Tokyo Gendai 2023
7/July/2023 - 9/July/2023
KOSAKU KANECHIKA is pleased to present works by six artists — Yutaka Aoki, Junko Oki, Takuro Kuwata, Noritaka Tatehana, Dan McCarthy, and fumiko imano — at Tokyo Gendai 2023.
Yutaka Aoki uses acrylic paint to create abstract works with substantial impasto to study light and its organic, three-dimensional qualities. Aoki observes light as a multi-faceted element that grants information on the world and is also an indicator of the passage of time. His paintings oscillate between two- and three-dimensionality, and respond not only to materials and production processes, but also to specific elements in their environment, including the relationship with the audience’s gaze, the passage of time, and the conditions of the exhibition space. Light imbues his work with an intrinsic richness, providing a visual experience that awakens the natural human senses desensitized by our increasingly digital lives.
Junko Oki engraves stories of life onto textiles, with each stitch placed meticulously by hand. Without the guide of an underdrawing, she creates unique motifs and patterns by freehand stitching and by rejecting the structured tradition of embroidery. Although her works display seemingly rudimentary techniques, the artist’s instinctive approach awakens a visceral reaction in viewers. Through her unique embroidery and careful attention, Junko Oki breathes new life into aged textiles, frames, and other objects. These objects, with years of stories already embedded into them, are revived by Okiʼs hand through a series of attentive stitches. They include everything that came into being, and chronologies that once existed but are now gone. At the core of Okiʼs creative process is a discovery of new horizons through layered impressions of time.
Takuro Kuwata has rapidly expanded the possibilities of ceramic art by creating works of an unparalleled nature that have been exhibited globally in Brussels, London, and New York. Kuwata’s contemporary visual language, which utilizes techniques of traditional Japanese pottery such as kairagi and ishihaze in a novel manner, has garnered international acclaim. Situated at the heart of Japanese ceramic artistry, Kuwata’s studio in the Mino region of Gifu retains history and techniques dating back to feudal Japan. Inheriting the traditional tea ceremony aesthetic of wabi-sabi, his works embrace imperfect beauty and natural forms that are celebrated in the preservation of a rustic, unrefined elegance. Through dialogue with the environment, history, nature, and time, Kuwata fuses together elements of tradition and modernity.
Noritaka Tatehana presents a never-before-seen perspective and worldview by combining elements of traditional Japanese culture with values of the contemporary world. His carefully honed artistry is elegantly expressed throughout his various mediums. Nurturing the sensitivities of a rich history, mythology, and innovation, Tatehana’s work brims with his potential and hopes for the future. The artist is renowned for his trademark works titled “Heel-less Shoes,” which are inspired by the elevated wooden clogs worn by traditional Japanese courtesans. These works have attracted global recognition since being worn by celebrities including Lady Gaga. To date, Tatehana’s work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
American multi-media artist, Dan McCarthy, is not only renowned for his oil paintings and watercolors but also for his vividly pigmented and playful ceramic sculptures. Initially focused on two-dimensional work in his practice, McCarthy reconnected with ceramics around the year 2012. Intentionally uncomplicated, modest, and direct, his ceramics place an emphasis on touch and tactility. McCarthy uses layers of glaze to create his signature vivacity and remarkable visual impact. The foundation of McCarthy’s sculptural practice is to instinctively form the wet, heavy clay into shapes with a “sense of immediacy and buoyant spirit.” Exemplified by his “Facepot” series, his work exudes a cheerful and impish quality upon first glance, yet also embodies a disconcerting emptiness that is hidden from plain view.
fumiko imano is highly acclaimed for her collaborations in fashion, including photography for LOEWE for eight seasons since 2018, and designing sneakers for VANS using her original artwork. Best known are her series of self-portraits taken with a 35mm camera with the images cut and pasted to create a twin-like motif. Encapsulating an innocently nostalgic and humorous charm that is reminiscent of photographs that might have been taken during a family trip, imano’s self-portraits elicit an instinctive smile from their viewers. In sharp contrast, the distinct lines cut by scissors and joined together attest to the reality of their fictitious nature. Intentionally created by hand in the current digital age, imano’s playful photomontages provide a penetrative insight into the machinations of identity and employ an unconventional visual language to convey new stories.
This presentation for Tokyo Gendai 2023 will consist of approximately 20 works by the six artists.
Tokyo Gendai 2023
Yutaka Aoki, Junko Oki, Takuro Kuwata, Noritaka Tatehana, Dan McCarthy, fumiko imano
July 7, 2023 - July 9, 2023