HAPPENINGText: Ayumi Yakura

Room 1409, Emigre Collection (Tokyo), Photo: Erika Kusumi

Emigre Collection is a newcomer gallery that has just opened up a new viewing room in Shintomi, Tokyo in 2014. “Record Jacket Series” by Asami Maruyama consisted of a bed and laid on top were embroidered art work which resembled old singers’ record jackets, such as Momoe Yamaguchi and The Peanuts. Everything was made by hand and provided a fresh but also retro style that made the original designs look cooler and more charming. There were pop colour paintings done by young artists and strong shaped jewelry by Kiriku. Among all the eye-catching art, Shiori Suzuki‘s paintings made a strong impression with acrylic circles that carried a clear image.

Room 1303, LAD Gallery (Nagoya), Photo: Erika Kusumi

A gallery from Nagoya exhibited for the first time this year at Art Fair Sapporo. Lad Gallery holds “concept and context” as a key motif and introduces art work with both a lively sense of young artists and a nostalgic sense for those who lived in the same era as the artists. “Floating –The Arnolfini Portrait” by Tomoaki Ichikawa was created with three paintings based on red, green and yellow colours, and a small figure was displayed on the wall. He had painted his childhood anime hero “Kinkeshi”, with rubber made figures that were popular among Japanese school boys back at that time, over masterpieces to represent models on Jan van Eyck’s famous paintings as if they were floating. When it got dark “Dotonbori” by a photographer based in Sapporo, Tsubasa Fujikura, was lit up by the window. This art reconstructed the value of a motif by making a printout of Osaka Dotonbori’s neonsigns into 3D artwork.

Room 1310, to ov gallery/cafe (Sapporo), Photo: Erika Kusumi

To ov gallery/cafe in Sapporo is a gallery that organizes solo exhibits with artists mainly from Hokkaido and also manages off-site exhibitions. Their cafe space plays a role as a base for artists to meet and share culture and community. For their first time at Art Fair Sapporo, they tried to utilize the location (inside a hotel). They came up with a concept, a fictitious character Yoko was staying in a hotel room. Yoko was designed by an up-and-coming illustrator, Shiori Matsuura, who does book design with Japanese style CG painting. Yoko’s favorite items were laid in the room, such as shoes from Tsunoo, a dress from Riposo., another pair of shoes from wataru.N and accessories from Sippo’s sampling and a note book from Onoe Note which was also drawn in a painting. These items created the vibe that Yoko actually existed in the room and was welcoming visitors to the art world.

Room 1308, Gallery MIKAZUKI (Hakodate), Photo: Erika Kusumi

Hakodate’s Gallery Mikazuki was also exhibiting for the first time. Utilizing a storage space over a century old, they organize exhibitions with artists from the northern and southern parts of Hokkaido on a monthly basis with no limit on genre. In the area near the entrance and bathroom, they displayed Jun Ishikawa’s abstract paintings which incorporate blue colour peeking out from the back of white and glossy screens. Around the bedside, they placed unique art works which look like caricatures that show the surreal art world by Nobushiro Sumita, abstract paintings using metal by Yasukazu Takihana and cute portraits by Eiko Sakamoto.

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Marianna Dobkowska