Nobuo Sekine. 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!
Monday’s Curator 126
Chiharu Shiota 塩田千春 (b.1972, Japan)
Chiharu Shiota is a Japanese installation artist born in Osaka, living and working in Berlin since 1996. Shiota’s oeuvre contains various art performances and installations, in which she uses various everyday objects such as beds, windows, dresses, shoes and suitcases. She explores the relationships between past and present, living and dying, and memories of people implanted into objects. To these she adds intricate, web-like threads of black and red. Our sincere thanks to arpeggia for being Artchipel Monday’s Curator.
[more Chiharu Shiota 塩田千春 | with Monday’s Curator arpeggia]
Chiharu Shiota is one of my favorites! She just finished up an exhibiton in Kochi-shi, my home away from home.
Hiroshi Hamaya (1915-1999). Children Singing in a Snow Cave, Niigata Prefecture, 1956.
Hamaya reacted to the intense turmoil and rapid growth of 1940s and 1950s Japan by documenting various elements of quiet rural life. His work was recently compared with Kansuke Yamamoto’s surrealism at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Yasumasa Morimura (1951- ). A Requiem: Theater of Creativity/ Self Portrait as Yves Klein, 2010.
Morimura’s appropriation of iconic imagery into elaborate self-portraits often addresses Japan’s complicated relationship with Western culture. Here, he takes on Yves Klein’s Le Saut dans la vide.
Shozo Shimamoto (1928-2013). Holes, 1954. Oil paint on paper.
Shimamoto was a prominent member of the Gutai group, founded with Jiro Yoshihara in Osaka in 1954. He became known for the violent activity with which he worked; he often hurled himself at his paintings and even shot cannons to apply paint across canvases.