The Contemporary 3

BCL Ghost in the Cell

2015.9.19 (Sat.) - 2016.3.21 (Mon.)

Does Information Possess Life?—Fusing Biotechnology and Art
The artist collective BCL has won international attention with such projects as storing a family’s DNA inside the DNA of a tree to create a “living memorial” or else releasing genetically modified flowers into the natural environment. This time, by giving DNA and cells to Miku Hatsune—a humanoid persona, voiced by a singing synthesizer application, who is known worldwide as a representative of Japanese pop culture—BCL will explore contemporary Japan’s unique imaginative power, which continually travels between life and non-life, art and entertainment, and individual and collaborative creation.

BCL + Semitransparent Design Ghost in the Cell 2015
©Crypton Future Media, INC.

Aperto 02

KASHIO Satomi : Something That Dwells Inside Life

2015.9.19 (Sat.) - 2016.1.17 (Sun.)

Forms Filled with Life Force by Textile Artist Kashio Satomi.
This exhibition “KASHIO Satomi : Something That Dwells Inside Life” is the second in the Aperto Series introducing cutting edge young artists in a solo exhibition format. Building on Japanese dyeing traditions, particularly those of Kaga Yûzen, Kashio Satomi creates intricately detailed expression through methods that include silkscreen and brushing on colors. Incorporating such everyday motifs as planes and cogwheels, the images in her works are characterized by geometric decorativeness, while also evoking thoughts of living cells. Creating three-dimensional forms through the layering and combining of sheets of fabric, what emerge are forms replete with an organic sense of life force. This exhibition introduces ceiling hangings in tune with their display space developed by Kashio since 2014.

UCHIRO Hiroyuki (Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)

Atafuru 2014, detail

The Contemporary 2

Who interprets the world?

2015.9.19 (Sat.) - 2015.12.13 (Sun.)

In 2015, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is holding a series of exhibitions, entitled “The Contemporary,” presenting contemporary artworks that offer insight into today’s world.
“The Contemporary 1—In Our Time: Art in Post-Industrial Japan,” held this spring and summer, featured artworks by 10 artists and artist groups highly visible on the contemporary scene since 2000. It took four keywords important for understanding Japanese art today—“relationship,” “everyday,” “media,” and “vernacular.”
Next, our autumn and winter exhibition, “The Contemporary 2: Who interprets the world?” asks how contemporary artists rooted in different cultures see and convey the state of the larger world beyond their community. In contemporary society, where “displace” and “crossover” cultures is becoming the normal state, relationships of all kinds are made fluid. Historical perspectives and social values taken for granted until now obtain new meanings, depending on who is doing the interpreting. This exhibition views the diverse artworks born explosively, particularly from regions peripheral to Japan, as “practices for living.” It examines how people living in the same age as we, yet in different time-zones and locations, look at the world.

Works of art are created by freely combining a wide range of materials and methods. They are unique and ambiguous and cannot be reduced to signs interpretable using simple A-B-C or other codes. An individual work is the product of the artist’s words and actions, something both deeply personal and collective. We might say that it expresses the artist’s conscious of the world with which the artists come to grips. What, then, should be our approach to creative expression produced in a different arena informed by a different cultural context? Following the postcolonial critique of the Western Europe-centered historical perspective that prevailed through the latter half of the 20th century, many artists are engaged in taking back the act of interpretation, to seek proper understanding of their works in their own languages instead of words and gestures borrowed from the West. With meanings from different cultures mingled together from innumerable different directions, we must be careful to note that who interprets them can profoundly change those meanings. A space in which visitors can create new empathetic links, Who interprets the world? is an exhibition devoted to artistic expression rooted in different perspectives, an experiment in using culture (works of art) to interpret our world.

Hiromi Kurosawa, Chief Curator 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

*Our exhibition title Who interprets the world? is a translation of the title of the book “Qui traduit le monde?” edited and prefaced by Majima Ichiro. (Jimbun Shoin 2005).

El Anatsui Broken Bridge 2012
*This is not exhibited but a reference image for the exhibition.

Collection 1 Where you meet with narratives

2015.5.26 (Tue.) - 2015.11.15 (Sun.)

Looking at the world scene “today (now),” Collection 1 endeavors to reinterpret the collection compiled by the museum over the past decade. In the 21st century, when artists of the world’s unique regional cultures bring increasing diversity to our society, what kind of potential lies in their artworks? This exhibition will look at the world from an inter-cultural standpoint, primarily through works in our collection.