Collection 2 History, Regrowth, and Future

2015.11.28 (Sat.) - 2016.5.8 (Sun.)

The Collection 1 exhibition, this fiscal year, provided opportunities to question and explore what is for us the world of “now.” In continuation, Collection 2 envisions our “future” through artworks recently acquired by this museum and by freshly interpreting its existing collection. What is contemporary art’s potential in the 21st century when social values are rapidly changing in every region of Japan as in every nation of the world? In an exhibition organized into the themes “History” and “Regrowth,” we invite viewers to join us in imagining the road before us.
In continuation from last year, furthermore, the exhibition “Awazu Kiyoshi: Makurihirogeru (EXPOSE) 2” will be held concurrently with the Collection exhibition.

HIROMURA Masaaki Junglin’ in Kanazawa Indistinct Landscapes

2015.11.21 (Sat.) - 2016.5.8 (Sun.)

“Beauty” and “contemplation” are qualities that design implies and they both offer ideas in solving various problems. Now the role of design is expanding together with the field of design itself. The future becomes visible by looking at the essence of things from the periphery¬—the designer Masaaki Hiromura reinterprets the landscape of Kanazawa through design thinking.
“Junglin’” is a series of video installations which originally began in 2010. This year, we present “Junglin’ in Kanazawa/Indistinct Landscapes”. A familiar scene can be easily obscured into an unexpected image by a slight shift of perspective. What appears in front of you is a fresh form, transporting you away from conventional symbols of everyday life to a somewhat primitive perception of your surrounding. How do we usually perceive landscapes and what is overlooked?

HIROMURA Masaaki Junglin’ in Kanazawa Indistinct Landscapes

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.

The Contemporary 1

In Our Time: Art in Post-industrial Japan

2015.4.25 (Sat.) - 2015.8.30 (Sun.)

In any era, the definition of "contemporary" changes as time goes by. Already, 10 years have passed since this museum opened with a mission to present contemporary art, and hence, we are taking this occasion—our 10th anniversary—to look freshly at art now. Under the theme "The Contemporary," we will hold three exhibitions. The first, "In Our Time: Art in Post-industrial Japan," will focus on Japan and feature 10 artists and artist groups principally active since 2000.
The exhibition's KeyWords—"everyday," "vernacular," "relationship," and "media." Today, Japan has achieved a transition from an industrial society producing cars and buildings to a post-industrial society providing services and information. New problems have also emerged—an aging population and declining birthrate, the hollowing out of rural regions, and growing numbers of solitary deaths. To alleviate or resolve such problems, attempts are being made to build "relationship" among people and to rediscover the attractive features of rural "vernacular." Meanwhile, it has become an age of proliferating personal media, characterized by smart-phones and "always-on connection" to online social networking. Through works by 10 artists and artist groups who live and work in these times, we explore the art of now.

ARCHITECTURE FOR DOGS

2014.12.6 (Sat.) - 2015.5.10 (Sun.)

ARCHITECTURE FOR DOGS—an earnest architectural project for the happiness of dogs and people alike—looks at architecture from a canine scale and explores new potentials in architecture.

Planning & direction: HARA Kenya
Co-Foundes by Imprint Venture Lab
Participating architects: Atelier Bow-Wow, ITO Toyo, MVRDV, KUMA Kengo, Konstantin GRCIC, SEJIMA Kazuyo, Torafu Architects, NAITO Hiroshi, BAN Shigeru, FUJIMOTO Sou, Reiser + Umemoto, Hara Design Institute, and HARA Kenya

© Hiroshi Yoda

Architecture since 3.11

2014.11.1 (Sat.) - 2015.5.10 (Sun.)

As a special exhibition marking its 10th anniversary, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa will hold an exhibition, “Architecture since 3.11,” exploring new architectural trends in Japan since the 3.11 disaster. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami forced architects to fundamentally rethink their understanding of architecture and society’s systems. What role will be demanded of architects hereafter, and what kind of future should they envision? Including such perspectives as energy and environment within its scope, the exhibition will look at architecture since 2011 through the endeavors of 25 architectural offices and ponder the architect’s role.

Japan Architects 1945-2010

2014.11.1 (Sat.) - 2015.3.15 (Sun.)

As a special exhibition marking its 10th anniversary, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is collaborating with the Centre Pompidou (Paris) in holding exhibition of post-war Japanese architecture, “Japan Architects 1945-2010” taking the Centre Pompidou’s collection of works and materials as a core.

Mr. Migayrou has divided the 65-year period from 1945 to 2010 into six sections and color-coded each section’s concept. His compelling vantage point on post-war Japanese architecture will be another exhibition highlight.

Architects played a major role in Japan’s national project of reconstructing from the ruins of war. Adhering to the principles of modernism or, in some cases, pursing an essentially Japanese style, they designed and constructed public facilities and buildings of all kinds. As they did so, the architects gradually expanded their focus from architecture to urban design, and in the 1960s, the architectural movement “Metabolism” was born, impelled by new economic and technological development. This movement reached its apogee at the 1970 Osaka Exposition and thereafter diversified, further evolved, and formed a new vision. A younger generation of architects inherited its aims, but already a minimalist style of architecture—what might be called “architecture of elimination”—was sweeping the nation. Then, in the late 1990s, after the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy and the Kobe Earthquake, works appeared that re-examined architecture from the perspectives of “narrative” and “program,” and many Japanese architects rose to international acclaim.
This exhibition offers a precious opportunity to follow the tracks of the Japanese architects who, swinging between Western modernism and Japanese identity, created their own style and vision and garnered international attention. The great number of works and materials—over 240 original drawings and models by some 80 architects who spear-headed the development of post-war Japanese architecture—are invaluable tools for understanding these architects’ conceptual and design processes. All together, they form an architecture exhibition of a scale never before seen in Japan. It is an exhibition of importance—not only for the light it casts on architectural history but also for the deep insight it offers into Japan’s rapidly changing post-war society.

Taste of Curiosity ― Museum of Curiosity food creation + The University Museum, The University of Tokyo

2014.4.26 (Sat.) - 2015.3.31 (Tue.)

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa will mark its 10th anniversary on October 9 this year. On this occasion, we are holding "Taste of Curiosity – Museum of Curiosity"—a program to create a "banquet" site for celebrating our 10 years with everyone. The program is being led by food creation / SUWA Ayako—a project to propose new values for the enjoyment of food—and The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, which will create a "The Chambers of Curiosities." The program will be an unprecedented art museum event, taking "taste" as a theme in harkening back to the original impulse behind the museum concept—curiosity.
Already, more than 50 "Foodstuffs of Curiosity" have been gathered, and over 400 people will take part in "Experiences of Taste." The program will develop in stages toward an exciting climax as a "banquet."

Ayako Suwa, Scent of Woman 2014 Photo: Hiroshi Iwasaki +cow skull (The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)