Three works from Van Gogh's Borinage period discovered in Japan
Vincent van Gogh, at the time aspiring to join the clergy, spent the years 1878-80 in the Borinage coalmining region outside Mons proselytizing. It was here that he abandoned preaching and, after anguished thought, decided to live as an artist.
Focusing on Van Gogh's Borinage period, this show featured 70 works, including drawings and paintings depicting coalminers, peasants and the Borinage landscape, as well as letters written by the artist. Playing a key role in the success of the exhibition were three significant works of the period whose whereabouts were long reckoned uncertain but were purchased several years ago by a Japanese museum from a private collector.
The opening of the exhibition, held as part of the main program of the Mons 2015 opening ceremony, was attended by the King and Queen of the Belgians. It enjoyed much exposure in the media and welcomed 180,000 visitors.
25 Jan. - 17 May 2015
BAM (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mons)
Collection from Japan:
“Cottage with Peasant Woman Digging“ 1885, oil on canvas, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum “The End of the Day (after Millet)” 1889, oil on canvas, Menard Art Museum , Komaki-city, Japan “Reaper with Sickle (after Millet)” 1880, drawing, Uehara Museum of Modern Art , Shimoda, Japan
Stop-motion breathing life in frame by frame
Kosice Artist in Residence - international artist-in-residency-program for emerging artists from all over the world and out of all artistic disciplines. This program was launched in the flame of European Capital of Culture Kosice 2013. Kaoru Furuko is artist from Japan working mostly with stop-motion animation and illustration. She is focused on traditional folk and fairy tales, always working on location in the place from the culture of which the stories stem. Once there, she collects materials and observations, letting them infuse the style and atmosphere of the animation. She thus interweaves the stories with her information about the present of the place to which the story belongs and in which it survives. Kaoru Furuko visited Košice for the first time in October 2014 and made two month long research about Slovak traditions, folk tales and she started to collect traditional materials for the animation. In 2015 KAIR support the six month production project of the stop-motion animation short film based on the research. *K.A.I.R. - Kosice Artist in Residence: http://www.kair.sk/
1 Apr.- 30 Nov. 2015
Studios of project K.A.I.R. Košice Artist in Residence www.kair.sk
Dialog of contemporaries among artists transcending geographical boundaries
THE ROOM BELOW participated in the Supermarket Art Fair, an international art fair held in Sweden. 64 galleries from 29 countries gathered there and gave presentations with various themes. They attended the Fair in order to widely introduce not only the arts placed outside of the existing art systems but also the creativity of artists with disabilities who have been continuing the creative activities. Thanks to the introduction of our activities by the local media, almost 4,000 visitors showed interest in our activities. It was a valuable experience that they could have discussions with artists throughout the world about the influence of the age of globalization and its issues. It is a great success that they could build international networks so as to continue and develop these discussions even after the completion of the Art Fair. https://www.facebook.com/theroombelow.artgallery/info
15-19 Apr. 2015
Svarta Huset, Stockholm, Sweden
Shin Button, Atsuko Kanazu, Minoru Yonezawa
Contemporary culmination features extensive digital art
Café Europa is a “new technology space” set up on the occasion of Mons 2015. The space is fitted out with internet connections, 3D printers and even a laser cutter, and links to other European cities via a large screen. Visitors encounter high-tech equipment and leading-edge technology. Nine artists were invited to take up residencies at Café Europa and pursued unique activities eliciting its potential. One was dancer and media artist Hiroaki Umeda, who won tremendous popularity with a work in progress, inviting residents and tourists dropping by to experience his visual installation consisting of such elements as projections onto eyelids and digital imagery of choreography. In a collaboration with a local digital firm, Umeda also installed an audio-visual work inside a dome-shaped art space operated by human sensory functions. The opening welcomed many visitors, who enjoyed sound and video pieces that played out around the 360° interior of the dome. Erected in a courtyard at the Conservatoire Mons, a local arts university, the dome became the locus of lively discussions between Umeda and local art students and experts.
11 -26 Oct. 2015
Cafe Europe, Dome and Oculus
Works in Exhibition:
- Haptic Installation - kinesis #1 - screen firld
Works in Live Creation：
- kinesis #1 - screen field Multi MOnitor version - kinesis #2 (tentative) - Intensional Particle installation version (tentative)
Schedule：15-25 Oct. 2015 Venue：Cafe Europe
Schedule：22-25 Oct. 2015 Venue：Dome
Artists-in-residence produce work while blending into local communities: Euro-Japan network of cooperation grows
The Open AiR artist-in-residence (AiR) program launched on the occasion of European Capital of Culture Plzeň 2015. In such a program the artist invited takes up residence in a given area for a given period of time and there produces work or conducts research on the region. AiR programs currently operate at institutions both large and small in many countries around the world, and while each is distinctive in its own way, together they are constructing art networks transcending national borders. Open AiR began collaborating with Youkobo Art Space of Tokyo in 2014, and the two now conduct an artist exchange program. This year the invitation went to Soichiro Mihara, who spent three months producing work in his residency. Pursuing the further development of a project he has been at work on since 2001 on the themes of art, nature and technology, the work reflecting the peculiarly Czech discoveries he made there resonated strongly among local viewers in how it leads to opportunities to revisit the environment in which one finds oneself.
Young artists representing the next generation gather from around the world
This international summer school of art is held annually by the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia. Since 2005 ArtCamp has drawn participants from inside and outside the Czech Republic for study and creation in three weeks of wide-ranging art courses. Since 2013 Youkobo Art Space and Japanese fine arts universities have worked together to arrange the participation of sixteen artists in ArtCamp until today. The experience of producing art while taking courses in English, interacting with classmates from many different countries and benefiting from the stimulation of a global environment is a valuable opportunity for these ambitious young artists pursuing professional careers in the arts. This year saw Japanese participation extend beyond students to interns and an instructor in classical Japanese painting. The program is to repeat in 2016 and is sure to grow in breadth and substance with the European Capital of Culture.
Teacher: Kumi Machida (ink painting) 5 students of art universities in Japan Maya Arata (Graduate school of Education, Saitama University, Saitama) Wang Muyi (Graduate school of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo) Toshiko Chiba (Graduate school of Fine Arts, Tokyo Zokei University, Tokyo) Eri Yagi (Undergraduate student, Musashino Art University, Tokyo) Moe Syono (Undergraduate student, Joshibi University of Art and Design, Tokyo)
The world of digital art pioneer Ryoji Ikeda
Paris-based Ryoji Ikeda is known for his sensory art works employing multiple logical and mathematical approaches. His installations combining noise, pulse and video are acclaimed around the world for their creativity. As a highlight project of Plzeň 2015 Ikeda created an original work produced for the new theater Black Box. Partly due to this release of his latest work, over 2,000 people visited from inside the Czech Republic and all over Europe to catch a glimpse of it, and numerous media outlets provided coverage. To prepare the work, Ikeda visited Plzeň and held discussions with his team. This dialog with an artist one might sometimes term philosophical was a major stimulus for the local production team.
Festival features world's brightest artistic talent in competition
The Smart Illumination Festival is an arts festival of light that began in 2015 at that year's European Capital of Culture. Two Japanese participants, Kazumi Kashimura and Hiroko Matsushita, took part with the assistance of Smart Illumination Yokohama. Kashimura's piece “Light Bottles” created locally on the themes of art and the environment was a beautiful rendition of fantasy light employing plastic bottles. Meanwhile, Matsushita also took part in the PechaKucha sessions held at the same time. She gave a presentation about her own work to an audience of some one thousand and had opportunities for new networking with participants from home and overseas.
Work was exhibited indoors, along the river and on the city's streets, and for local people who came out to view it, it was an opportunity to rediscover their own city as people said it was their first time to visit some buildings and walkways. Local volunteers made significant contributions to the success of the fesival with their long-term involvement in both production and operational respects. At the enthusiastic demand of local residents, the Smart Illumination Festival will be held again in 2016.
20-21 Feb. 2015
Hiroko Matsushita, Kazumi Kashimura
Zou no hana terrace, Smart illumination Festival Yokohama
Panorama of Japanese graphic scene
The organization of a double exhibition, which gathers three generations of Japanese artists that have influenced the international art scene from the 60s up to now. This project focuses on underground and avant-garde Manga in the field of visual arts, with popular and original drawings, forms, which has been edited by committed publishers. This recognition started in 1964 when Garo Japanese publishers discovered and edited underground and iconoclast graphic artists. Nowadays this legacy can be seen internationally for instance with the Raw, a review published by Art Spiegelman.
This double exhibition entitled Mangaro and Heta-Uma is divided in two parts: one in Marseille (France) at la Friche la Belle de Mai and one in Sète (France) at the MIAM (International Museum of Modest Art) in October 2014.
The first chapter is the exhibition Mangaro which displays a series of original Garo magazines. The second, Heta-Uma is the “live” version of the first chapter. The exhibition presents the pre-punk and post-hippie Japanese creation, by bringing together objects, posters and specific productions such as graffiti or performances.
SAUNA in the middle of the Esplanade!
When Mr.Hayashi came to Riga and had a choice to get know Latvian culture in person, he was amazed how many things there are in common in Latvian and Japanese ancient cultures. But still there were also lot of things different. These two aspects were taking into consideration when the idea was born. The clash of two worlds that generates a new one by merging together understanding for traditions, importance of power of nature and human. In fall 2014, in a very city center in one of fountains of Esplenade onsen will be built. This interactive installation will be as paraphrase for public bathing. In Japan this is onsen, in Latvia this is swimming pool, because Latvian sauna requires privacy. You go into the sauna only with people that are close to you: relatives or people whom you like and trust. On the one hand this interactive installation demonstrates respect for nature, on the other hand ambitions to take a control of it. City inhabitants and guests will have a possibility to take a shower in a log cabin and then enjoy outdoor wood-fired bath.
The artist Yasuhiko Hayashi was born in 1971 in Higashiosaka. In 2001 he graduated from Planning Design Department, Faculty of Fine Arts of Kyoto City University of Arts. In 2001 together with Yusuke Nakano they established an art unit called Paramodel. Drawing on the industrial landscape of their native East Osaka, the members of artist collective Paramodel create dense but playful micro-worlds. Their work typically involves reorganizing everyday materials, such as toy railway tracks or plumbing tubes, into vast and complex systems covering the floors, walls and ceilings of gallery spaces, often creeping down hallways and into gardens. Paramodel’s modular systems are able to occupy any given space and are alive to their site: local communities are often invited to assist in the construction of the works, while elements of the location can be included as subject and material. Paramodel has had solo exhibitions in Japan and took part in group exhibitions all over the world. Their works can be found in several public collections.