Teppei Ikehira in Art Expo Malaysia

Teppei Ikehira who I introduced in takumist on Sep 9 participates in Art Expo MALAYSIA from Galerie Bruno Massa.

The expo will be held from Oct 12 to 14. If you happens to be in Kuala Lumpur, it is worth visiting to see his art pieces.

Art Expo Malaysia

Art Expo Malaysia

MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC)

Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah,

50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Teppei Ikehira 池平撤兵

Teppei Ikehira, artist’s official site

Alessandro Bioletti (アレッサンドロ・ビオレッティ)’s Exhibition “Sentō”

entrance

Entrance2

“Sentō” means public baths in Japanese. Alessandro Bioletti, Italian Illustrator who has been living in Tokyo since 2015, chose  this typique Japanese theme for his exhibition, currently being held at Makii Masaru Fine Arts until Oct 21st. The gallery is in the district where many public bathes are located. Though it is not primarily a reason of choosing this gallery, he sees the linkage between the theme and right location to be exhibited.

When I heard of the title of his exhibition, I immediately thought of “Thermae romae”, a Japanese manga series by Mari Yamasaki,  in which the bathhouses culture in Roman era appeared in comparison with Japanese Sentō in modern day, but it was too brash to connect his Italian origin and the theme. Alessandro said there are several reasons that he came to be interested in “Sentō” and choose as the theme of his exhibition. “Sentō” was his first encounter about Japanese culture – getting into such a hot water and be in the same bath with many other naked men!!  Before settled in Tokyo, he started visiting Japan 13 years ago. Being fascinated by public baths, he started exploring public baths in a different town every time he visited Japan.

chimnee

Alessandro also pointed out the difference in the way having human relations and interactions between Italy and Japan. In Italy, people are more expressive, while Japanese is in general shyer, not easy to express oneself, therefore, getting know each other needs a bit of patience. With such a contrast, he has got more conscious in the aspect of people’s connections and it is reflected in his work in “Sentō” exhibition.

What amazing is his vivid and concise portray of people in bath room and dressing room. I can picture it clearly and feel like I am in the scene. Alessandro‘s sharp, observant eye is used for the chose of colors used in the work. He said that it is fully influenced by the old color faded signboards from 70s and 80s that he discovers in the daily life.

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hadakurabe_hananoshobuyu

『肌競花の勝婦湯』豊原国周

His work reminds me Ukiyoe. In Edo era, the scene in public baths is a popular theme. Alessandro said that the composition and the way to describe the detail in Ukiyoe has fixed in his mind.

Ladies on tiles

Delivering

Alessandro is preparing for the next exhibition in June 2019 with a theme of “City boy”.  He said that it will be held in a gallery in Harajuku by reflecting the theme.

His source of inspiration is a daily life. Once his appetite is caught, he search for it as he wants to know more. He sometime wonders what if he lived in Africa how his work would be differed. He is certainly not only one who wants to see how his work could be in Africa.

Ale-kun

Alessandro Bioletti

Alessandro Bioletti

Born in Turin on 21st August 1986, Alessandro is a professional freelance Illustrator.
As a child, Alessandro loved to look through his grandfathers photo books of Japan and started taking a strong interest in the country and it’s culture. At 16 Alessandro began taking lessons in the Japanese language, and at 18 made his first voyage to the country. Alesandro has continued to travel and document his adventures through his drawings. Over the years these two passions have become intertwined and in December 2014 published his first children’s book “Mitsukete Alekun! Sekai No Tabi” (Find Mr.Ale Around The World) with the highly reputable Japanese publisher, Shogakukan.
In 2015 Alessandro left Italy and migrated to Tokyo, Japan where he now works as an illustrator for various advertising campaigns, editorials, picture books and a multitude of interesting projects for businesses worldwide.

For more info, please go to his own site and canvas Tokyo

Bioletti

Ayumi Suzuki (鈴木愛弓): her solo exhibition entitled “the land”

There are some artists that I occur to my mind and wonder how they are doing. Teppei Ikehira who I wrote about in the previous post is one of those. Ayumi Suzuki (Ayumi), who I am going to write about this time is another one of those artists. Interestingly, I wrote about both artists in my post on March 23, 2015, in which I wrote about Art Fair Tokyo.

Mayumi Suzuki Dreaming

“Dreaming”, Oil painting by Ayumi Suzuki

I happen to know that Ayumi has a solo exhibition entitled “the land” at Fei Art Museum Yokohama (Sept 19-29), so I went to see it and had an opportunity to speak with Ayumi over her exhibition and creation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The style of work exhibited in “the land” is quite different from her work in my memory, which was an oil painting featuring a woman with girlish innocence and the background surrounding the woman was drawn to the detail. In contrast to the oil painting, her work in “the land” exhibition is mostly black and white and the motif is blurry.

Ayumi attempted using a water and acrylic paint about 5,6 years ago for the sake of searching for a different mode of expression. Initially it didn’t go so smoothly and she couldn’t find her style until about 3 years ago, when her parents asked her to draw papered sliding doors for a guest room in her parents’ house, she draw it with liquid sumi ink and the experience was in a sense liberating her and triggered her to start drawing a paper with liquid sumi ink.

“With different tool and method to deliver an output, a style of expression is different even if it comes from the same inspiration. “

In her oil painting, she tends to use a clear line, but with sumi ink, line is blurred and rough. She has a much better control with oil paint by adding paint and reconstructing it to be close to what she envisaged painting.  Liquid sumi ink is, on the contrary, somewhat uncontrollable. It has unintended force. She needs to go with how the ink spreads and accept however the ink stained. She feels such output expresses her genuinenss.

A border between the usual and unusual or something like daydream is her favourite theme.  She said that the use of liquid sumi ink changed the way she capture the theme. It gets more inward. The scenery and a person described get more blur and ambiguous. The land is described in her words as below and it becomes the tile of her work and exhibition.

“the land” is like a place of daydreaming, a mirror reflecting one’s emotion and thoughts , and a dream relaying to one’s unconsciousness.”

“そこは空想の土地であり、感情や思考を映す鏡のような場所でもあり、無意識と繋がった夢のようでもあります。”

Her solo exhibition, “the land” is being held in Fei Art Museum Yokohama until Sept 29, which is 5 min walk from Yokohama station.

Ayumi Suzuki solo exhibition "the land" Sept 19 (Wed)-29 (Sat)
Fei Art Museum Yokohama 
Yokohama Tsuruyacho Bldg. 1F, Tsuruyacho 3-33-2, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama city, Kanazawa prefecture 〒221-0835
tel. 045-411-5031   fax. 045-411-5032
e-mail:artmuseum@fukasaku.jp
Opening hours:10:00 - 19:00 (~17:00 for 29th)
Holiday: Monday

Mountain climbing is one of her hobbies.  She brings back small things from mountain such as moss, a branches and stones and those become her source of inspirations.  Ayumi has a plenty of ideas for future direction, could be oil painting on paper or animation capturing a longer time span and share it with viewers. I am looking forward to her evolution.

Ayumi Suzuki

Ayumi Suzuki photographed with her work from “the land” exhibition

If you are interested in her other work, please go to her own site from here.

 

Meeting with Teppei Ikehira from his private exhibition ”今を灯して(Lighting up the present)” – Part III

“I select what I purely want to paint. If I force myself to draw something I am unwilling, I would likely get bored. Forcing me is sometime not endurable.”

As Ikehira mentioned, his style is elastic.  It flows to diversified directions with a various choice of motives, compositions and colours. It reflects his encounters in his life. Painting may be like his life itself.

Ikehira says that purchasing and hanging a piece of art is not the end of a journey for an appreciator, but is just a beginning.

Indeed, with versatile motives in his paintings,  I have a new discovery, a new encounter and a new experience.  It unnoticeably becomes a part of my memory and comes back with nostalgia.  It is as if I am on a trip with a ticket handed by Ikehira in my hand and wondering where I am taken to. I certainly can’t wait to see it.

Meeting with Teppei Ikehira from his private exhibition ”今を灯して(Lighting up the present)” – Part II

At Part I, I introduced Teppei Ikehara‘s art piece, titled ’They know their place’.

Ikehira told me that he started painting it with ‘a boy cuddling a tiger’. Can you locate the little boy?  It is drawn at the lower part of left corner.

Teppei Ikehira 1

a boy with a tiger

One day Ikehira brought back a stuffed tiger from neighbor restaurant to surprise his son expected to be home from school.  Against the odds, the son started cuddling the tiger and that became an inspiration for Ikehira to start out the work.

Ikehira said that he normally doesn’t have full picture how he wants to finish a work when he started.  The finished work is so to say a consequence of accumulated daily inspiration.

“I intuitively find a motif that interests me and carefully draw it with high concentration and in detail.  I continuously find such  interesting motifs from daily life, so I have a plenty of sources.”

Ikehira‘s inspiration comes from a slice of daily life. Interaction with his children, orange tree in his back yard, insects, birds coming to his house, a picture in a magazine he happens to read, etc, etc. Anything could be sufficient to keep his fire going.

Looking at countless motifs scattered like stars on canvas, my mind traveled with memories, was stimulated with new encounters and felt like dreaming. I may have had a some kind of simulated experience through Ikehira’s artwork.

Ikehira‘s work is exhibited at Corridor Gallery 34, Park Hotel Tokyo this month. Don’t miss the chance!

Teppei Ikehila TOKYO MERMAID PRINCESS
Date: September 1, 2018 (Sat.) – September 30, 2018 (Sun.)
Time: 11:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.
Place: Corridor Gallery 34, Park Hotel Tokyo (34F)
Fare: Admission Free

At the next post, I will touch on some more Ikehira‘s creations.

Meeting with U-die part III

In part II, I  picked up Marilyn Monroe’s portrait from “Are ni tsuite no mudabanashi” series. This series has other portraits of Michael Jackson, Mother Teresa and Gandi. He envisions this series expandable to a movie.

Michael Jackson

Gandie, Teresa

Besides “Are nitrite no mudabanashi” series that I introduced in Part II, U-die has a alphabetical portrait series of well known people, starting from A:Albert Einstein, B:Bob Marley, D: Lady Diana. Lady Diana is his recent work that he presented at this year’s Art fair Tokyo.

Lady Diana.jpg

Photo from Onomichi Art Biotop

He created many portraits, but the style is versatile. For “Are ni tsuiteno mudabanashi” series, outline and letters are firstly output to either paper or canvas then he add colors on by using pencil, marker or acrylic paint. As for alphabetic series, he reflect the motif for the choice of tools. Blackboard and chalk for Einstein, canvas made of linen and rasta colour acrylic paint for Bob Marley, water colour painting paper of Royal warrant and water paint.

You see U-dai’s playfulness every bit of his creation and a choice of tools. U-die doesn’t want to limit himself in particular style of expression. Imagination is his driver and think about what is the most suitable way to deliver it.  Acrylic, pencil, water paint, 3D, movie…..if you are interested in other work of U-die. you can find some in Onomichi art biotop site.

His work is so refined. He could barely creates one piece a year or every two years. Building his portfolio and holding his personal exhibition soon may be his live concern. I am certainly one of those who are looking forward to it.

His work is managed and well taken care of by Yoshiaki Inoue Gallery in Osaka last 8 years since U-die graduated from university. If you have a chance to be in Osaka, why don’t you visit the gallery. It is located in a center of Shinsaibashi area in Osaka.

Yoshiaki Inoue Gallery: 

ADDRESS.

Shinsaibashi Inoue Bldg. 1-3-10
Shinsaibashi-Suji Chuo-ku.Osaka
542-0085.Japan

TEL +81 (0)6-6245-5347

Go to Meeting with U-die part I

Go to Meeting with U-die part II

 

Wonderland: teamLab Planets TOKYO

Infinite crystal rays, Koi on water surface, floating balls, falling flowers from the sky.  Stray in urban Wonderland. Lie down on floor and look up flowers falling from the sky. Don’t worry if you feel getting lost. There is a way out!

ray of light3ray of light2

The Infinite Crystal Universe – A movie is here

ball

flower1

Flower3

Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers – take a look at the dreamy flowers from here.

teamLab Planets TOKYO

Term:  July 7, 2018 – Fall 2020

Hours:  9:00 – 24:00 (Last admission 23:00)

Closing Day:  Thursday, September 6, 2018

Address:  teamLab Planets TOKYO, Toyosu 6-1-16, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Portrait of ‘Emptiness’

When I saw the painting  I felt like there is another world expanding behind the yellow light and  I could go deeper into it.

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It was at Jun Fukukawa‘s solo exhibition held at Void+ in Aoyama from Oct 7 to 21.  In the gallery, he exhibited only a few selected pieces that portrayed his inspiration from the poem of FUJIWARA no Teika.  The tile of the exhibition was named out of the poem.

“見渡せば花ももみぢもなかりけり浦の苫屋の秋のゆふぐれ”

“There are no flowers or autumn leaves around, but heart moves with sadness when viewing small cottage bathed in autumn sunset”

The poem connotes that even after the beauty falls, there still some kind of beauty exists within the empty loneliness.

Fukukawa interpreted that this poem depicted ‘Shikisokuzeku (色即是空)’, which is a concept of Buddhism meaning that very form in reality is empty. Any forms or visible things won’t stay as they are and changing the form in every second, therefore, the situation that looks empty at one time is not really so. On the contrary, what looks empty is energy that is continuously creating those forms.

Fukukawa was interested in  Teika’s approach in his poem to capture this ’emptiness=eternal truth’ existing in the dualism of two completely different sceneries aesthetic and loneliness. He purposed  to capture the essence and visualize it in his picture by using a composition of small panels.

panels

198cm x 198 cm sized picture is composed by multiple panels painted firstly with acrylic paint and then repainted with a pastel crayon. Although each panel has a different tone and nuance of yellow colour, after combined, it casted one integrated warm glow. Its calm appearance made me feel embraced and relieved.

If I am asked what wabi-sabi means to me,  I would answer it is like a shadow in mind that one cannot get rid of (This is only my personal interpretation so that please do not take as a general definition). If the shadow is something what Fukukawa portrayed in his picture, I think it would be a great consolation.

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About Jun Fukukawa:

Painter. After graduated from Seijo University, he moved to France in 1991. He made his debut at salon saga découverte 94 at Paris art fair fiac, represented by galarie Alain Veinstein. After 7 years stay in Paris, he returned to Japan. Since then, he has continued his distinguished expression as a painter. He is also active as a saxophone player, mainly collaborating with upcoming Norwegian musicians of improvised music.

If you want to know more about his work, please visit Jun Fukukawa

蓬莱山:Hōrai-san – A Vision of Utopia

蓬莱山文様小袖

Via 着物作家の笑える日々

For celebrating festivities or a moment of wishing good fortune and be superstitious, we have a tradition in Japan to use crafts and wear things like Kimono, which certain patterns so called Kisshō-Monyō (吉祥文様) – auspicious omens motives are applied. Beginning of new year is one of such moments.

There are several motives inspired by living creatures, such as fishes, animals, birds, plants, flowers and fruits, or tools used in a festivities. Living creatures such as dragon, phenix, crane or pine, bamboo, plum and more, often symbolize long lives, good harvest, blessing of rains, eternal love. These pattens are used as a motif of porcelains, lacquer wears or clothes (becomes kimono and obi).

Monyou coral

Monyou Dragon fly

It is unfortunate that the custom has been disappearing and it is not at least something we proactively enjoy in our lives.  We only see it in the formalized traditional events without paying too much attentions.

There are many kinds of particular patterns used for celebrating festivities but I would like to pick up a pattern called Hōrai-mon (蓬莱文) this time.

The concept of Hōraisan(蓬莱山) came from China. From 2500 years ago, people believed that there is a utopia island in the eastern see of China. Hōrai mountain is on the island where a legendary wizard lives who is no aging nor death. Hōrai mountain was also believed as high so to extend to the heaven. At the bottom of the mountain, there is a river where dragons live. On the top of the mountain, phenix that can climb to the heaven lives by eating peaches and peers.

houraisan Taikan Yokoyama

Hōraisan by Taikan Yokohama

Interestingly, at the era of the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty (秦始皇帝, BC259~), Hōraisan –  a utopia island was believed to be located where Japan is. The record said that the First Emperor of the Qin sent people to the island in far east to investigate the Utopia and there are more than 10 places that the Qin’s messengers visited in Japan from the north to the south.

Hōraisan that symbolize immortality evolved to be one of auspicious omens motives. Today we can find Hōraisan pattern in crafts, architectures, garden, paintings and fairly tales.

蓬莱図

Houraisan Kimono

Hōraisan-mon consists pine trees, cranes, turtles and plum blossoms – those are all considered as auspicious. Hōrai mountain is built on the carapace of a turtle. it is therefore, even if one tries to capture the Utopia, it runs away quickly so that one can never be able to acquire it.

Cai Guo-Qiang’s Penglai/Hōrai at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2015

In the centre pond of Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art / KINARE, a huge mountain was exhibited till September 27, 2015.

This mountain is the artwork, Penglai / Hōrai, by Cai Guo-Qiang (蔡國強),  an internationally acclaimed Chinese comtemporary artist. You may know him as a Creative director for the opening and closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The theme of this dynamic installation is, as you can guess from the title of the artwork – Penglai/Hōrai, the legendary utopia island.

It is only a month from now to unveil the impressive solo exhibition “Cai Guo-Qiang : Penglai/Horai”.

Horaisan by Cai Guo-Qiang

Cali expressed humour and ironies in this installation by responding the recent source of tension around ‘islands’ among countries in East Asia. From the front, the island is covered by rich greenery trees and thousands of straw-made birds and objects are laid around the island. But going around the back,  one realizes that the island is just like a standing signboard.

Behind the Utopia

People dream of a Utopia. It is the same now as of old.  But if we are tenacious in our pursuit of capturing it, we will only get lost. Remember! a Utopia is on the carapace of a turtle! It just agilely escape and you may lose even a illusion of Utopia completely from your mind.

 

 

北斎 : Hokusai exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Hokusai  

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized, and he continues to inspire artists around the world. 

The exhibition is running  during April 5, 2015 – August 9, 2015 at Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)

http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/hokusai  

Museum of Fine Arts Boston is the home of the largest and finest collection of Japanese art  outside Japan.