_If you are coming to NYC or living in the city and looking for something different to do I always recommend visiting some of the smaller museums and galleries. Last night I attended the opening of BYE BYE KITTY!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art at the Japan Society. The exhibit runs from March 18th to June 12th, 2011 and features sixteen emerging and mid-career artist whose work is grouped into three sections, “Critical Memory,” “Threatened Nature,” and “Unquiet Dream.” All of the works are incredibly special and float between the mind-blowingly detailed and the "simply complicated." This exhibit is NOT to be missed.
From the moment I entered the gallery I was transported back to my first experience with Japanese Contemporary Art. I was living in Tokyo and had the pleasure of being introduced to Julia Barnes, the main woman to know for all things current in the Japanese Contemporary Art market. At the time she was launching 101Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair. She had galleries from all over Japan and the rest of the world showcasing their work in a Japanese school. It was here that I first had the opportunity to fall in love with the works of Kazuharu Ishikawa and Rinko Kawauchi. I am now thrilled to find Rinko Kawauchi’s work being shown in New York and to once again have the opportunity to see so much amazing Contemporary Japanese Art.
It is impossible to have a favorite piece but when you go to the exhibit make sure to take time to look closely at Makoto Aida’s Ash Color Mountains. I know it will be disturbing for some given the current disaster in Japan but it is worth looking at on a deeper level. Plus if you look closely you’ll find both Waldo and WALL-E hidden in the mountain. And after having thought about Miwa Yanagi’s work that focuses on the fantasies and fears of what women will be doing 50yrs from now you will want to take time and look at the amazing details in the work of Manabu Ikeda and Yamaguchi Akira. But if your mind starts to melt from all this detail all you will need to do is head over to see the work of Kumi Machida and Kohei Nawa and you will once again peace mixed with curiosity.
I’ve mentioned this before but I have a major weakness for beautiful exhibit books that will transport me and the book for this exhibit is no exception. In classic Japanese style it is a soft cover book and full of amazing photos and information that I hope you will consider purchasing. The book is available at the Japan Society for $35 or on Amazon for $23.10. The trend of ipad exhibit Apps is continuing and this exhibit will have one too starting on March 18th. To learn more about the exhibit please click here. To learn more about the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund click here.
This is a link to NBC’s Interview with Joe Earle VP and Gallery Director of Japan Society.
This video shows you some of the exhibit:
_And here is the detailed interview (with subtitles) of the interview with Makoto Aida: