Past

YAMAGUCHI Akira Stepping Back to Seek the Underneath

February 21, 2015, to May 17, 2015

Stepping back to seek the underneath 2014
pen, sumi (Japanese ink), watercolor on paper 
36.6 x 28.9 cm
©YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

We present the solo exhibition of YAMAGUCHI Akira, who is known for depicting figures, buildings and other motifs with exquisitely detailed brushwork reminiscent of the style of ukiyo-e or yamato-e. His works are exceptionally highly acclaimed both in Japan and abroad.

The exhibition’s title, ‘Stepping Back to Seek the Underneath’, expresses Yamaguchi’s unique perspective on both art and philosophy of life, while also evoking the composition of the exhibition itself: revealing the world of his art room by room, and hinting at the creation of his epic masterworks. As you stroll through the space, you feel that you have caught a glimpse of the artist’s thinking process.

We invite you to experience the world of Yamaguchi Akira, overflowing with subtle wit which blends the present and the past, the ordinary and the extraordinary, into a perfect whole.


YAMAGUCHI Akira Profile

Photo by:
Matsukage Hiroyuki

1969 Born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up in Kiryu City, Gunma
1996 Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, with MA in Oil Painting
2001 Won Runner-up Prize of the 4th Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art
2013 Won the 12th Kobayashi Hideo Award for his book “Hen-na Nihon Bijutsushi”

His most important works are bird’s-eye view paintings of a city or a battlefield in which time and space are intermingled, and various phenomena and customs are depicted skillfully. His style to blend humor with cynicism so as to attract viewers’ attention is one of the features. His ways of expression range widely including the three dimensional, manga and installations such as an installation of one-man international exhibition named “Yamaguchiya Oriennale.”
He worked on illustrations for “Shinran,” “ShinranⅡ” and “Shinran Ⅲ”, a novel serialized in a newspaper, written by ITSUKI Hiroyuki for three years.
In 2012, he dedicated a fusuma painting to Shoin of Yorin-an, Byodo-in Temple, Kyoto.
His main exhibitions include two-persons exhibition “Art de saurō: Aida Makoto/ Yamaguchi Akira,” (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2007),“Bye Bye Kitty!!!”(Japan Society, New York, U.S.A., 2011), solo exhibition “TOKIORE(I)MIX” (GINZA Maison Hermès Le Forum, Tokyo, 2012), solo exhibition “YAMAGUCHI Akira: An Almost Complete Career Overview---From Early Childhood Drawings to Recent Works” (Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi, Gunma, 2013).
His recent publications include “Yamaguchi Akira - The Big Picture” (Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc.), “Suzushiro (White Radish) Diary II” (Hatori Press Inc.), “Fujimori Terunobu × Yamaguchi Akira, Japanese Architecture Intensive Course” (Tankosha Publishing).



Original Drawing for Poster
“Muzan no suke II” 2007
pen, sumi (Japanese ink),
watercolor on paper
51.7 x 73.5 cm
photo by MIYAJIMA Kei
© YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

Muzan no suke (detail) 2004 oil, watercolor on canvas
65 x 320 cm Private Collection
photo by MIYAJIMA Kei 
© YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery


Konoji hikitome gyonaribashira 2010 pen, watercolor on paper 35 x 24 cm
Private Collection photo by MIYAJIMA Kei
©YAMAGUCHI Akira, Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

Unforgettable Electric Poles 2012
installation (using existing columns of the gallery), mixed media
Work created with the support of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
© Nacása & Partners Inc. / Courtesy of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
© YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery


Tokio Shan shui / Tokyo Landscapes 2012 (detail) 2012 sumi (Japanese ink) on canvas
162×342cm
a pair of four-panel folding screens
Work created with the support of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
© Nacása & Partners Inc. / Courtesy of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
© YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

Tokio Shan shui / Tokyo Landscapes 2012 2012
sumi (Japanese ink) on canvas 162×342cm
a pair of four-panel folding screens
Work created with the support of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
© Nacása & Partners Inc. / Courtesy of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
© YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery


Tokio Shan shui / Tokyo Landscapes 2012 (detail) 2012 sumi (Japanese ink) on canvas 162×342cm
a pair of four-panel folding screens
Work created with the support of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès photo by KIOKU Keizo
© YAMAGUCHI Akira,
Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

The Nine Aspects 2003 
oil on canvas 73 x 244 cm
Collection of Takahashi Collection photo by KIOKU Keizo
©YAMAGUCHI Akira, Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery



Outline

Title

YAMAGUCHI Akira Stepping Back to Seek the Underneath


Venue

Contemporary Art Gallery


Dates

2/21/2015-5/17/2015


Hours

9:30-18:00 (no admittance after 17:30)


Closed

On Mondays (except May 4, public holiday)


Admission

800yen/600yen for advance booking and group of more than 20 people


Organized by

Mito Arts Foundation


Cooperation

Asahi Breweries, Ltd., Shinanoya, Co. Ltd., SHUEISHA HAPPY PLUS ART, TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD., Mizuma Art Gallery


Curated by

Asai Toshihiro(Artistic Director, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito)


News

The exhibition catalogue will be published by Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc. in spring 2015.




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Related program

Artist Talk

March 21 (Sat.), 2015, to March 21 (Sat.), 2015

YAMAGUCHI Akira will talk about the exhibition.
Meet at the entrance of the Contemporary Art Gallery.
Date:Saturday, March 21, 14:00-15:30
Venue:Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Fee:Free (included in the admission, reservation unnecessary)
*Meet at the entrance of the Contemporary Art Gallery


Related program

Book Launch: Artist Talk

April 19 (Sun.), 2015, to April 19 (Sun.), 2015

Date:Sunday, April 19, 2015, 14:00 - 16:00 (The doors open at 13:30.)
15:30 - Autograph session
Venue:ACM Theatre, Art Tower Mito
Capacity:300 (first-come-first-served)
Fee:Free 
*reservation unnecessary


Related program

OEKAKI DOUJOU (Impromptu Drawing)

May 2 (Sat.), 2015, to May 2 (Sat.), 2015

Date:Saturday, May 2, 2015, 14:00- 15:30
Venue:Workshop room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Capacity:80 (Reservations are required.)
Fee:Free (included in the admission)
*For more information, please visit our homepage available.


Related program

Serial Talk Show: “Summer in Japan 1984”(tentative title), project preliminary to an exhibition

March 14 (Sat.), 2015

Date:March 2015
Venue:Art Tower Mito
Panelists:Shinohara Motoaki(Professor, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University), Washida Meruro(Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa), Asai Toshihiro(Art Director, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito) etc.

more


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Weekend Gallery Talk

March 7 (Sat.), 2015, to May 17 (Sun.), 2015

CAC (Contemporary Art Center) gallery volunteer talkers will lead visitors to explore the exhibition together.
Dates: Saturdays and Sundays between March 7 and May 17,2015
Starts at 14:30 (Gallery talk lasts approximately 40 minutes.)
Fee: Free (included in the admission, reservation unnecessary)
Meeting place: The gallery entrance

more


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