S.O.C

Naoya HIRATA “Moonlit night horn”


2024.01.27 – 02.24
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday

 

winter show – Naoya HIRATA, Kesang LAMDARK


2023.11.21 – 12.16
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday

 

Shigeru HASEGAWA “SCARECROW”


2023.07.22 – 09.02
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday, between 08.12 – 21

Scarecrow

Almost half a century ago, maybe when I was in junior high school (my memory is hazy), I watched a movie starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. It was a dismal tale of a couple of scruffy vagabonds drifting around rural America, and the title, Scarecrow, somehow stuck in my mind. The English word meant nothing to me at the time, and perhaps I was simply drawn to the sound. The film portrayed the misery and rage of outcasts, men who society scorned as hoodlums or drunken bums, and it conveyed the atmosphere of present-day America, which seemed extremely remote and exciting to a Japanese kid from the sticks. At that time many movies coming out of the West revolved around outlaw stories like this, and I think they may have had a profound impact on my adolescent mentality.

It was not until much later that I learned the meaning of “scarecrow,” which is kakashi in Japanese. After that, when I was in art school, I saw The Wizard of Oz, and the brainless scarecrow character made a lasting impression on me. I’m not sure why this was, but it may have resonated with some void or absence I perceived within myself. I may have unconsciously projected myself onto that straw man. I think it was around that time that I finally made the connection between kakashi and “scarecrow.”

Be that as it may, when used in a metaphorical sense the implications of the word are rarely positive. We picture a lonely outcast standing around idly, someone useless and incompetent despite having a designated duty to fulfill.

In Japan at least, actual scarecrows in fields are often mishmashes of junk and old worn-out clothing, made without craft or attention to detail and barely registering as humanoid figures. At the same time, a vaguely humanoid form is really their only defining feature. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been strangely fascinated by these hollow and senseless entities.

Two years ago, I had a solo show and took the title of one of the works from Millet’s painting The Sower. It was just a title without any deep meaning, and it didn’t signify the things that motivated Millet, like devout faith or empathy with farmers. I depicted a purposeless humanoid figure made by piling up or binding together vegetables, fish, sticks and stones. A being without a brain, a heart, or a narrative. In a way it was like a scarecrow. The cobbled-together figure in the painting had outstretched hands, in a pose reminiscent of a sower.

The sower and the scarecrow… it fit together nicely.

What we in Japan describe as art or painting, including the modern and contemporary variety, to this day is mostly nothing more than a patchwork of imitations of the West, a hollow and superficial sham. It’s a constant effort to conform to overseas values, to create works that feel safe and familiar to both the artist and the viewer, who are in a relationship of cozy complicity.

These things look the part, but they lack substance. For as long as anyone can remember, they’ve been like stuffed scarecrows with no real substance. Maybe this is why I feel drawn to scarecrows.

At the edge of the field where the seeds of Western art were sown, there stands an empty and worthless scarecrow, patched together from cast-off scraps… this is the scene I picture in my mind’s eye.

Shigeru HASEGAWA

 

Yoshinori NIWA “Why does humankind engage in economic activity?”


2023.04.15 – 05.20
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday
*We will be closed between 04.29 – 05.08.
In this exhibition, Why does humankind engage in economic activity?, the artist Yoshinori Niwa presents videos, drawings, and neon works. These works shed light on how the human identity is shaped by capitalist society, which is premised on mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal, and its products.

As Niwa was active in performance art for many years, the titles of his works hold special significance for him. In the past, nearly all of the titles ended in “-ing.” Niwa’s videos, which document his performances, are just one more example. In essence, they are presented as a public protocol that can be used by anyone.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Niwa expanded his performance works by embarking on a new series of collages in which he combined supermarket fliers that were deposited in his mailbox everyday with pictures from newspapers and masking tape. Alongside images of meat, sausages, clothing, and mass-produced industrial goods, a variety of actions (i.e., titles) are specified in large Japanese and German writing, as a critique of capitalist society, against a backdrop of innocently smiling models. Niwa made the majority of these works at his studio in Vienna.

In recent years, Niwa staged the Narrating our possessions, 2022 performance, in which he randomly read legible words over the telephone in a public space in London as he crawled through the street toward the gallery. He was also invited by the Prameya Art Foundation to place an ad in a Dehli newspaper, and in a citizen-participation project called Living in someone’s possessions, 2023, he temporarily borrowed various things from ordinary people and attempted to imitate their daily lives. All of these works raise questions about the human race, which finds itself at the mercy of capitalist society with its concomitant mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal. Although we all share a hatred for capitalism, it is impossible to refrain from taking part in economic activities. It is within this sad state of affairs that our identities seep out.

Supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo

 

winter show – IKEZAKI Takuya, Shinichiro KANO


2023.02.14 – 03.11
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday




 

IKEZAKI Takuya “Recent Work (Body&Soul)”

2022.11.26 – 12.24
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday



 

Two painters: Yuka SHIOBARA, Yuuka ISHII

2022.10.15 – 11.06
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday

We are pleased to announce an exhibition by two painters, Yuka Shiobara (b.1985) and Yuuka Ishii (b.1995) at our gallery.

At first glance, there are motifs and painting styles that seem to have been drawn in past masterpieces and hobby paintings, but the method of selection and judgment, and the way they are drawn are greatly different, and the individuality stands out. In the information society, those masterpieces are actually seen by them, and also they have only seen them in the image. In particular, each artist is careful when extracting decorative elements that are repeatedly used in paintings and restructuring them into their own works. Please take this opportunity to see the two-person exhibition, Shiobara who makes her individuality invisible by repeatedly using the characteristics of a masterpiece in her own work, and Ishii, who makes her individuality visible by working against it.
We look forward to seeing you.

 

Onsen confidential 2022

2022.9.10 – 9.24
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday Sponsored by Ken Kagami, Cafe Sunday, uruotte, Utrecht
Special thanks : Hikotaro Kanehira
Travel agent : JTB
Media sponsor: Contemporary Art Library
Initiated by Jeffrey and Misako Rosen, COBRA

We are participating “Onsen confidential 2022”

What is Onsen Confidential?
Onsen Confidential is a hybrid city-wide gallery share and natural hot spring retreat/conference. The project is meant to bring together like-minded gallerists in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation and to provide a friendly introduction to the unique context of the contemporary art world of Tokyo.

Initiated by Misako & Jeffrey Rosen of Misako & Rosen, Tokyo and COBRA of XYZ Collective, Tokyo

We are pleased to host Good Weather from Chicago, USA, and A THOUSAND PLATEAUS ART SPACE from Chengdu, China. The participating artists of our show are Dylan Spaysky, Inga Danysz, Chen Qiulin, and Tadasuke Iwanaga.

We look forward to seeing you.

 

group show: Kesang LAMDARK, Tsherin SHERPA, Tenzing RIGDOL, Nortse

2022.07.30 – 09.03
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday
Also closed between 16th – 20th Aug. for summer holiday
Cooperation: Rossi & Rossi

We are pleased to announce the group show of the four artists: Kesang LAMDARK, Tsherin SHERPA, Tenzing RIGDOL, Nortse.

Kesang LAMDARK was born in 1963 in Dharamsala, India, Lamdark grew up in Switzerland where he later apprenticed and worked as an interior architect. He went on to study at Parsons New School for Design in New York, and he achieved an MA in Visual Art at Columbia University. The artist lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland.
Lamdark’s plastic sculptures and mirrored light boxes are evidence of his displaced and multicultural upbringing. His search for an appropriate cultural space ultimately turned inwards and he came to understand and reconnect with his Tibetan heritage while living in the West. Lamdark’s Tibetan-Western identity lies in his ability to understand and find a balance between both cultures. Combining unusual materials, from hair to plastic, beer cans to nail polish, Lamdark’s life and works bring together the unfamiliar and revel in recycling everyday objects into works of art.

Tsherin SHERPA was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1968, Sherpa currently works between California and Kathmandu. When he was twelve years old, he began studying traditional Tibetan thangka painting with his father, Master Urgen Dorje Sherpa, a renowned thangka artist from Ngyalam, Tibet. After studying computer science and Mandarin in Taiwan, he returned to Nepal, where he collaborated with his father on several important projects, including thangka and monastery mural paintings. In 1998, Sherpa immigrated to California; there, he began to explore his own style – reimagining traditional tantric motifs, symbols, colours and gestures, which he resolutely placed in contemporary compositions.
The artist represented Nepal at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 with his solo exhibition Tales of Muted Spirits – Dispersed Threads – Twisted Shangri-La.

Tenzing RIGDOL was born in 1982 in Kathmandu, Nepal, Rigdol and his family were granted political asylum in the USA in 2002. Rigdol is a contemporary Tibetan artist whose work ranges from painting, sculpture, drawing and collage, to digital, video-installation, performance art and site specific pieces. His paintings are the products of collective influences and interpretations of age-old traditions; they are influenced by philosophy; often capture the ongoing issues of human conflicts; and have strong political undertones – for him, politics is an unavoidable element in his art. Indeed, in recent years Rigdol has become a focus for young Tibetan diaspora precisely because of the political nature of his art. He has been widely exhibited internationally and his artworks are included in public and private collections around the world. In 2011 his widely reported Our Land, Our People involved the covert transportation of 20 tonnes of soil out of Tibet, through Nepal, to Dharamsala. There, displaced Tibetans were given the opportunity to walk on their home soil once again. The journey to smuggle soil across three borders is documented in Bringing Tibet Home, a documentary directed by Tenzin Tsetan Choklay, which was awarded the Young European Jury Award (Prix du Jury de Junes Européens) at the 27th edition of FIPA (Interna tional Festival of Audiovisual Programmes. In 2014, Rigdol became one of the only two contemporary Tibetan artists to be included in the exhibition Tibet and India: New Beginnings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His work Pin Drop Silence: Eleven-Headed Avalokitesvara was also the first work by a contemporary Tibetan artist to be acquired by the Met.

Nortse was born Norbu Tsering in 1963 in Lhasa, and has studied at various schools, including Tibet University in Lhasa, the Central Arts Academy in Beijing and art academies in Guangzhou and Tianjing. Since the mid-1980s, Nortse has been moving between a diversity of mediums – photography, performance, painting, installation and ready-made multimedia compositions and sculpture. The experience the artist amassed resulted in his creation of striking mixed-media works that experiment with forms and imagery from traditional art and culture. His subjects range from landscapes to (self) portraits, from claustrophobic interiors and expansive horizons, from the sacred to the profane. The works of Nortse address universal concerns through a tightly focused Lhasa (Nortse’s home) lens: global warming, environmental degradation, overpopulation, alcoholism among the youth, the erosion of culture and tradition, and the desire to establish one’s own identity in a world of mass media. Given the recent history of Tibet, the artist addresses these issues with an added urgency and poignancy.

Satoko Oe Contemporary

 

spring show: Yoshinori NIWA, Naoya HIRATA

2022.05.17 – 06.11
Opening hour: 12.00-18.00
Closed on Sun, Mon, National holiday

We are pleased to announce the 2 artists show of Yoshinori NIWA (b.1982) based in Vienna, and Naoya HIRATA (b.1991).

Many of Niwa Yoshinori’s works take the form of social interventions spanning diverse media, including performance, film, installations, and projects that progress during the exhibition. The clearly stated titles of works are slogan-like and self-explanatory, and in most cases, the entire process of carrying out unproductive and meaningless actions in public spaces is documented on film. By exposing various disturbances generated in the course of putting the work’s title into practice, the artist has revealed the boundaries and limitations of the “public” concept in numerous projects in Japan and abroad. In 2016 Niwa moved his base of operations to the Austrian capital of Vienna, and has been focusing on the social functions of visual media.

Dealing with the themes of space, time, and physicality, Naoya Hirata employs preexisting 3D models and images, which he has collected from the Internet, and using an assemblage method, he presents actual projections of sculptural works that were constructed in virtual computer spaces. By manifesting other realities, which are part of a new order, through virtual images, Hirata examines the relationship between real things by creating different versions of a plausible world while at the time offering contemporary interpretations of sculpture history.

Hirata quickly moves back and forth between the real and the virtual, enabling us to enjoy the myriad qualities of each state. The projected works are marked by disparate features: some are photographs, others are three-dimensional sculptures made with a 3D printer, and still others are images. These sculptural works, which dwell in a virtual space, are projected in the real world.

Satoko Oe Contemporary

 

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