To be honest, I’m not missing many things about London, but of all the Japanese-related things I had access to in London the one I do find myself missing is the ICN gallery. I don’t just miss the gallery because they have wonderful exhibitions, I also miss it because the people working there are so friendly and it was always a good place to go and hang out. I’ll definitely visit again, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the current exhibition. Still, there’s a week of it left, so I thought I’d share it here in case you are able to make it down to the ICN yourself…
Seijiro Niwa “the way of mending holes”, until 25th May
ICN gallery proudly presents the artist Seijiro Niwa who has been consistently producing photos and 3D works under the theme of picture boundary and human eyesight’s end. The exhibition features his latest 2D and 3D works.
I should be in my world but I am not in the world that I see. Do I exist as the missing part of this world that I see ? Or as some extra part ?
In order to make the world that I see a beautiful and perfect one, I must stop seeing. In front of my eyes that stopped seeing the world, a beautiful and unsubstantial world must be spreading out, too.
Born in Nagoya city in 1967, Niwa has a post-graduate degree from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. He is currently a professor at Aichi Gakusen University.
Listen to the voice of two hands clapping. (Hakuin Ekaku, Monk in Edo Era)
Two hands clap and there is sound. What sound does one hand make ?
Hiroko Masuko “bonsai extension”, 6th – 29th June 2013
– Paintings that grow and proliferate –
There will be an Artist Talk on Saturday 8th June, 2pm – 3:30pm
A talk between Sam Seager, a UK photographer who published the book Broken Things about post-disaster Tohoku, and Hiroko Masuko will highlight the activities and works by these two artists that confront the earthquake disaster.
The ICN also has activities currently going on in Japan. The Center for Creative Communications (CCC) in Shizuoka (the ICN gallery’s Japan side) is currently exhibiting work by the wonderful Emily Allchurch. Read more about that here. The exhibition will run until 1st June.
Emily Allchurch creates complex photographic images that closely reference old master paintings and prints. Each of her images is composed from numerous photographs, carefully blended using digital software, to produce a seamless re-creation of the original, set in a contemporary idiom. In 2012 she was commissioned to create work for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. She is active both within the UK and internationally as an artist and an arts educator conducting workshops for places such as Tate Modern.
Allchurch’s work “Tokyo Story”
Tokyo Story is the culmination of Allchurch’s long-standing interest in Japanese wood-block prints in the ukiyo-e tradition and pays homage to the master printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) and his last great work the ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo’. She visited the same spots taking photos which she then created modern versions. Her works posses a mysterious quality which transports the viewer into a magical world. In November 2013 an exhibit of her work at the Shizuoka City Hiroshige Museum is planned.
Finally, I was very excited to find out that East London’s street artist Stik is currently on a month-long residency in Japan and has been collaborating with past ICN exhibitor Riusuke Fukahori and another artist called Renka. I don’t know much about the collaboration at this stage, but this photo was posted on the ICN gallery’s Facebook page yesterday:
There’s also a video available here, which shows a live painting charity event which happened in downtown Shizuoka on 18th May as part of the STIK “Shizuoka Street Art Project”. Stik has painted a mural on the side of the CCC, and has been involved in painting workshops with children.
A well-known street artist from East London, Stik is a rising star in the graffiti scene and gaining more fans from around the world. After four sold-out s solo shows in 2011, his April 2012 solo exhibit “Walk” held at a London gallery sold out within the first 10 minutes. Experiencing homeless life before coming famous, Stik makes it his policy to give back to the community and is active globally including workshops for children in Jordan and the UK. Viewing Stik’s works around East London has become a popular attraction among street art tours.
Why didn’t cool stuff like this happen when I was in Shizuoka? (>_<) I hope Stik continues to collaborate with the ICN gallery and does something with them in the UK too! If you follow my other blog, Picturing England, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of street art. I don’t know much about the street art scene in Japan, but I get the impression work like Stik’s is not as common in Japan as it is in the UK. A topic for a future blog post, I think!
For more information about the ICN gallery, please visit: icn-global.com. The ICN gallery is at: 96-98 Leonard Street; London EC2A 4RH. For more information about the Center for Creative Communications, please visit: www.c-c-c.or.jp/en. The CCC is at 4-16 Ote-machi; Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City 420-0853, Japan.
(All images courtesy of ICN gallery and the above mentioned artists)