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Indepth Arts News:

"Japan:Rising - Contemporary Art from Japan"
2003-09-20 until 2003-11-09
Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art
Lake Worth, FL, USA

The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art presents one of the seasonís most significant offerings of contemporary art originating from Japan. The fourteen young Japanese painters, sculptors and sound artists included in this exhibition are quickly assuming international stature. Organized by PBICA and curated by New York-based PBICA Associate Curator Dominique Nahas and PBICA Director and Chief Curator Michael Rush, Japan:Rising extends the playing field of contemporary Japanese art beyond the so-called "New Pop" forms popularized by Takashi Murakami.

"Japan:Rising lives somewhat at the margins of dominant trends in contemporary Japanese art," Rush says. "As such it celebrates the diverse and extensive variety of artistic activity in Japan today."

While Murakamiís comic book-inspired approach is clearly appealing to many young artists in Japan, his is only one voice. This is not to say that New Pop elements are absent from Japan:Rising. That would be impossible, so pervasive is this influence among young Japanese artists. But there are other voices, many of them much quieter, from the undulating sculpture of Keisen Hama and the ethereal canvasses of Yoshie Sakai to the other-worldly sound installation by Ushio Torikai and the delicate line drawings of Toru Hayashi. Japan:Rising presents a cross-section of the many practices engaged by lesser known but deeply talented younger Japanese artists.

The artists are: Noriko Ambe, Keisen Hama, Toru Hayashi, Mika Kato, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Masahiko Kuwahara, Tam Ochiai, Oscar Satio Oiwa, Yoshie Sakai, Hiroshi Sugito, Kenji Sugiyama, Hisashi Tenmyouya, Ushio Torikai and Satoshi Watanabe.

Japan:Rising is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by PBICA. The publication features essays by co-curators Dominique Nahas and Michael Rush, New York based writer and curator Yasufumi Nakamori and interviews with artists Mika Kato, Masahiko Kuwahara, Tam Ochiai and Hiroshi Sugito conducted by leading Japanese art critic Midori Matsui. The softcover catalogue will be available September 20th for purchase at the museum for $25.

Japan:Rising runs concurrently with two solo exhibitions in the upper story galleries, Julie Mehretu: Drawing into Painting, organized by the Walker Art Center and Sinisa Kukec, the first US museum survey of this artist who works on the boundary of sculpture and ceramics, organized by PBICA.

Yoshie Sakai
Footprints, 1999
oil on canvas.
71 x 101 in.
Courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.

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