On “the Kanazawa Youth Dream Challenge Art Programme: Museum as Mediator” Based on the recent study which reports that art museum education is useful for the character formation of young people in their late teens, the project of “the Kanazawa Youth Dream Challenge Art Programme” launched by 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2007 aims to create the museum’s original activities to develop wide-ranging local art and culture encouraging young people, particularly those aged between 18 and 40 including “NEET” (not in education, employment or training) and “FREETER” (permanent part-timer), which are today’s problematic social issues, to participate in social activities. With the keyword “Museum as Mediator,” the programs are to be serialized for three years since 2011 to provide and develop “encounters/dialogues with one’s self, others and society.” As the project aims at phased socialization and globalization, there will be better retention rate of capable personnel and the enhancement of management methods. If we shared our local cultural activities with others internationally, we could promote further exchange of information as well as people, and have bright prospects for the 10th anniversary of this project.
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.
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)
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.
2011.11.23 (Wed.) - 2012.3.20 (Tue.)
The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa will present a major individual exhibition of the work of Monique FRYDMAN, an important French woman artist. Frydman has earned a solid reputation through solo exhibitions at many venues, including the Musée Matisse in France, La Verrière, The Hermès Foundation in Belgium, Passage de Retz in France and group shows like “elles @ centrepompidou” at the Centre Georges Pompidou in France. This is the first time she has appeared in an exhibition of this kind in a museum in Japan or any other Asian country.
Frydman became a practicing artist in the late 1970s. Taking painting as her main form of expression, she has pursued the expression of color and light with a variety of materials, including canvas, pigment, pastels, and paper. The colors and images that emerge from the intimate and interactive dialogue between the artist’s body and the materials she uses penetrate the space in which the work is placed and adroitly transform the site. The artistic realm that she creates expresses complex aspects of human awareness and emotion and forms connections with our own memories and bodies. In recent years, she has made a number of site-specific installations with such materials as glass, Plexiglas, paper and cloth. In this exhibition, we will present 14 of her works, including three new installations resulting from a dialogue with the architectural space of this museum. Frydman unleashes her unique colors and light in the bright, white space of the museum, leaving mysterious reverberations in the space and in our hearts and minds.
The Ossu! Shugeibu and Hideki Toyoshima:
2011.11.23 (Wed.) - 2012.3.20 (Tue.)
In today’s society, with its passion for efficiency and ease of understanding, are we not inclined to seek guidelines—even in our creative activities, which by nature should be spontaneous and free? Are we not inclined to seek reasons and standards of evaluation for what to make and how to make it?
The “gallant club members” of The Ossu! Shugeibu are men having no handicraft skills or experience, assembled by Bucho (Captain) Shoichi ISHIZAWA, a skilled creator. Proclaiming, “The Untrained Hand is
Beautiful!,” they have continuously launched activities that value, above all, the spirit of fun and the individual’s desire to create. Their relaxed, humor-filled Bukatsu workshops, centered on seven core
members, nimbly overturn the conventions we all unconsciously associate with handicrafts.
Working in design, art, music, and event production, artist Hideki TOYOSHIMA has captured attention with activities that freely traverse genres. Discovering creative opportunities in his encounters with people and places, he creates new events out of relationships arising between things, people, and places. A mediator as well as a creator, he conceives his category-defying activities from his unique perspective as such.
In this exhibition, The Ossu! Shugeibu and Hideki Toyoshima will meet for the first time. Toyoshima will interpret the spirit of The Ossu! Shugeibu’s artwork in creating an exhibition space where their activities
2011.10.22 (Sat.) - 2012.2.12 (Sun.)
An exhibition introducing a restoration project to preserve the works of NGUYEN Phan Chanh (1892-1984), one of Vietnam’s foremost creators of silk paintings. Japanese artwork restoration techniques were employed to save precious silk paintings by Chanh that were deteriorating. Together with the restored works, a film on the restoration process will be offered, in an attempt to capture the project’s essence.
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.
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
2011.4.16 (Sat.) - 2012.3.20 (Tue.)
With this edition, the Kanazawa Youth Dream Challenge Art Programme (*1) breaks new ground by setting its sights on an overseas artist. The Program invites the young, internationally recognized, UK-based artist Peter McDonald to develop an art project for the first time in Japan, marking the first international edition of the Program. Through the “act of painting,” McDonald, at the core of the project, rubs shoulders with others, lightly traversing the boundary between genres, genders, countries and the everyday and the extraordinary. As young people (*2) participate in the work, they experience the diversity of and possibilities for communication. Beginning with a painting exhibition and the production of a wall installation at the museum, various extemporaneous programs will be held using the exhibition space as a stage. As McDonald interacts with the city and the people of Kanazawa, his painted world will permeate the city, establishing pliable onnections between one person and another, and between people and places through the fundamental language of expression we know as painting.
Launched in 2007 adopting the methodology of the Zon Moderna outreach program at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa's unique program takes the form of a long-term project-based exhibition involving an artist-in-residence, work-in-progress and workshops. Targeted mainly at young people 18-39 years of age, participants in the Programme work together to rediscover and to grow their view of themselves and of the world. Based on the results of the past four stagings of the Programme, 2011 marks its further development as a case-study compilation of the Museum's key concept of “museum as mediator”.
Wall painting members (active April 20–June 5): 9
Project members (active June 5–end of March, 2012): 12