2016.12.10 (Sat.) - 2017.3.12 (Sun.)
Thomas Ruff (born in 1958 in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany) has been a leading figure in contemporary photography since the 1990s when he emerged as part of the Becher School. Along with Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth, Ruff studied photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
The exhibition introduces a wide range of works by this world-renowned photographer, stretching from his earliest efforts to his most recent and never-before-shown photographs. Ruff was first acclaimed for a series of huge two-meter-high portraits. Since then, he has explored a variety of themes, including architecture, urban landscapes, nudes, and celestial bodies. Through these subjects, he has developed a unique vision of the world we live in.
The medium of photography, closely entwined with our vision and perception, is another important theme in Ruff’s work. He searches for new possibilities in photographic expression using a multitude of images as his materials. These not only include Ruff’s own pictures but everything from digital images from the Internet to old photographs he has collected.
This exhibition consists of a total of 18 series, approximately 160 works, including Ruff’s first effort Interieurs; Porträts, which earned him widespread acclaim; cassini and ma.r.s., inspired by his boyhood interest in outer space; and nude and jpeg, which examine visual and information spaces in the age of the Internet, and his most recent photographs, press ++.
2016.10.8 (Sat.) - 2017.3.20 (Mon.)
Kogei or Design?
Kogei (craft) and design are divided in two distinct categories regardless of that fact that both are monozukuri (the making of things) and, in this sense, the same. We need not look close, however, to see works/products describable as “design-like Kogei” and “Kogei-like design” in the interval between them.
This exhibition will show clearly the ambiguous boundary between Kogei and design by seeing them freshly from the perspectives “Process and Material,” “Hand and Machine,” “Form,” and “Sabi (Change over the Years).” While so doing, it will also consider possibilities on the horizon for Kogei and design, both of which are diversifying with the development of advanced technology.
2016.9.10 (Sat.) - 2016.11.27 (Sun.)
The word diary derives from the Latin “dies,” meaning “a day.” In a diary, whether written or drawn, the daily recording of one’s life becomes an accumulation of time. Within that accumulation, an array of elements can be discerned—memory, physical action, traces, everyday life, and repetition. When someone’s personal diary is disclosed to the public, moreover, it becomes a part of “history.”
This exhibition of works by eight artists employs the word “diary” with its multiple associations as a foothold for viewing and understanding those works. When memory of past actions and experiences receives formal expression in an artwork, what kind of “diary” can we discover in it?
Awazu Kiyoshi : Makurihirogeru (EXPOSE) 3
Awazu Kiyoshi and Architecture
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa possesses in its collection some 3,000 artworks and materials by AWAZU Kiyoshi. “Makurihirogeru (EXPOSE)” is a series of exhibitions launched in 2014 to exhibit the Awazu collection from varying perspectives.
Our third exhibition takes the theme, “architecture.” As a participant in the avant-garde architectural movement “Metabolism” in the 1960s, Awazu collaborated with numerous architects in creating spatial designs. He also employed graphic design to visually communicate that architectural movement’s principles.
Awazu’s uniqueness lay in his ability to reinterpret and express Japanese tradition in modern design aimed at serving the masses. This exhibition divided in three sections (“Metabolism and EXPO '70,” “Collaborations with Architects,” and “Architecture Magazine Design”) will show how Awazu’s designs resonated with the Metabolist architectural movement and richly amplified its potential.
2016.5.21 (Sat.) - 2016.9.25 (Sun.)
Series Orphe is a shoe of a new dimension whose sole lights up and produces sounds like a musical instrument when the user moves. The trajectories of light and sound performed by the wearer arise from the wearer’s bodily motion. “no new folk studio Inc.” is a start-up launched in 2014 by KIKUKAWA Yuya. Wanting to work in the music field, Kikukawa began creating musical instruments and eventually developed a prototype for Orphe, a percussion instrument in the form of a shoe. Working in collaboration with engineers and designers, he has refined the instrument and will soon launch commercial sales. Orphe is not strictly a shoe or musical instrument. It transcends borders and genres of all kinds and offers the user unlimited possibilities to explore.
This exhibition will present the video work Motion-Score, featuring a dancer wearing Orphe moving freely through the art museum in the darkness of night. The dancer’s “motion” converts to sound and light and becomes a performance, and hence, the dancer’s movement is like a “score.” On three screens, video imagery based on three themes will unfold—a “Tour” of strolling freely around inside the museum, a “Concert” performed by manipulating Orphe like a musical instrument, and “Reverberations” produced by the interplay of Orphe’s light and music with the spaces of the building. We invite you to enjoy the music interface, Orphe, created by a group of next-generation creators.
2016.5.21 (Sat.) - 2016.9.25 (Sun.)
“Nous” is French for “we.” It can mean “we women” or “we men.” When it comes to artistic creation and giving a form to one’s ideas, there are no distinctions between women and men. “Handicrafts,” nevertheless, was long primarily viewed as a women’s creative field, and many women in the past, when seeking creative expression in daily life, spontaneously took in hand not the paintbrush but the more familiar needle and thread.
Sewing is an activity filled with quiet thoughts and feelings. This is true whether one sews for one’s family in bliss or solitude, or joyfully for oneself. Then, the clothing born from that time has a power to communicate the personality of the wearer. Works created as an extension of everyday life often express fleeting, complex feelings hard to define. In our encounters with them, “we” viewers may find ourselves experiencing emotions we have been little conscious of before. This exhibition of works by five artists in our collection and four guest artists—nine women artists in all—will look at handcrafted work in connection with art and ponder the issue of gender.
2016.5.21 (Sat.) - 2016.8.28 (Sun.)
The artist duo Nerhol was born from a chance encounter between IIDA Ryuta, who creates sculptural works using paper and print media, and TANAKA Yoshihisa, who explores visual information as a graphic designer. As a collaboration, they view paper—a distribution product consumed daily in great volumes—from different perspectives, as a physical object and as an image. The paper sculptures they create inscribed with large quantities of images possess a distinctive three-dimensionality that strikes a deep impression in viewers.
In this exhibition, “Promenade,” Nerhol will present their new series, “multiple–roadside tree,” along with new works employing mirror-paper. Their “multiple-roadside tree” is produced by cutting round slices from roadside trees, little by little, photographing each slice, then greatly enlarging the photos, bundling them, and inscribing them. “Promenade” will perceive the entire art museum as place for strolling. By walking, visitors will activate the artworks, which present varying impression depending on the angle or distance from which they are viewed.
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
multiple – roadside tree no. 03, 2016
Courtesy of Yutaka Kikutake Gallery
2016.4.29 (Fri.) - 2017.3.12 (Sun.)
SUPERFLEX is an artists’ group based in Copenhagen, Denmark composed of Rasmus Nielsen, Jakob Fenger, and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. While referencing existing social systems and frameworks, SUPERFLEX engages the community and constructs proposals for new kinds of public space. This time, the artists will view 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa as a petri dish and undertake a one year project of elucidating the museum’s relationship with its community, using three keywords—“cultivation,” “fermentation,” and “tramsformation.”
2016.4.29 (Fri.) - 2016.8.28 (Sun.)
“Xijing” is a fictitious city-state. In 2007, the three artists, OZAWA Tsuyoshi (born in 1965 and currently residing in Saitama Prefecture), CHEN Shaoxiong (born in 1962 and currently residing in Beijing) and Gimhongsok (born in 1964 and currently residing in Seoul) formed a collaboration team called “Xijing Men” meaning people who come from Xijing. The team started a project which tells the story of a city-state somewhere in Asia that is not Beijing, Tokyo or Seoul where art-loving people reside. The story of Xijing can be interpreted as a story irradiating modern society, not just a story of a fictitious state removed from reality. Here, out of their works, we proudly present Chapter 3: Welcome to Xijing- Xijing Olympics/ Xijing Winter Olympics, Chapter 4: I Love Xijing - The Daily Life of Xijing Presidents, and Chapter 5: Xijing is NOT Xijing; their latest work. Furthermore, out of the latest works created independently by each of these three artists of a generation living in the same age, we introduce works including installations which confront historic incidents and include philosophical considerations, project images, paintings and performances.
2016.1.30 (Sat.) - 2016.5.8 (Sun.)
This exhibition will present Visible Breath (2012) by SAKANO Mitsunori, a video installation work employing five screens. Sakano was born in Tsurugi in Hakusan city, Ishikawa prefecture in 1977 and raised there. Today, he is a practicing Tokyo-based video artist. Sakano studied art and video production at the University of East London and, on his return, embarked on the creation of video artworks. Increasingly, his interest has turned to the festivals and other traditions of his native Tsurugi. Visible Breath is the culmination of his investigations into that world. The work takes iron production as its motif, an industry through which Tsurugi (pronounced the same as tsurugi, the word for sword) had commerce with Izumo(Shimane Prefecture, Japan) and the Korean peninsula in ancient times. Sakano has imbued Tsurugi’s traditions with his own interpretations to create a work of fictional content that activates the imaginations of viewers.
WASHIDA Meruro (Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
Visible Breath 2012
A Centennial Exhibition
2016.1.2 (Sat.) - 2016.3.21 (Mon.)
A Centennial Exhibition: INOUE Yuichi will be a large-scale retrospective marking the birth 100 years ago of Inoue Yuichi (1916-1985), one of Japan’s most important postwar artists.
Inoue Yuichi is among the few Japanese contemporary artists to win broad international acclaim in the postwar years. Taking the ink and paper of calligraphy tradition as his expressive medium, Inoue became a pioneering voice in the postwar Japanese art scene. This exhibition will go to the core of Inoue’s art through more than 200 of his most notable works from his early to late periods.
From his 1955 “Work” series, the exhibition will present examples of Inoue’s abstract calligraphy, created in response to abstract expressionism. It will also display his foremost early-period work Gutetsu, submitted in the 1957 São Paulo Art Biennial, and works of the 1960s such as Kō (Fond), Haha (Mother), and Kaze (Wind) created using innovative materials and methods of his own invention, such as glue and frozen ink. The exhibition will then move to Inoue works of the 1970s that reflect the mind in accord with lifestyle, such as Hin (Poverty), and final period works of the late 1970s and ‘80s, such as Tori (Bird), Tsuki (Moon), Fun (Behead), and Taka (Hawk) which construct an increasingly rich world.
The exhibition will highlight the varying styles for which Inoue is known, his single-character calligraphy, needless to say, but also his multi-character pieces recalling his experience of the horror of war, Tokyo-daikūshū (Tokyo Bombing) and Ah Yokokawa Kokumin-gakkō (Ah, Yokokawa National School!) His kotobagaki (word works) in which he spoke the word as part of the creative action will also be featured: works such as Kaeru Tanjō-sai and Yodaka-no-hoshi rendered in conté pencil, pencil, or carbon. The exhibition will conclude with works of Inoue’s late years undertaken amid his struggle with illness. These include Nametokoyama no Kuma (The Bears of Nametoko Mountain) and his free-hand copies (rinsho) of the classics Yan Qingli Stele and Jō (Above), as well as his final piece, Kokoro (Mind).
Through works representing every stage his career, the exhibition will explore the world of free, unconventional calligraphy to which Inoue Yuichi remained committed throughout his life.
Exhibition curator: AKIMOTO Yuji
Director, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
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.
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
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.
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