Both artists explore the universal theme of emotions, with the individual being exposed to her destiny and the forces of nature, no matter how much we try to tame Mother Nature. In addition, Ikeya's pictures and Asano's masks tell a lot about the soul and archetypes of Japan.
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The main theme of the exhibition is Sakura, the time of the Japanese cherry blossom, with all the emotions that this time of the year triggers in the Japanese people.
Hiromi Ishii, a businessman based in Tokyo Japan, has collected over a period of over thirty years antique everyday objects from Japan that in part reach back to the 16th century. A special passion of Hiromi Ishii are katagami, stencils made of mulberry paper, which were used to apply colored patterns on kimono fabrics.
A series of works using physical tricks: necklaces which can change the color of the left and right chains, necklaces where the color of the ball changes at the entrance and exit, and necklaces/pierces/earring rings which move against gravity.
The works of Orie Inoue are a dreamlike reinterpretation of the natural world, from which she collects elements, which she then transforms with poetry and humor to recreate strange, hybrid, graceful and delicate life forms.
As digitalisation has led to far-reaching changes in almost every aspect of everyday life, it has certainly changed photography, especially since artistic photography is constantly changing, regardless of whether one is using analogue or digital technology, in the search for new expressive possibilities and presentation forms.
Let yourself be captivated by the timeless elegance of Ryo Sekino’s glassworks, the flamboyance of Kayoko Mizumoto’s most recent ceramic vases, a new, colourful textile collage by Ai Kijima and many more artworks and objects of applied art.
Our western idea of a paper cut out is usually linked to side view portraits cut from black paper dated 18th or 19th century. It is probably less known that paper cut-out art originated in North China from where is found its way to Japan. As most things that came to Japan from China, it was adapted and improved to suit the Japanese taste. Paper cut-out artist from Tokyo, Risa Fukui, born in 1975 has substantially contributed to the transition for paper cut-out art into the 21st century. The complexity and perfection of her work has little to do with the relatively simple cutting techniques of earlier paper cut-out works.
The history of Japanese woodblock printing reaches back to the 8th century c.e. For several centuries only religious depictions were produced and printed because of the print monopoly held by Shinto and Buddhist monasteries. First commercial publishers emerged around 1600 in Kyoto and in the following decades in Osaka and Edo (now Tokyo). Popular fiction with a high content of illustrations became hugely popular in all layers of the population. In the second half of the 17th century first single prints in black and white appeared, soon also in monochrome and bichrome. From 1740 tricoloured and from around 1765 finally also polychromatic prints were published. Till the end of the Edo period (approx. 1865) many millions coloured woodblock prints were produced and so became the most popular art form in Japan, which is still being taught in art classes and continuously perfected. Despite the former popularity of this art form, only few contemporary artists still use woodblock prints to express their creativity.
After his successful first solo exhibition at Micheko Gallery in February 2012, we are delighted to show a new set of artworks by Kenichi Yokono to his collectors in Germany and beyond. Yokono, born and residing in Kanazawa, Japan, uses traditional woodblock cutting techniques to question in his very own, eccentric manner the way of life of Japanese suburbia. As icons of more or less subtly expressed cruelties and menaces, his works represent an unsettling contrast to the sugary and doe-eyed characters of Japan’s ubiquitous manga and anime culture of the so called “Cool Japan”.