HAPPENINGText: Amelia Ijiri

The Museum of Kyoto is the venue for 45 contemporary artists under the age of forty who were selected by a committee from recommendations of area art universities and galleries to exhibit in Kyoto Art for Tomorrow 2019 from January 19th to February 3rd.

Hiroshi Fuji “Jurassic Inheritance”

This annual event runs concurrently with Hiroshi Fuji’s “Jurassic Inheritance”, a large-scale exhibition of thousands of mass-produced, smooth, colorful plastic toys glued together to form dinosaurs, castles, dogs, and birds, which is exhibited in the museum’s annex and hallways. “Jurassic Inheritance” is part of his career path of serial recycling that focuses on “local resources, appropriate technology, and collaborative relationships”. On the far end of the exhibit is a large pile of toys for visitors to play with.

Yusuke Yagi “2018/11/30 2:43”

Among the talented artists exhibiting paintings, Kyoto City University of Art’s (KCUA) graduate in Nihonga, is Yusuke Yagi, whose dissolute nighttime traffic scene imbues a sense of solitude frozen in time. Using pointillism to create soft glows from street lamps, his compelling use of rock pigment paint creates a surface texture of fine sandpaper with a hint of sparkle transfixing the empty street into a captivating man-made landscape documenting a specific time—“2018/11/30 2: 43” to be exact, as the title suggests. Themes such as stoplights, construction, asphalt, traffic lanes, underpasses, and vending machines seem to revolve around journeys reflecting his personal statement. While we yearn to answer the question of where we are going, we must continue down the path.

Yuriko Sasaoka “Gyro”

Yuriko Sasaoka’s video installation, “Gyro”, won the Grand Prize. Holding a doctorate in media art from KCUA and having spent two residencies abroad in Macedonia and Switzerland, she introduces her concept of “video based on painting”, using a mix of computer animation and low-tech puppetry—painted hands and faces—to create bright, active video montages that evoke imagination and blur cultural, social, and physical boundaries with her complex, rich, and critical storytelling. In “Gyro” a male and female voice repeatedly ask for forgiveness before concluding with utterances “earthquake” and “tsunami”.

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