Ritsuwo Kanno, Artist and exhibition curator (centre).
Last day in Japan before we fly back to the UK. In Tokyo. Where to begin, what to do with our few remaining hours? Having Paris deja vous, several museums were closed on Monday so we wandered to Uemo, a lovely park with lake, pagoda, zoo and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Amidst galleries on calligraphy, design and annual amateur art exhibitions we found this gem of a show: Outotsu Hanten curated by an energetic 72 year old printmaker called Ritsuwo Kanno, whose atelier is based in Osaka. Meeting Ritsuwo and his wife Kaoro Higashi (also a printmaker in the show) was an absolute privilege.
Hiroko Matsutani (detail)
It was a huge exhibition with some of the largest prints I’ve seen (excluding those of Chris Nurse). The finesse of some of the work was exquisite, and the earthy connection to materials was palpable in others. There were all shades of exploration in between, a great show.
Whilst in Kyoto, I was asked to talk about my work within Arts and Health in the UK. I focussed on three projects where art in the environment and participation were key, also introducing some of the other artists who have worked with me. There was a lot of interest from the artists who attended the talk. Most notable for their current activity were artists Izuru Mizutani, the Director of the Art and Mind Center in Nagoya and Shigeru Nishikawa, who provides art workshops for adults with special needs at Atelier Ripehouse in Osaka. Conversations to follow.
Our show at Gallery g – 77 in Kyoto opened to the public on Tuesday, August 21st. The four exhibitors are myself, Paul Hazel, Matthew Fasone and Carl Boland. We came together as a group over the last few months through email conversations and the exhibition evolved from this dialogue. We found that some of our interests converged; using found materials and objects, thinking about time, sequence, repetition, the overlooked; transforming the ordinary.
Matthew Fasone. Assemblage of found paper materials.
Carl Boland. Photography; images fractured with lens prisms
Heather Parnell. Pocket Remains project. 79 ink drawings and tissue collection.
Paul Hazel. Digital print and video
More manhole covers in Kyoto, Hikone and Osaka.
Some examples of natural materials used for walls, screens, flooring and bollards!
Install takes place today and tomorrow….
One of the things we’ve been doing whilst in Japan is introducing 1SSUE to the artists we’ve met. Several books were on exhibition in the gallery at Sapporo and we also took some with us on our visits to artists’ studios. It’s been a really good way to introduce work by other British artists and also, there’s been interest shown in taking part in a future ‘international’ edition.
Yuki Yamamoto in his studio
On our last day in Sapporo we arranged to visit Naebono art studio, a relatively new artist run space. Yuki showed us around the studios and gallery space. It’s an impressive building, studios are spacious and the artists are doing interesting things with paint, objects and vegetables!
The gallery is currently showing work curated by Japan/US artist Kio Griffith entitled ‘Mexicaido’, featuring artists living on both sides of the US/Mexico border.