Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s, a major retrospective at Singapore's National Gallery (14 June–15 September 2019), opens emphatically in flames. At the exhibition's entrance, viewers encounter a wall-sized image from 1964 titled Burning Canvases Floating on the River. The photograph captures a performance by Lee Seung-taek, in which...
When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...
Without punctuation, She Said Why Me, the title of May Fung's 1989 video presents itself as a statement, rather than a question. It suggests a subject who expects no response, a person prepared to make what she can from being chosen though perplexed by the attention. The video follows a blindfolded woman, then unmasked, through late colonial-era...
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.
ASIA NOW is Europe's first boutique art fair devoted to contemporary Asian art
While the 2017 edition explored South Korea's creative territories, ASIA NOW will highlight the richness and dynamism of the young, emerging Japanese artistic scene this year. The fair will host the Japanese Platform curated by Emmanuelle de Montgazon, associate curator of "A Japanese Season" at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in 2017-2018. The Japanese program will be organized as part of "Japonismes 2018," a series of cultural events celebrating the 160th anniversary of Franco-Japanese relations.
This year, ASIA NOW will welcome over 10 Chinese galleries, representing the breadth of contemporary Chinese creation through a multitude of group shows and projects by leading artists. Among them, Beijing Commune (Beijing) will devote its collective space to an exhibition around the notions of identity featuring Ma Qiusha, Xie Molin, and Zhao Yao, MadeIn Gallery (Shanghai) returns with Xu Zhen, Tang Contemporary Art (Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing) presents Cai Lei, Xu Xiaoguo and Zhao Zhao, and Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai) shows Ye Linghan.
Meanwhile, the international galleries A2Z Art Gallery (Hong Kong, Paris), DANYSZ gallery (Paris, Shanghai, London), and New Galerie (Paris) will dedicate their spaces to Chinese artists Li Donglu, Li Hongbo, and Li Shurui, respectively. Other participating Chinese artists include Xiao Ge and Liu Yujie (Amy Li Gallery, Beijing), Nabuqi, He Wei, and Wu Di (C-Space+Local, Beijing), Du Jie, Pu Yingwei, and Zhang Fan (Ginkgo Space, Beijing), Hao Shiming, Lu Chao, and Qian Jiahua (HdM Gallery, Beijing, London), Tan Ping, Hu Renyi, and Chen Lizhu (Leo Gallery, Shanghai, Hong Kong), and Dexi Tian, Lan Zhaoxing, and Li Xia (Tong Gallery+Projects, Beijing).
The 2018 edition is also distinguished by a selection of renowned southeast Asian artists represented by Filipino galleries. The three participating galleries, from Makati City, will represent the contemporary local scene: The Drawing Room (Makati City) returns this year with the works of Vermont Coronel Jr., Alvin Gregorio, and Dominic Mangila, while newcomer Finale Art File (Makati City) will show works by Ayka Go. Another newcomer from the Philippines, Vinyl on Vinyl (Makati City), will show works by Reen Barrera, Akira Miyamoto, Tekla Tamorio, and Pinky Urmaza.
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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