Tuesday, January 25, 2011

exhibition: contemporary horror

Odhani Motohiko, New born, 'mouse', 2007
Just came back from the curatorial tour of 'Phantom-Limb', Odani Motohiko show at MAM and I have this lingering thought in my head that some of Odani works are echoing the visual language of Capuchins who were also sculpting from bones. But unlike the latter, Odani is using bones of animals reconstructed in plastic which makes it less of a horror and more of the beauty. Pity that not all the works on the exhibitions are of the quality. Japanese art world “golden boy” has already represented his country at Venice Biennale and has been the youngest artist so far having solo exhibition at MAM which is one of the biggest spaces artist can be asked to fill on his own and I would argue if Odani lived up to the challenge.

Capuchins Crypt, Rome and The Sedlec Ossuary, Kotna Hora

highlights of 2010

The 2010 saw some cross-media shows examining Japanese contemporary art in terms of its craft aesthetics - Noe-Orientalism from Japanese Contemporary art and its architectural aesthetics - Where is architecture? Seven Installations by Japanese architects. Among the galleries presenting contemporary art the most interesting shows were held in Taka Ishii Gallery of Naoya Hatakeyama who with a scientific zeal examines Tokyo cityscape, Hiromiyoshii which displayed maquettes by more than a dozen young architects, Mizuma Art Gallery which showed three-by-seven-meter painting of a mound of dead Japanese businessmen and office appliciencies by Aido Makoto and Edo-era inspired ink drawings by Akira Yamaguchi while at Misako&Rosen Yuki Okumura displayed videos of rakugo actor retelling a classical Japanese story.

Yuki Okumura, Anatomy Fiction, video, 2010
Privately run museums often stage city's best exhibitions and so the Mori Art Musuem held third of its triennial surveys of Japanese artist Roppongi Crossing 2010: Can there be art?, Watari Musuem of Contemporary Art celebrated its 20th year with solo exhibition of multimedia artist Tam Ochiai and architect Sou Fujimoto while Hara Museum of Contemporary Art presented first solo show in Japan of Chinese artist Yang Fudong.

Outside Tokyo to the West, Hiroshima City Musuem of Contemporary Art presented More of an Activity: The Artist as Choreographer and to the North, 21st Centuary Musuem of Contemporary Art Kanazawa held a larg exhibition of multimedia artist Tadasu Takamine which then traveled to Yokohama.

Tadasu Takamine
, Melody Cup, 2009

photo: Takezaki Hiroto

In addition to the proliferation of the architectural shows at home, it was a big year for Japanese architects abroad. Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA were awarded the Pritzker, architectural Nobel. Sejima was also the first femal and Asian director of Venice Architectural Biennale, where Junya Ishigami received a Golden Lion.

The post is based on the Ashley Rawlings report for ArtAsiaPacific Almanac 2011