The Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Main Store in Tokyo, Japan will be launching a contemporary art exhibition on February 15, 2017. KOGEI Future Forward features 15 Japanese artists presenting contemporary artworks.
Kogei (工芸) is a Japanese word that was created at the dawn of the Meiji Period
correspond to the English word "craft".
Across the Meiji, Taisho, Showa and Heisei years, the
artistry of kogei craft was refined as
underwent various changes. Today, kogei is highly regarded
as fine art.
This exhibition interpretes kogei freely, and highlights the work of 15 Japanese artists to show kogei to the world as a uniquely
Japanese fine art. Yuji Akimoto,
a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts and Director of the 21st
Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa,
as well as of the University
Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, acted as Curatorial Supervisor for KOGEI
Future Forward. Selected artists include:
ourtesy of KOSAKU
Photo by Hidenobu Saji
Takuro Kuwata (桑田卓郎): new challenges in ceramic techniques and materials
Takuro Kuwata's appeal lies in his broad expression that straddles
both craft and
Bold forms and bright pop colours give rise to contemporary textures and rhythms. actively presenting work at galleries and museums abroad that handle contemporary art. While reevaluating the rich
history of ceramics, he continues to seek new forms of expression that may be seen in the framework of pop
The works in this exhibition use kairagi (梅花皮),
an effect produced when the glaze cracks upon firing of ceramics.
Kuwata has used the kairagi effect in his own way, much as he employs ishihaze (石はぜ), an effect which
appears on the surface of ceramics when stones mixed in the clay explode through firing, and hizumi (歪), referring
to distortions in the vessel.
Masayasu Mitsuke (見附正康): delicate geometric patterns evoke an infinite mandala
Masayasu Mitsuke's work uses a technique called akae-saibyo (赤絵細描)
from Kutani ware. Akae-saibyo is a technique used to painting fine thin lines with iron-red enamel paint in intricate patterns. It was in fashion from the late
Edo period through to the Meiji and the early Showa era, and was actively produced as Ishikawa
Prefecture's main local industry.
Mitsuke has transformed akae-saibyo by updating stylised
patterns such as karako (唐子, Chinese children) or dragons to contemporary designs.
Geometric designs characterise his work. Repeating patterns
produce a space that conveys an obsessional sense of infinity. Iron-red mainly covers the ware, but
the occasional gold or blue are added as an accent.
courtesy of Ota Fine Art
Photo by Francesco Barasciutti
Transparent glass created on the island of Murano
Ritsue Mishima (三嶋りつ惠)
creates organic forms that pursue the possibilities of glass in collaboration with the
skilled artisans on the Italian island of Murano in Venice. The colourless transparent glass that is the product of
a fusion of 1,000 years of traditional technique and Mishima’s sensibilities radiates a
new appeal when light passes through it. It is characteristic of Mishima that she does not stop at the
works themselves, but extends her expressive attitude of being fixated on “things coming into view”
by means of installations that situate her glass objects in space.
Mishima is based in Venice, but also runs an atelier in Kyoto, Japan.
Main Store is Japan's first department store, founded in 1673. The event
is part of the Isetan Mitsukoshi Group's push to rediscover values
created by Japanese tradition, culture
and aesthetic consciousness and offer them to its customers as new
values. The group is the largest
department store group in Japan.
KOGEI Future Forward is conducted as a trial research project for the governmental Basic Policy for
romoting Measures related to Preparations for and Management of the Olympic and Paralympic
Games in Tokyo in 2020.
February 15 to
10:30 am to
Nihombashi Main Store
building, ground floor, Chuo
1-4-1, Muromachi, Nihombashi,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan