Friday, May 14, 2010

A Visual Feast of Japanese Art

There were a few exhibitions happening at the National Art Gallery in conjunction with KLDW2010, and we are pleased to show some snippets from the Japan Young Illustrators Exhibition and Tokyo Visualist, curated by Satoru Yamashita of +81.

Aiyoh! Sashimi!

There were plenty of illustrations up at the exhibition, but of varying degrees of skill and styles. From a once-over, it seems fashion and children illustration are the most prevalent, with plenty of styles reminiscent of such greats as Tadahiro Uesugi and Stina Persson. The influence of manga was also strong.

Exhibition View

As for Tokyo Visualist, it was a serving of more mature and established art from the like of Graphic Design star Hideki Inaba and award-winning Hideki Nakajima. I was deeply dissapointed there turned out to be none of Kohei Nawa's amazing glass sculptures. Unless they put it in some corner, which is unlikely because, come on its KOHEI NAWA!

The attention-grabbing photography of Mika Ninagawa.

It isn't too weird when you consider its by a Japanese.

In the same hall were selections from winning works of the Japan Media Arts Festival. Of note is the fascinating Urban font that was created from tracking the artist as he cycles purposely around the streets of Japan in the shape of respective alphabets. Sound and image recordings of his journey can be seen as you trace the countours of the alphabet, allowing a glimpse into Japanese everyday urban life.

In retrospect, this is probably the only time the National Art Gallery will ever have Japanese comics in its hallowed halls.

The exhibitions are on until 16 May. Hope you guys are lucky enough to catch it.