8 11

Open

EXHIBITION

A collaborative exhibition of works from the collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa and National Crafts Museum

Forms of Hitogata

2022.7.23 (Sat.) -
2022.9.11 (Sun.)

Information

Period :
2022.7.23 (Sat.) - 2022.9.11 (Sun.)
10:00-18:00(until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Venue :
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Gallery 6
Closed:
Mondays (except August 15), August 16
Admission:
Adults: ¥750 (¥600)
Students: ¥520 (¥410)
18 and under: ¥260 (¥200)
65 and over: ¥600

*Fees in parentheses are for groups of 20 people or more and web tickets.
*Ticket also include admission (Same day only) to "Special Exhibition: Olafur Eliasson"
For More Information:
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800
E-Mail: info@kanazawa21.jp

About the Exhibition

Imagine a work with a human form, measuring some 40 centimeters in height, right there in front of you. Is it a “doll”? Or is it a “sculpture”? And assuming the work is pottery, does that make it ceramic art? How would you feel if it was life size? When dealing with works depicting human forms, it is not unusual to ask yourself questions such as these, related to size, material, and method. However, the question of whether or not these concerns are important in the appreciation of such works is a difficult one.

Looking at these hitogata (three-dimensional depictions of the human form) made by Kitagawa Hiroto (b. 1967), whose ceramic works are based on images of contemporary young people, and Nakamura Shinkyo, whose highly romantic works make use of the traditional Hakata ningyo doll-making technique, provides us with an opportunity to reconsider “crafts” and “fine art.”

KARASAWA Masahiro, Guest Curator
Director of National Crafts Museum

Works Exhibited

Collection of National Crafts Museum
KITAGAWA Hiroto, TU07005 – Skinhead, 2007
KITAGAWA Hiroto, TU07007 – Dots, 2007
NAKAMURA Shinkyo, Rome Far Away, 2018
Axel Roman LUKAS, Untitled, 2000
Axel Roman LUKAS, Untitled, 2001

Collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
KITAGAWA Hiroto, New Type 2005 – white, 2005
KITAGAWA Hiroto, New Type 2005 – dress, 2005
KITAGAWA Hiroto, New Type 2005 – green, 2005
KITAGAWA Hiroto, New Type 2005 – blue, 2005
NAKAMURA Shinkyo, Shining sea, 2010
NAKAMURA Shinkyo, Roman saint looking at holy light, 2011
NAKAMURA Shinkyo, Church, 2011
Grayson PERRY, Plight of the Sensitive Child, 2003
Grayson PERRY, What's not to like?, 2006

Guest Curator

KARASAWA Masahiro
Born 1964 in Nagoya, Aichi. Completed the Graduate Course in Fine Arts at Aichi University of the Arts Graduate School. After serving as curator at Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum, he became a Senior Researcher at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo in 2003, and in 2010 was appointed head of the museum’s Crafts Section. Mr. Karasawa has been Director of the National Crafts Museum since 2020. He was awarded the 39th Koyama Fujio Prize in 2018. His field of specialization is the history of modern and contemporary crafts, and he is on the panel of judges for the Japan Ceramic Society Award. Published books include Guide to Japanese Pottery by Kilns: Seto (Tankosha), and as co-author, The Concise History of Japanese Ceramics (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha) and Twelve Steps for Understanding Ceramics (Tankosha). Major exhibitions he has organized or supervised include Mineo Okabe: A Retrospective, About the Tea Ceremony―A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kogei (Studio Crafts), From Crafts to Kogei―In Commemoration of the 60th Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition, Celadon Now: Techniques and Beauty Handed Down from Southern Sung to Today, Bizen: From Earth and Fire, Exquisite Forms, and Modern Crafts and Tea Utensils: Furnishings in Each Season.

Major Works Exhibited (Collection of National Crafts Museum)

Left:
KITAGAWA Hiroto, TU07005 – Skinhead, 2007
Collection of National Crafts Museum
Photo: SAIKI Taku

Right:
KITAGAWA Hiroto, TU07007 – Dots, 2007
Collection of National Crafts Museum
Photo: SAIKI Taku

NAKAMURA Shinkyo, Rome Far Away, 2018
Collection of National Crafts Museum
Photo: S&T PHOTO

Left:
Axel Roman LUKAS, Untitled, 2001
Collection of National Crafts Museum
Photo: Arrow Art Works

Right:
Axel Roman LUKAS, Untitled, 2000
Collection of National Crafts Museum
Photo: NEW COLOR PHOTOGRAPHIC CO., LTD.

Collection of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

[Reference Image]
KITAGAWA Hiroto
From left:
New Type 2005 – dress, 2005
terracotta, acrylic paint, H168×W34×D28cm
New Type 2005 – blue, 2005
terracotta, acrylic paint, H170×W42×D30cm
New Type 2005 – green, 2005
terracotta, acrylic paint, H171×W38×D44cm
New Type 2005 – white, 2005
terracotta, acrylic paint, H171×W36×D32cm
(all) Collection of 21st Century Museum of
Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Photo: FUKUNAGA Kazuo

[Reference Image]
NAKAMURA Shinkyo
From left:
Shining sea, 2010
ceramic, H35×W16×D12cm
Roman saint looking at holy light, 2011
ceramic, H42×W18×D15cm
Far Country Moon, 2011
ceramic, H39×W16×D17cm
Cathedral, 2012
Wood, H65×W28×D20cm
Church, 2011
ceramic, H41×W17×D15cm
(all) Collection of 21st Century Museum of
Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Photo: WATANABE Osamu

Left:
Grayson PERRY, What's not to like?, 2006
glazed ceramic, H145×φ60cm
Collection of 21st Century Museum of
Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Photo: SUEMASA Mareo

Right:
Grayson PERRY, Plight of the Sensitive Child, 2003
glazed ceramic, H101×φ54cm
Collection of 21st Century Museum of
Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Photo: SUEMASA Mareo

Artist Profiles

KITAGAWA Hiroto

Born in 1967 in Shiga, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo.
After graduating from Kanazawa College of Art in 1989 with a degree in sculpture, Hiroto Kitagawa felt uninterested in the monumental outdoor sculpture prevalent in Japan at the time and went to study in Italy, where the figurative sculpture that had always been his central interest still thrived. Fascinated by the ancient terra cotta technique he encountered there, Kitagawa mastered this technique and applied it to creation of New Type, a series of human figures reminiscent of Japanese anime characters. Since his return to Japan in 2005, he has developed them further with the Post-New Type series. He has consistently pursued a unique approach to rendering of the figure, using acrylic paint to bring out the warm texture of clay.
In the ordinary young people he encounters amid the hustle and bustle of the city and in their nonchalant attitudes, Kitagawa sees the potential for new forms of human life, which he sculpts in clay. He has chosen terra cotta, low-temperature-fired ceramic that is the closest to untreated clay of any ceramic technique, as the flesh to embody contemporary humans’ floating identities as beings that are still evolving. To bring out the clay’s texture, he paints the figures with acrylic after firing them. The surface of the terra cotta easily absorbs the water-based acrylic paint, and hence the natural texture of the clay can be maintained without a membrane of paint forming over it. New Type 2005 was the first group of life-sized figures by Kitagawa, who returned to Japan in 2005 after 14 years working in Italy, and was also the conclusion of his New Type series. The approximately 170 cm tall figures are named white, dress, green, and blue respectively according to the colors of their clothing and the characteristics of their appearance. They may at first appear devoid of expression, but their dignified independence evokes a peculiar air of nostalgia.

NAKAMURA Shinkyo

Born 1957 in Fukuoka, Japan, where he lives and works.
Nakamura was born in Fukuoka City as the eldest son of second-generation doll maker Nakamura Engai (holder of a Fukuoka Prefectural Intangible Cultural Property). After studying doll crafting in Kyoto, he returned to Fukuoka and took over the family’s Hakata doll business in 1980. He studied under doll artisan Hayashi Komao (holder of an Important Intangible Cultural Property, commonly known as a Living National Treasure). In 1989 he became a full member of the Japan Kogei Association. While he primarily exhibits his work at the Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition, Nakamura Shinkyo’s hybrid and highly contemporary style combines the respective strengths of Japanese and Western sculpture. In recent years, he has also created large-scale outdoor sculptures and installations.
The works on view deal with the theme of the Tensho embassy, and each figure is imbued with symbolic meanings such as the sea, the sun, and the moon. The Tensho embassy was a delegation headed by four youths who were dispatched to Rome in 1582 as emissaries of three Kyushu kirishitan daimyo (Japanese Christian domain lords) named Otomo Sorin, Omura Sumitada, and Arima Harunobu. This played an important role in making Japan’s presence known in Europe. The beautiful group of works conveys the tale of the Tensho embassy with a romantic atmosphere. While expressing the atmosphere of the time in terms of clothing and hairstyles, the artist has added elements from his own imagination, and each figure has a distinct facial expression and pose. The works depict an encounter with an exotic civilization beyond the sea in a manner reminiscent of epic poetry.

Axel Roman LUKAS

Born 1962 in Northeim, Germany. Lives and works in Berlin. After studying store and window display design, Axel Roman Lukas began making dolls in 1983. He works in cast porcelain, and while his style appears highly realistic he does not work from specific models or photographs, but rather draws from his own experiences and memories while making minimal use of references. His distinctive style can be seen in the balance of the eyes, nose, and limbs of each figure. Coloration subtly different from that of actual human beings also suggests that the figures dwell in the realm of fantasy. Lukas’s work is shaped through “gathering of experience,” which is not limited to personal experiences and memories, but also includes influences. Rather than seeking to create an exact replica of anything seen, he draws on inspirations to create something entirely new. In doing so he does not emphasize distinctions between the genres of dolls and sculpture, but rather focuses on the creation of humanoid forms (i.e. hitogata). The works also capitalize on the unique material qualities of translucent kaolin (porcelain clay). This is the same material used for traditional bisque dolls, and application of paint on the dolls’ surfaces achieves a vividly realistic presence and gives the impression of light emanating from within.

Grayson PERRY

Born 1960 in Chelmsford, UK. Lives and works in London.
Since the mid-1980s, Perry has dealt with themes of violence, prejudice, sexual repression, culture, religion, and the nature of the self in works imbued with cutting insight as well as both humor and fantasy. Perry’s richly colored and decorated ceramics feature contemporary subjects painted on the surfaces of vases with classical forms, creating a multilayered interplay of color and ornamentation that expands the boundaries of the viewer’s imagination. His genre-bending activities, ranging from ceramics, sculpture, photography, and printmaking to quilting, dress design, and cross-dressing, have garnered international acclaim, and in 2003 he was awarded the Turner Prize for British visual artists.
Plight of the Sensitive Child at first appears to show a scene of children playing innocently, but a closer look reveals girls holding weapons and drugs and what appears to be an accident scene rendered in a deadpan manner, shedding light on shadows of violence and oppression that are omnipresent in everyday life. What’s not to like?, a giant vase bedecked with various consumer products, brand logos, soccer players, and models, ironically depicts contemporary consumption habits with over-the-top decorative extravagance. While the techniques and forms of vases, and ceramics in general, tend to lull the viewer into a sense of familiarity and harmlessness, Perry subverts these preconceptions so as to throw open the door to his own world and pull the viewer into confrontation with his works. Perry’s approach to unveiling truths about human nature with a sharp critical spirit and sense of humor is common across his work in all manner of mediums. He often appears in his own works dressed as a woman, and in photographs where his female alter ego Claire wears a dress reminiscent of an ethnic costume and holds a gun, he directly introduces his own body and identity into the mix while also illuminating violence and other universal social issues.

Organizers

Organized by:
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)
With the support of National Crafts Museum