Takashi Kuribayashi (1968-). Principal Office, 2014.
"principal office is a symbolic place of power and adult world. I wanted to stop time of the space and show the place. In addition, because it is an old building, a lot of moisture is contained in the air. The water content varies depending on various places. I thought, by freezing the air in the space, I would be allowed to visualize the things you can not see in our eyes. Japan has lots mercy of things that are invisible to the naked eye especially after 3.11.2011" -Takashi Kuribayashi
Daisuke Ohba (1981- ). FOREST #1 (installation view) and Forest #2, 2009. Acrylic on cotton.
Kota Nishiura. "My name is…", 2013.
Currently on display at Nanatsu Gallery in Tokyo, Nishiura’s series is made with kneaded erasers on styrofoam.
Nobuo Sekine (1942- ). Okukuji ikoi no mori (Forest of Okukuji), 1979. White granite, stainless steel, lightning arrester.
Sekine was a leading member of the Mono-Ha group, active from the late 1960s through the early 1970s. Sekine’s use of metal and stone in natural environments attempted to integrate the natural and the industrial.
Tomoko Yoneda (1965- ). Scene series, C-type prints, 2000-2004.
1. Seascape - Location where Dr. Mengele drowned, Bertioga, Brazil
2. Path - Path to the cliff where Japanese committed suicide after the American landing of WWII, Saipan, Japan
3. Field - Location of the front line in Battle of Somme, Albert, France
4. Sniper View - View from Serbian sniper position overlooking the town of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
5. Beach - Location of the D-Day Normandy Landing, Sword Beach, France
Yoneda, currently based in London, says, “History is not only apparent in tangible monuments or buildings, but also expresses itself impassively in various intangible ways. History surrounds us, in the blue sky, the blue sea, the woods, the fields and the city streets; it is already engraved upon the strata of landscape where we are born but it appears quiescent and disconnected from our thoughts…The comparison of the past with the present will lead us to renewal and hope.”
Kohei Nawa (1975- ). Foam, 2013.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Nawa stated, “Maybe there was a time when artists benefited from, or used Japanese stereotypes in their work…But I think my generation no longer feels the need to identify with, or try to represent, Japan.”
Maio Motoko (1948- ). Hope (Side X, Side Y), 2011. 121x122cm each.
Maio believes that screens are “the material embodiment of Japanese culture,” due to their variable shape and the way they reflect light differently depending their placement and the time of day. This piece was created in the aftermath of the 3/11 earthquake.
Aiko Miyanaga (1974- ). yui (ties), 2010. Salt collected from the Horikawa river, threads, naphthalene, dissolving paper, rowing boat, buckets, mail boxes.
Miyanaga uses napthalene, which slowly dissolves when it comes in contact with the air, to express ephemerality and the passage of time. She says, “I want to create not the eternal, but the unforgettable.”
Yumi Karasumaru. Tokyo Landscapes No. 7-9, 2010.
My work is a profound statement of affection for my country, in painting and performance, which also contains anxiety about the future. […] I have created a variety of geographical and anthropological “landscapes” based on my own view and sensitivity. For example in the young districts like Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara, I have seen thousands of people meeting, falling in love, hating each other, looking at each other, gathering, arguing, an almost 360° encounter of emotions. A kind of spider web.
Masao Yamamoto（Japanese, b.1957）
gelatin silver print
gelatin silver process is always so good.
more on Yamamoto’s website.
Mariko Mori (1967- ). Tom Na H’iu II, 2006.
Though Mori was renowned for her pop art in the 90’s, she has more recently begun delving into Jōmon and Celtic traditions- with their reverence for nature- for inspiration. This sculpture of stainless steel, glass, and LED lights is permanently installed on Teshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea.
Masashi Asada (1979-). Asada Family, 2008.
In this award-winning series, Asada plays with the idea of the traditional family photo by dressing up with his family members and posing in various and often bizarre situations. The results are, frankly, adorable. Be sure to check out more of this series and others on Asada’s website.
Yuken Teruya (1973-). Minding My Own Business, 2011.
Born in Okinawa and currently residing in New York, Teruya was in a residency program in Japan on March 11th, the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake and its accompanying disasters. In response, he used newspaper articles covering the tragedy to create a field of flowers, symbolizing hope for new beginnings in the Tōhoku region.
Yuken Teruya (1973- ). Heroes series/ Geronimo, 2011.
In his Heroes series, Yuken Teruya uses bingata, the traditional Okinawan method of fabric dyeing, to create colorful portraits of (sometimes controversial) famous figures, including Ultraman, Emperor Hirohito, and President Barack Obama. Here he depicts Geronimo, warrior and leader of the Bedonkohe Apache.
Happy Indigenous People’s Day!