2013.12.7 (Sat.) - 2014.5.18 (Sun.)
"Philosophical Fashion"—a series inquiring into the meaning of clothing today, when trends change with dizzying speed, driven by the phenomenal rise of "fast fashion." Featured in this series are creators who consistently propose new fashions on the basis of an enduring concept.
Our third exhibit in this series looks at "mintdesigns."
Fashion brand mintdesigns is known for clothing designs that give play to unique textiles developed by the brand’s creators, Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi. Besides fashion, mintdesigns actively pursues collaborations in other fields, such as dinner ware, furniture, and Japanese confections, so its design territory is continually expanding. Not stopping at clothing, Katsui and Yagi seek to impart richness to our everyday lives through product design. Their activities, as such, explore the possibilities of "fashion" far beyond what is "fashionable."
This exhibit will take "happy people" as its theme in an experimental endeavor to deploy mintdesign clothing actively in everyday life. People living in Tokyo and Kanazawa will encounter mintdesigns in their own everyday spaces, and the moment of their encounter will be displayed.
HIRABAYASHI Megumi, Curator
2013.11.23 (Sat.) - 2014.3.2 (Sun.)
Calligrapher Koji Kakinuma—born in 1970, lives and works in Tokyo. At five years old he took up the brush, first under father, Suiryu Kakinuma, and later Yukei Teshima and Ichijo Uematsu. Asking "Is Shodo art? Am I an artist?" Kakinuma has continually pushed the boundaries of Shodo, the Japanese art of calligraphy.
Kakinuma brings to Shodo a contemporary vision grounded in tradition. He probes the principle of calligraphy in an endeavor to see calligraphy as a contemporary art form. "Inhale, exhale—use the brush freely!" is the figure of calligraphy he aspires to.
Kakinuma’s expressive style takes many forms. "Rinsho" (brushing after a model) is a platform for dialogue with master calligraphers and people of the ancient past. "Encounters"—an offshoot of Rinsho—are his interpretations of others’ words in the Kakinuma style. His "super-large-scale works" are pictorial investigations using charcoal ink. Then, there is "performance," where he shares the creative process with an audience, "trancework"—countless repetitions of simple, powerful phrases, and "installations" that give temporal and spatial development to calligraphy on grand scale.
The calligraphy of Koji Kakinuma is thus an "art of today" that draws from calligraphy, contemporary art, and sub-culture. It is calligraphy of hope that looks to tomorrow. It is calligraphy of possibility, free and open to the future. This exhibition will present the world of Koji Kakinuma through some 700 of his foremost works.
AKIMOTO Yuji, Exhibition Curator
Director, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
2013.9.28 (Sat.) - 2014.3.16 (Sun.)
We differentiate between the internal and external in many different situations. Our interior is formed on the basis of common rules such as language, physical characteristics and memory, and friction and discord frequently arise between inside and out. Yet we find new rules for the internal and external, negotiating on the boundaries, which are continually being updated. Thus we could describe a border as a territory harboring the potential to expand the interior. This year's Collection Exhibition is an attempt from this standpoint to change our view of borderlines from one of division, to one of connection and expansion.
"Borderline Collection Exhibition I" took as its basis that which is most familiar to us – the body – and pondered the relationship between inside and out. "Borderline Collection Exhibition II" expands this to include social borders, in a showcase of works from the Museum’s collection.
Having come to possess through the evolutionary process a massive cerebrum, homo sapiens also acquired the inner realm that is consciousness. Various borderlines exist in our society: between the self and others, national borders, and gender, to name just a few, but in most cases no actual line has been drawn. Rather a line has been drawn by people in their consciousness, and subsequently become institutionalized. Through the work of eight artists, at times confronting the borderlines created by human consciousness, at times traversing them, this exhibition explores the potential for people to expand the inner realm that is the self through contact with the outside, via borders.
YONEDA Seiko, Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
2013.8.3 (Sat.) - 2013.11.10 (Sun.)
Fiona Tan was born in 1966 in Pekan Baru, on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. She now lives and works in Amsterdam.The daughter of a Chinese father and an Australian mother, she lived in Australia before moving to Europe. Having lived in different cultures as a child, she recognizes within herself a multilayered complexity rooted in that history. Her 1997 film May You Live in Interesting Times depicts the flight of her own family from anti-Chinese violence in Indonesia and highlights her identity as an artist who is herself a symbol for multicultural lives. Tan’s tranquil images reveal the continuing pursuit of difference in works with wide appeal around the world. In recent years she has turned to the use of fragmentary images, articulating a variety of meanings through techniques of montage and restructuring that convey the ambiguities of memory. While each photograph and video image is shot with a steady hand, their failure to convey the true meaning or facts of what they portray compels viewers to speculate, probing deeply into their own memories, and making the images themselves unforgettable. In this exhibition, we present works that range from Linnaeus’ Flower Clock (1998) from Tan’s early period to the more recent Rise and Fall (2009) and Seven (2011), in which lines and voices intersecting in discontinuous time are woven together to create one of art’s most compelling stories.
2013.8.3 (Sat.) - 2013.11.10 (Sun.)
In-Habit by Maria Isabel Gaudinez-Aquilizan and Alfredo Juan Aquilizan is a large-scale installation: a home made of cardboard, caught up in the flow of production and consumption. It is modeled on the
homes of the Badjao, a people who live on the coast of Sabah, located on the island of Borneo. Traditionally, the Badjao live on boats or on houses built on high platforms in coastal shallows. They spend their floating lives in intimate connection with the sea. In recent years, however, waves of globalization have led to visible changes in their way of life. Via the Badjao, the artists provide an overview of life in contemporary Asia, as new values sustained by both economic and cultural globalization have led to a growing awareness of the danger that Asia confronts a critical turning point. Maria Isabel Gaudinez-Aquilizan and Alfredo Juan Aquilizan were born in the Philippines and now live and work in Australia, but have now returned to their roots with their project Another Country, in which they pose the
questions, “Where do we live?” and “How do we live?” This exhibition provides an opportunity to reconsider how our once taken for granted freedom to live where and how we like is threatened by rapid
2013.7.12 (Fri.) - 2013.11.24 (Sun.)
"Philosophical Fashion"—a series inquiring into the meaning of clothing today, when trends change with dizzying speed, driven by the phenomenal rise of "fast fashion." Featured in this series are creators who consistently propose new fashions on the basis of an enduring concept. Our second exhibit of this series looks at "ANREALAGE," a fashion brand that has captured attention with conceptual designs reflecting a truly unique vision of the body and clothing, distinguished by scrupulous attention to detail in the making.
ANREALAGE takes "real," "unreal" and "age" as its concept. MORINAGA Kunihiko, the brand’s designer, analyzes the "real" of everyday life we are ordinarily unaware of. Abstracting the "unreal" from that reality, he applies unreal fantasies to his conception of clothing.
Morinaga’s methods are astonishing and time-consuming—a suit sewn with 5,000 buttons or a patchwork jacket made of several hundred fabric pieces. His approach is distinguished by conceptual "form"—clothing fitted to spheres, triangular pyramids, squares, and human bodies of odd proportions. He works, then, in a spirit of experimentation using cutting-edge technologies—exceedingly sensitive "laser cut" fabric cutting, for instance, and threads and dyes that change color in response to sunlight.
Morinaga pursues the essence of fashion within close observation of his age. Although his designs are always met with surprise, his aim is not to produce Morinaga "creations." Rather, by reducing "creations" to wearable "products" of the ANREALAGE brand, he draws consumers into involvement and seeks to penetrate society and the times.
Morinaga’s theme this time—A COLOR UN COLOR. His inquiry into color, as a fashion designer, he will unfold in the space of a transparent gallery.
HIRABAYASHI Megumi, Curator
2013.4.27 (Sat.) - 2014.3.2 (Sun.)
Shimabuku travels the world, creating artworks that examine how people live and communicate. For this long-term project lasting one year, Shimabuku is traveling to Noto to satisfy his curiosity about its unusual customs and products. Then, based on what he discovers there from his unique artistic perspective, he is creating new artworks. The project is the 7th undertaking of the “Kanazawa Youth Dream Challenge Art Programme,” which offers young people from Kanazawa and other regions opportunities to work together with artists. As such, it has already (since April) seen some 28 “volunteer members” visit Noto with Shimabuku and return to recreate their discoveries there, in a museum gallery. From September 28, the artist is exhibiting the new works he has created with the members. Workshops and other events are also being held with Noto and this museum as a stage. Visitors to the exhibition will be freshly moved by Shimabuku’s unique perspective on Noto, so that they look anew at things all around them.
2013.4.27 (Sat.) - 2013.9.1 (Sun.)
Our organs contain life memory and life rhythms from the far distant past, according to anatomist MIKI Shigeo (1925-1987). Miki’s observations of human behavior, senses, and emotions have profoundly influenced diverse fields. This exhibition will ponder Miki’s views and take “visceral sensation”—the most primeval and fundamental of the human senses—as an aid to appreciating contemporary artworks that converse with the voices of life within us and induce new perceptual awakenings.
Featured will be 13 artists and artist collaboratives from Japan and abroad: Louise BOURGEOIS, CHO Shinta, Nathalie DJURBERG & Hans BERG, KATO Izumi, KUSAMA Yayoi, Ana MENDIETA, NAKAGAWA Yukio, Saskia OLDE WOLBERS, OLTA, Pipilotti RIST, SHIGA Lieko, Bill VIOLA, and WATANABE Kikuma. All, as artists, consciously or unconsciously explore the sensations, perceptions, and emotions emanating from our primordial physical embodiment, or respond to the life rhythms resonating silently in our organs, the axis of our physical being. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, video, picture books, architecture, installation, and performance, they manifest these inner voices in their artworks.
Today, when our fears of environmental and socio-economic collapse are becoming real—as demonstrated by the anxiety and discomfort we have known, concerning radiation, since the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and nuclear power plant disaster—what do we feel in our bodies; what are our bodies saying? This exhibition will be a place where visitors, prompted by the sensations they experience in their encounter with each artwork, will tune into, feel, and ponder the “voices so far, so near” that speak within and around them as people of an uncertain age.
YOSHIOKA Emiko, Curator
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
2013.4.13 (Sat.) - 2013.7.15 (Mon.)
The sense of strangeness, insecurity, and fear we feel when encountering the unknown. Such feelings come to us as a sign we are about to cross a border. The people with whom we share a language, physical characteristics, rules, and memories we see as “inside” our familiar world, and all others we view as “outside.” Thus, we unconsciously make a distinction and construct a border separating “inside” from “outside.” Borders at times repel the outside, as a threat to the security of the inside, and produce conflict. Yet, a border can also be a fluid territory, continually renewed as inside and outside negotiate and discover new rules. Borders can also tell us how we, ourselves, see the world and people outside. Borders, this is to say, can potentially help us broaden our inside world. Taking such perspectives, our Collection Exhibition this time will reconsider the character of borders, not as a cause of “division” but rather as a means of “connection” and broadening our world. Collection Exhibition I will look at the borders of the body, and Collection Exhibition II, at social and systematic borders.
Life forms, human beings included, have an inside enveloped a membrane. By taking materials from outside into their inside, life forms obtain energy and sustain their life. When it comes to our bodies with their complex organs, one part may actually be an outside that is inside, while another part, an inside that is outside. This kind of a structure, where inside and outside develop by reversing themselves, shows us something of the character of a border. In Collection Exhibition I, taking the most familiar example—our bodies—we will use borders as a means to explore human existence and our relationship with the world around us.
YONEDA Seiko, Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
2013.1.12 (Sat.) - 2013.6.30 (Sun.)
“Philosophical Fashion”—a series inquiring into the meaning of clothing today, when trends change with dizzying speed, driven by the phenomenal rise of “fast fashion.” Featured in this series are creators who consistently propose new fashions on the basis of an enduring concept. The first exhibition in the series will examine the project “FINAL HOME” of fashion designer TSUMURA Kosuke.
“When people lose their home, their final protection is their clothing.”
The nylon coats born from this concept have received the name FINAL HOME. When their many pockets are stuffed with newsprint, the coats provide strong protection against the cold. When filled with emergency goods, they become evacuation jackets.
Tsumura first created FINAL HOME in 1994. Since then, Japan has suffered two disasters of unprecedented scale, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Compelled by his mission as a fashion designer, Tsumura has continually pondered the relationships between fashion, society, and the natural environment. Through the activities of FINAL HOME, this exhibition will examine the roles played by clothing and fashion.
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)
2012.5.3 (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.