'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...
The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...
On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...
Still from ASIA NOW 2018 || Teppei Kaneuji (artist) & Reiko Tsubaki (Curator at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo) via YouTube.
The artist Teppei Kaneuji and Reiko Tsubaki, Curator at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, discuss the artist's recent sculptures and performances. Kaneuji investigates the mass consumption of contemporary Japanese culture, sourcing materials from everyday life, found objects and manga characters to create sculptures that are at once playful and menacing.
Contemporary artist Teppei Kaneuji's playful yet ominous sculptures consist of found objects and images that negotiate the complexities of everyday life. Through these assemblages of commonplace items, overlooked and mundane objects are transformed into artworks that transcend their associated contexts and associations.
Born in Kyoto where he is now based, Kaneuji grew up with an interest in collecting objects such as toys and stickers. He studied sculpture at Kyoto City University of Arts where he received his BFA and MFA in 2001 and 2003 respectively. There, he learned traditional techniques such as modelling, stone and wood carving, and how to use resin. During the final year of his BFA, Kaneuji took part in an exchange programme, studying abroad at the Royal College of Art in London.
Throughout his career, Kaneuji's practice has consistently made use of contrasting found materials, often to comment on mass consumption in Japan. In his series 'White Discharge' (2002–ongoing), Kaneuji meshes together mismatched objects such as plastic buckets, rolls of tape, toy figurines and traffic cones, and covers them with dripping white resin to create fantastical landscapes. The colour of the resin is no accident; in the context of Japanese culture, the word 'white' suggests both existence and non-existence.
By contrast, the sculptural series 'Teenage Fan Club' (2007–ongoing) sees the artist creating a singular rule for himself: to use only hair pieces from action figures, superheroes, plastic anime dolls and other toy figurines. Inspired by watching people's heads sway together in the crowd at a concert, for this series Kaneuji removes the hair from the original body of the figurine to create new bipedal monsters.
Alongside his sculptural artworks, Kaneuji also experiments with two-dimensional images and printmaking. Much like the rest of his layered practice, his collages combine various textures, bringing together photos, magazine clippings, drawings and printed material. In his series 'Games, Dance and the Constructions' (2011–ongoing), Kaneuji assembles cut-outs from Japanese manga books and prints the illustrations onto plastic, mirror, plywood panels or soft plush sculptures, or merges them with photographs of real-life situations and locations, sometimes packing the contents into transparent frames. The series comments on the nature of two-dimensional objects and the relationship between image and object; as he explores different dimensions and contexts with ready-made materials, he changes how mundane objects are seen and interacted with.
Kaneuji had his first solo show at Kodama Gallery, Osaka, in 2002, and since then has exhibited extensively across Japan and internationally, including Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (2006); Long March Space in Beijing (2007); Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2009) and Gwangju Museum of Art (2010). Kaneuji's work has been collected by several public institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Yokohama Museum of Art and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.
Located next to the Japanese embassy, it was only a matter of time before Japan would become the focus of Asia Now's annual Platform, with the nation-wide Japonismes 2018 offering a catalyst to do so. The Japanese Platform for the 4th Asia Now (17–21 October 2018) was organised by Emmanuelle de Montgazon, associate curator of the Japanese Season at...
'Founded by Claude Fain and Alexandra Fain, ASIA NOW aims to present the new perspectives and issues for contemporary Asian art and its market: the value of its artists, its potential for development and its rising stars.'–Asia Now Paris (17–21 October 2018).
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