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HAPPENINGText: Memi Mizukami

Quiet Attentions: Departure from Women” an exhibit of the work of 13 women and 1 man artists from nine countries directed by Mizuki Takahashi, is being held at the Art Tower Mito until May 8, 2011. Susan Philipsz, who received the TARNER Prize in 2010, is among the group of participating artists, who have exhibited their work around the world. All of their works are quite different. They express themselves through performance, illustration, sculpture and other art forms. Their only commonality is that except for one, they are all women.


Mito is a pretty, quiet town located two hours from Tokyo. There is a lovely view from the Art Tower Mito, which looks out over the city. As you walk along the path approaching the museum you can gradually hear music and singing. Susan Philipsz’s approach is to use all of this space for her creation titled “Did I Dream You Dreamed About Me”.

Need to keep in mind that Susan Philipsz and Laura Belém‘s works are exhibited out doors within the Art Tower Mito grounds. Art Tower Mito’s large pipe organ inspired Laura in making her installation work for the exhibition. Also take a look at the pipe organ as well.

Fumiko Kobayashi [Node Point] 2011
Fumiko Kobayashi “Node Point” 2011

The exhibition with in the gallery starts from Fumiko Kobayashi‘s very iconic sculpture work using abandoned bicycles in Mito in a three dimensional way. It reminds of a mistletoe that you see often in Europe when you look at her work which seems like a nest that uses things collected from the surrounding, or things that exist close by. The exhibit continues to the white room where three dimensional black art works by Tatiana Trouvé is effectively on display which gives a strong impression.

I was involved in this exhibition for a couple of days as an assistant. It was interesting to see close by how the female artists set up their work. I was very lucky to see the female artists showing their natural side while they set up their art works.

Midori Mitamura has a mysterious mood, and also her works has a mysterious atmosphere.

Nobuko Tsuchiya [Space11Demension Plan] 2011
Nobuko Tsuchiya “11th Demension Project” 2011

And next, Nobuko Tsuchiya made some curious figures made by silicon, metal and other materials to make a room like a laboratory.

Hwayeon Nam [Atomic] 2011
Hwayeon Nam “Atomic” 2011

Continues to Hwayeon Nam’s semiology diagram on a huge wall. These delicate, vivid color illustrations made with pencil and acryl gouache would remind you of elementary school text books that has some cute graphics for explanation.

Yuki Kimura, Jutta Koether, Ei Arakawa [BOYCOTT WOMEN] 2011
Yuki Kimura + Jutta Koether + Ei Arakawa “BOYCOTT WOMEN” 2011

Next is collaboration works with Yuki Kimura, Jutta Koether, Ei Arakawa. “BOYCOTT WOMEN” is an interesting work with some texts written on pulp paper placed on a humble desk in the center of there room. Each text’s context is quite different and long to read in a “museum”. It almost makes you feel like it would give some violent and monstrous feeling in the art while reading at the humble desk. Very interesting.

Next Su-Mei Tse and Sachiko M‘s focus is on sound.

They take a different approach for their works were they use “sound”. Su-Mei Tse works focus on watching the falling sand and the watching the record turn. Sachiko M’s work is using “Pure Tone” as a sign wave recording during the exhibition. I think this composition is fine to see.

Kanghyun Ahn [Throwing a Dice] 2011
Kanghyun Ahn “Throwing a Dice” 2011

Also, you can see the brilliant room in the back, you might be surprise to see how much colors it use, it makes you feel like you haven’t seen color for a while. There is also a playground room made by Kanghyun Ahn which you can play with. You can play with the contemporary artwork. You can not miss this. Actually, I can hardly forget this work, show what communication is and how striking she was and her cute smile.

Ranjani Shettar [Sun-sneezers blow light bubbles] 2007-2008
Ranjani Shettar “Sun-sneezers blow light bubbles” 2007-2008

Fresh air from Ranjani Shettar’s work, and this is the last work for this exhibition. Her work is totally fresh, delicate and beautiful. Even the title “Sun-sneezers blow light bubbles” is poetic.

It doesn’t surprise us having female artist today. We unconsciously imagine the feminine side or the strong mother side in their work. No one would think “this art was made by a female artist” at this exhibition. They have departed form women, they are artists. They are wonderful people and have a child like smile with a calm atmosphere like a mother.

“Quiet Attentions: Departure from Women” exhibition
Dates: February 12th – May 8th, 2011
*Art Tower Mito will be closed for a while for maintenance and security inspections because of the east Japan earthquake.
Open: 9:30 – 18:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Place: Art Tower Mito + Contemporary Art Gallery
Tel: +81 (0)29 227 8111

Text: Memi Mizukami
Photos: Yoko Hosokawa, Courtesy of Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito

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