Rino Ikenaga works mainly in Osaka. She uses ‘Teeth’ (denture) as a concept. Her artworks will be exhibited in Art Fair Sapporo 2017 (from AI KOWADA GALLERY) too, and I am looking forward to see what kind of works she will be showing there.
Okoimatsu was discovered last year in ‘Unknown Asia portfolio review’ (which was carried out in collaboration with Art Fair Sapporo 2016). Her recent works use papers (in which people try out pens) in stationary shops. She collects those papers and reproduce the doodles on it, and then make collages. Her work received awards from reviewers in this year’s art fair.
I have choosen Shoko Chigira from Okinawa, for the judge award this year. Her artwork requires a painstaking attention to detail; they are made of white paints, which she uses drop by drop. The finished work is wonderfully expressive and alters depending on lighting or viewing angle. Her work will also be exhibited in Art Fair Sapporo 2017 as a special exhibition.
The grand prix of this year’s Unknown Asia was taken by Lulu Kawano. This is the first time a Japanese artist won the grand prix. Her life as a full-time artist started a year after she went abroad in 2015 – when she paid her hotel bills with her mural paintings. Her heartwarming, colourful illustrations are inspired by nature and animals.
In comparison to last year – which I joined as a judge for the first time – this year saw a lot of lively and diverse works/artists. It seemed that the theme of this art fair, ‘unknown’ was highlighted more than last year. At the award ceremony, one of the judges, Mitsuo Shindo stated: “Okakura Tenshin’s slogan, ‘ASIA IS ONE’ has been inherited to Unknown Asia”. I feel that it represents this lively and warm atmosphere of this art fair – where artists, reviewers and judges can get to know each other. I hope the fair will make further progress in the future.
UNKNOWN ASIA ART EXCHANGE OSAKA 2017
Date: 4th and 5th November, 2017
Opening hours:10:00-20:00 (until 17:00 on 5th)
Place: HERBIS HALL OSAKA
Address: Herbis Osaka, 2-5-25 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka
Tel: +81 (0)6 6354 8029