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Indepth Arts News:

"japan four: London Based Contemporary Japanese Artists and London-Tokyo Digital Projects Present New Works"
2002-01-30 until 2002-03-03
Pump House Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

As part of the Japan 2001 celebrations, UK based contemporary Japanese artists and London-Tokyo digital project present new works at the Pump House Gallery from January 11 to March 3 2002. Japan 2001 celebrates the culture and lifestyle of contemporary Japan until March 2002, with the emphasis on fun and surprise and discovery. Aiming to deepen existing UK-Japan relations and to foster new ones, Japan 2001 embraces the ordinary and extraordinary facets of today’s Japan.

Hiroko Nakao received an MA in Fine Art from the RCA in 2000. Since then she has exhibited her elaborately layered collaged paintings and installation works at Pump House Gallery, in the new project space at Victoria Miro Gallery, Snow Gallery and the 2001 Basel Artfair. Her work incorporates fabric, stitching, lace, paint, butterflies and dolls in a world of ornate pink theatre. Before studying as an artist, Nakao studied fashion design in Tokyo and her association with clothes and making is clearly felt in her work. Nakao often incorporates herself in her work, either in images as a strange flying insect or in live performance when she wears opulent costumes, turning her body into the canvas. Nakao now lives and works in London.

Masakatsu Kondo’s exquisitely detailed landscape paintings straddle both traditional and contemporary realms. ‘These pictures are not photoreal but hyperreal, the products of a highly selective process of editing and amplification aimed at jolting us out of habitual ways of looking’. Kondo does not present a naturalistic view of the organic world but rather the vision we are dealt in magazines and calendars. From these sources, the artist copies, traces and expands to create idealised landscapes resembling digitally manipulated scenes. Kondo also looks back to the bold compositions and colours of Japanese master Hokusai. Mountains are a recurring symbol, seen by the artist both east and west of his childhood home in Ngoya. He has recently exhibited work at Zwemmer Gallery London, Turnpike in Leeds and Oriel Mostyn.

Kazuko Takahashi’s series of photographic portraits are of Japanese women living in the UK. Bedecked in their exquisite and immaculate kimonos, the women stand alone framed by their traditional British homes and surrounded by a crossover of western and eastern furniture and momentoes. The women are entirely authentic, wearing their own kimonos and photographed in their own homes, yet they are strangely dislocated from their surroundings. Takahashi studied photography at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, graduating in 2000. Born in Hiroshima in 1970, she now lives and works in the UK.

Urban Feedback present engaging interactive media experiences that captures and relay a sense of the experience, form and structure of Tokyo through the relationship between time-based media and the subtleties of interaction. London Tokyo is inspired by the chaotic energy of the two cities. Fragments from street sounds, texts and films are fused together forming a dynamic reactive collage. Different juxtapositions of media are created, reflecting atmospheric journeys through streets and city spaces with the chaos of overheard conversations, texts, sounds, symbolic and subliminal imagery. Tokyo Nomad is a reactive environment of animations and films which, over time, reveals ambient views and impressions of Tokyo. It forms a backdrop, window or view of Tokyo, the city you inhabit, or the city you dream of visiting. Urban Feedback are London-based designers Giles Rollestone and Kathryn Best.

Hiroko Nakao
Image courtesy of Victoria Miro Gallery

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