Contemporary Japanese Art from MOT Collection
Ministry of Culture in corperation with Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo proudly present Trans-Cool TOKYO the exhibition consists of over 30 works selected from the 4000 piece-collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. This exhibition is a part of the Ministry of Culture's creative economy projects demonstrating the potential of contemporary art as cultural assets to creative industry, and a program of the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture's Tokyo Culture Creation Project.
From Yayoi Kusama's pioneering works of Japanese Pop Art to Yasumasa Morimura's role-playing in multiple identity-expressing portraits from the 1980s, the exhibition provides an opportunity to review works by these groundbreaking artists yielding context for examining how Japanese artists since the second half of the 1990s have established their own creative identities within the context of pop culture. The main thrust of the exhibition focuses on the work of artists of Yoshitomo Nara's generation or younger, emerging in the 1990s. Using various styles, they are characterized by their attempts to express the instabilities evident in contemporary notions of identity and relationships, which have arisen from the onset of the information age and the greater freedoms and uncertainties that mature capitalism and its allowance of diverse value systems has occasioned.
The exhibition can be divided broadly into three sections. The first includes work based on comics, science fiction, robots and the like – Japan's newest narratives and pop icons. Among the artists represented are Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, and Mika Kato, who makes minutely detailed paintings of dolls she has constructed herself. The second section features artists who seek out new identities within the context of globalization. They make conceptual documentation, interventions, and proposals regarding existing social situations. Artists who fall into this category include: Kazuhiko Hachiya, who with a critical perspective proposes new devices for life in the not-to-distant future; and video artist Koki Tanaka. The third section includes artists who base their work on their own personal emotions and events in everyday life. For them the conceptual framework of Pop Art functions as a kind of survival tool – a means to maintain ones sensibility, identity and a degree of interaction with the surrounding world. For example, Zon Ito spins episodes from dreams in his embroidery work, Kyoko Murase who works in a genre of an introspective expressionism and Haruka Kojin makes fantastical scenes using petals from artificial flowers. This section also includes cross-disciplinary work from the likes of Kiichiro Adachi, who has turned a disused telephone box into a one-man disco, and Masakatsu Takagi, who started with video jockey work and now animates paintings in making works combining video and music.
Taken as a whole, this exhibition reveals a particular attitude palpable in these young creators – maintaining a degree of skepticism while interpreting and being receptive to the present age through the medium of its pop culture. It is the organizer's hope that through contemporary art this exhibition will reach beyond Tokyo to contribute to the process of forming identities and fostering communication throughout Asia.
“Trans-Cool TOKYO” exhibition will be on view from 25 February to 28 March 2010, at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Pathumwan Junction. The BACC is open daily ,10am – 9pm, Mondays closed. The entry is free. For more information, please contact Tel: 02-214 6630-8.