“17th Domani: The Art of Tomorrow”, exhibits a diverse range of 12 emerging Japanese artists. From this engaging exhibition we get a taste of what work is current amongst Japanese contemporary art scene. This is the 17th exhibition held by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Overseas Study Program for Artists. The program sends young artist abroad in which training course of each discipline is provided for, in order to stimulate exciting work in the Japanese art world. This year’s exhibition is under the theme of “Density and purity of Japan Contemporary Art”, which,” focuses on artists who create highly delicate and dense works modeling and increase the purity of expression by such works.”
A life-size flat human figure creates a new language
Throughout all the different art pieces in the show amongst all of them there was a great “attention to detail”. Many of the drawings and painting are immaculately made giving them a real completeness. One room had striking drawing installation was made by the artist Chiaki Kamikawa, titled “Gathering for the admired twin-guru”.
The work consisted of various 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional drawings of different sized drawings of people arranged in the space. As all the objects were drawn onto white paper with pencil, when viewing the installation from a distance the white walls of the gallery space merged with the drawings created a 2-dimensional view. However as the viewer moves around the space the images continually change and we experience the 3-dimensionality of the drawings. Kamikawa’s work often uses symbols of religious belief, in particular stories of Western religious art. She works in a playful humorous manner and moves between the line of reality and unreality. Kamikawa’s installation makes us view drawing in a refreshing way for example the way a life-size human figure is flopped over a box, creates a new language.
Layers of coloured and grey pencils with bold effect
In contrast to Kamikawa’s bold drawing installations Naoko Sekine’s drawings consists of hundreds of different weighted, layered and textured lines to create beautiful art pieces. The method in which she draws with the pencil has an organic feel as, “the lines composing the piece are made not by a collection o f units but due to the changes of the lines themselves.” While many of her drawings are quite light shades, in her last work made in Paris during the programme she made a drawing composed of three layers of coloured pencil and lines and grey pencil lines which creates very deep and bold effect.
Fascinated by the complexity and depth of the city
While the majority of the exhibition featured drawings and paintings a Takahiro Iwasaki’s intricate sculptures holds a strong presence in the exhibition. He displays two sets of sculptures. One series of sculpture titled, “Out of Disorder” consists ambiguous scenes of steel towers and factories made from used clothing and everyday items.
While the other set of sculptures is titled “Reflection model”, which are impressive hand-made cypress wood models of famous traditional buildings that represent Japan. Both of these sculptures are intentionally displayed in the same room as they are meant to complement each other. Iwasaki explains how, ” I think I place pieces with different qualities in the same space because I am fascinated by what those things bring to the complexity and depth of the city.”
This exhibition provides an exciting insight into today’s Japanese emerging artist. Each artist work is enriched by the opportunity of develop their practise abroad and it gives excitement to see how their work continues to develop in the Japanese art world.
text by Anna Gonzalez Noguchi
Title: 17th DOMANI : The Art of Tomorrow
Date: 13 Dec. 2014- 21 Jan. 2015
Place: National Art Centre Tokyo.