Thursday, February 26, 2009

japanese artists like animals

What Yoshimoto Nara, Nagi Noda, Noboru Tsubaki and Hiroshi Kobayashi have in common? They all take animals as the subject of their works. And there wouldn't be anything unusual about it since one of the first visual image was that of animal but in Japan the list of artist depicting animals is very long ...
Yoshimoto Nara, Aomori-ken dog
Born 1959 in Hirosaki, Nara is one of the most influential artists of Japan's Pop art movement. His work is influenced by manga (Japanese comic books) but unlike typically cute manga images Nara infuses his works with horror-like imagery.
Nagi Noda, Vivre, poster, 2004
Born 1973 in Tokyo, artist, designer and commercial director whose works include popular character Hanpanda, a half-panda-and-half-something-else, animal hair hats and be@rbrick.

Noboru Tsubaki, Tetsuo, 2003
Born 1953 in Tokyo, Tsubaki once a minimalist artist after witnessing a devastating earthquake in Japan in 1996 has been using his artwork to propose solutions to the world's problems. His works like a large five-legged robotic vehicle designed to clear land mines takes a childish approach to deal with serious issues.
Hiroshi Kobayashi, Challenging spirit, acrylic on canvas, 2002-2003
Born 1967 in Fukushima, artist developed his own unique style inspired by ukiyo-e. Kobayashi takes a digital photographs of stuffed animals, manipulates them in Photoshop and then paints the images by pouring glossy fluid acrylic paints onto canvas.

Monday, February 23, 2009

post-glass artist

A dicovery of today's web research, a multi-media artist who explores transparent materials, such as glass, water and light. Below the recoring of her performance based on dialogues with her father and with the seismografic data as a 'music score'. More at

Yuka Otani, An attempt to interpret an earthquake that my father experianced in his childhood, 2007

Friday, February 20, 2009


Going through my archives I came across an interesting artist whose works I saw once in Yokohama Museum of Art. Hirano Kaoru untie thread by thread clothing that she gets from people and make a new form from them but the memory of one's life is still worn in those threads and make us wonder about fleeting nature of existence and tenaciousness of memories.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

highlights of 2008

Tabaimo is an artist who received a lot of attention last year. Her works were on display in Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, in Yokohama Museum of Art but aslo as a part of Chanel Mobile Gallery. Till mid Feb Koyanagi Gallery hosted an exhibition titled Tabaimo House. Tabaimo produces video installations using animation. But what is even more distinctive about her works is the way she sets them up. In Hara Museum the viewers were looking at her mesmerizing projections through letter box -like holes, in Yokohama they had to sit on the floor under a spherical screen, in Mobile Gallery they were looking down into the well- like space. The artist says that she is setting up space to encourage viewers to be proactive in how they look at work. Her works become a participatory experience.

Tabaimo, Ginyo-ru, 2005, video installation
Since the term curator has been coined the world has learnt that exhibition is not only about hanging the artworks on the gallery wall. Tadashi Kawamata exhibition Walkway at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (MoT) curated by Sumimoto Fumihiko was one of the rare examples of non- conventional museum display where visitors walked through wooden corridors leading to temporary workshops and documentary photographs with artist's projects. An excellent example that archives can be displayed in an interesting and dynamic environment rather than closing them in the glass cases and most ambitious manipulation of gallery space at the same time!

Tadashi Kawamata

Walkway, 2008

TSW (Tokyo Wander Site) on the Tokyo art space map is the only one, which realize modern concept of conemporary art center which is not only a gallery but also a place of importatnt art talks and art-in-residency program. Coming here has never been a disappointment which I have already express on several other occasions.

Yokohama Triennale, Japan's most important international exhibition with the representation of 72 artists from 25 countries. Although criticized for the theme, architecture, catalogue and few other things it was the most commented event and the one which got high scores amongst Asia-Pacific shows in 2008 (ARTiT). For me it was a chance to see some top notch artworks outside Europe so I felt like at home.