Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...
In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...
Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
In the year 2014, Japan and Switzerland celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations between them. To mark this occasion, Museum Haus Konstruktiv is collaborating with the Japan Foundation to realize the exhibition project "Logical Emotion – Contemporary Art from Japan". On the basis of the constructivist-concrete and conceptual art that constitutes the focus of Museum Haus Konstruktiv's content, director Sabine Schaschl and Kenjiro Hosaka from the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, are curating a comprehensive group exhibition of Japanese contemporary art. The presentation revolves around logic and its supposed counterpart: emotion. "Logical Emotion" shows a broad spectrum of artistic media: from painting to sculptural installation, video, photography and architecture, through to applied art and manga drawings; the exhibition integrates the most recent history of Japanese art and combines internationally renowned artists with emerging young artists.
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.
Sometimes referred to as the 'princess of polka dots', Yayoi Kusama is widely recognised as one of the best-selling female artists of the 21st century. Her hypnotic, dotty dreamworlds have led to a worldwide museum craze—between 2014 and 2019, more than five million people queued for the artist's exhibitions around the world.
Born into a wealthy but allegedly unhappy family in Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929, Kusama felt discouraged from creating art by her mother and father. As a child, art-making became an act of rebellion for her. Her training as an artist began at Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, where she studied nihonga—a form of traditional Japanese painting. However, the artist disagreed with the rigid hierarchy of the genre. In hopes of finding success in the United States, she wrote to painter Georgia O'Keeffe (whose address she had found at the American Embassy in Tokyo) for advice on entering the New York art world. To her surprise, O'Keeffe replied, warning her of the difficulties of working in the city.
In 1958, Yayoi Kusama found the courage to relocate to New York, where she found herself in the thick of the avant-garde movements of the time. Surrounded by Minimalism and Pop art and incorporating elements of both into her work, the artist's critical acclaim is pinned to the 'Infinity Net' series (1958–ongoing) that she began at this time: canvases engulfed by hundreds or thousands of small, colourful loops of paint. In 2014, White No. 28, which belongs to the series, reached USD7.1 million at Christie's.
Yayoi Kusama's artwork has often referred to repetition of form as offering her solace from the traumas she has battled with since her youth. As a young girl, the artist recalls that her mother would ask her to spy on her father and she has referred to the frequently incorporated phallic forms in her work, as seen in her 'Accumulation' series, begun in 1962, as an act of reconciliation with her childhood fears regarding what she might see. 'Accumulation' comprises soft sculptures made of found furniture covered in sewn, white penis forms. Later, the artist would fill entire rooms with these soft forms—such as Compulsion Furniture (Accumulation) (c 1964): a room filled with phallus-covered furniture. The installations that she created in the 1960s were precursors to her best-known infinity rooms of today.
In 1965, mirrors first appeared in Yayoi Kusama's work Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli's Field (1965), in which the floor of a square, mirrored room was covered in a layer of white, stuffed phalluses dotted in red. In recent years, the artist's repetitive dot motifs have spawned a set of infinity mirror-room exhibitions internationally, including Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Obsession, whose worldwide tour reached the biggest global audience for an art exhibition in 2015. In 2017, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC debuted another touring exhibition titled Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror. Two-hour queueing times did not dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of visitors, who were granted a brief half-minute slot of solitude within the infinity mirror rooms.
A decline in the artist's mental health in the early 1970s saw her return to Japan. In 1977, she checked herself into a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo where she has lived ever since—her studio is located across the road. In 2017, the Yayoi Kusama Museum was founded in Shinjuku Ward and dedicated to her life-long practice, while 2018 marked the release of a Yayoi Kusama documentary, entitled Yayoi Kusama: Infinity. Directed by Heather Lenz, the Yayoi Kusama documentary traces the artist's career, showing her not solely as a product of social media and market success, but an example of perseverance against the odds.
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.