Winter Garden: JAPANESE MICROPOP - 14 Contemporary Japanese Artists
The B. & M. Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music in Athens, Greece in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy in Greece present for the first time in Athens a unique exhibition, under the title "Winter Garden: JAPANESE MICROPOP - 14 Contemporary Japanese Artists".
The exhibition explores the ways in which Japanese artists, living in an increasingly globalized world and in a time when shared values are hard to establish, see our contemporary era. More specifically, the exhibition features 35 works -drawings, paintings, videos- by 14 young Japanese artists, active from the latter half of the 1990s throughout the first decade of the 21st century.
The Japanese artists presenting their distinctive views of the world through the combination of fragments and imbuing the obsolete or the commonplace with new functions or meanings, share the similar style of expression, which Midori Matsui, curator of the exhibition, calls "micropop". The word "micropop" describes two methods and attitudes shared by the artists. One is the accumulation of fragments from different sources of information to form individual interpretations and ways of operation that did not depend on one dominant ideology. The other is the playful use of banal or outmoded products and obscure places to invent new games and situations that encourage flexible public communication and spontaneous actions.
The exhibition contains the coexistence of opposite meanings within a single expression. The first meaning alludes to the difficulties of contemporary life brought on as the result of globalization, including worldwide economic depression, uniformity of living environments and the disappearance of unique local cultures. The second meaning suggests a space that, in spite of its small scale and closed artificial environment, nurtures various organisms, including plants, insects, birds, and the perpetual activities of microbes within the soil -the elements that constitute rich and diverse layers of life. The exhibition attempts to explore the efforts of contemporary artists to make the most of the poverty and boredom inflicted by contemporary life in order to reorganize various aspects of their everyday activities and reinvent effective "ways of operating".
The exhibition consists of three thematic sections. The first section presents a variety of works, including drawings, videos and sound installations, that embody a process of association induced by insignificant details in everyday life. The combination of details in individual works of art and cross-referencing among the parts of different works reflect the ways in which the unconscious, as a mechanism for the random unification of images, connects different elements in a manner that defies rational order. The process is guided by the metonymical work of imagination, which evokes complex fields of meaning through fragmentary details, or establishes analogical links between incongruous things. This section also features expressions that create an environment in which spectators can re-enact a process of perceptual change or receive the physical impacts, or affects, of external phenomena. Representative artists of this unity are: Ryoko Aoki, Tam Ochiai, Koki Tanaka, Hiroshi Sugito and Lyota Yagi.
The second section is composed of expressions that demonstrate the creative use of contemporary Japanese subcultures, such as manga, anime, science fiction, TV reportage, in order to project the internal myth of the artists, capture the materiality of the performing body, or reveal a hidden truth about a place. Representative artists of this unity are: Aya Takano, Makiko Kudo, Mahomi Kunikata, Taro Izumi and Chim Pom.
The third section includes works that simulate or incorporate the basic structures of self-generation among plants, animals and minerals, and construct an environment or a pictorial space that conveys to the spectators physical and psychological effects and impacts of external phenomena. Representative artists of this unity are: Masanori Handa, Hiroe Saeki, Masaya Chiba and Keisuke Yamamoto.
The exhibition is co-organized with the Japanese Embassy in Greece, in the framework of the program for the promotion of visual arts of the Japan Foundation.
Exhibition Curator: Midori Matsui
Don't miss the exhibition Winter Garden: JAPANESE MICROPOP - 14 Contemporary Japanese Artists in Athens, Greece.
9, Vassilissis Sofias Avenue & 1, Merlin Street
106 71, Athens, Greece
Closest Metro Station: Syntagma
Opening hours: Mo., We., Tu., Sa., Su.: 10:00-18:00, Th.: 10:00-20:00, Fr.: 10:00-20:00 (July-August: 10:00-18:00)