The Next Big Thing! Five Contemporary Japanese Artists

November 11, 2014
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Lecture past event

A distinguished panel of experts in Japan has nominated five Japanese artists to present the new wave of the Japanese contemporary art scene. The group includes Shiho Kagabu, Gaetan Kubo, Mariko Tomomasa, Yuta Nakamura and Yasuka Goto, and encompasses works in a variety of media from cutting-edge installations to beautiful black-ink drawings. This event is moderated by Japan Society Gallery Director Miwako Tezuka. Followed by a reception.

Free admission, registration required. Register online at or call (212) 715-1291 to reserve a seat.

About the Artists

Yasuka Goto
Ms. Yasuka Goto was born in Hiroshima Prefecture and is a graduate of Kyoto Seika University. Her career as an artist began in 2005, with works such as “Kurigohan” (2005) and “Yosegaki” (2008), both of which were inspired by her grandfather’s war experience. In addition to archival research, Ms. Goto conducts in-depth field research, talking extensively to people to gather information before the creative process begins. Her drawings are characterized by the use of black ink on canvas, and each drawing overflows with the narrative, work, and experience of her models.

In 2011 Goto held exhibitions of drawings that depicted people who had worked, at a certain point in time, at the actual sites where the exhibitions were hosted, namely, Creative Center Osaka (a former shipyard) and Daiichi Life Gallery in Tokyo. In 2013 she produced works that focused on Japanese artists during World War II. In 2012 Goto received the Sakuyakonohana Prize and the fourth Koji Kinutani Award.

Shiho Kagabu
Ms. Shiho Kagabu’s art work expresses the changes that occur when people and objects interact with one another. She places things such as animals, waste materials, plants, and everyday items in different combinations at various locations. Some of her works also incorporate words, sounds or performances, and engage the entire context of time and place.

Ms. Kagabu was born in 1981. Her many exhibitions include “Artist File 2013: The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art,” The National Art Center, Tokyo (2013); “Open Studio Program No. 51,” Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo (2010); and “Siding Railroad,” Tokorozawa Biennale, Saitama (2009, 2011, and 2013).

Gaetan Kubo
Mr. Gaetan Kubo is an artist who creates large-scale installations from everyday items such as home appliances. His 2013 exhibition “Hysterical Complex” was conceived under the idea that the artist himself had developed an imaginary illness with the same name. Focusing on the treatment process of this mysterious illness, the exhibit featured a series of installations including a device that simulated the poltergeist phenomenon—the unexplained movement of objects—viewed by Kubo as a symptom of Hysterical Complex, as well as medical equipment that incorporated historical psychoanalytic approaches.

In his 2012 exhibition titled “Madness, Civilization and I,” Kubo challenged traditional values and the status quo through presentation of his own uncertain position in society, torn between the realms of “civilization” (the mainstream) and “madness of the minority” (the marginal). Highlighting the complaints of wind power opponents over low frequency sound generated by wind farms, he presented a sound installation using home fans and a guitar amplifier. He also created a structure with a loudspeaker embedded in the wall, blasting out the noises of home appliances.

Yuta Nakamura
Mr. Yuta Nakamura was born in Tokyo in 1983. He now resides in Kyoto. Mr. Nakamura received his PhD in art from Kyoto Seika University in 2011. His dissertation was titled “Views about industrial arts in suburban houses: acceptance of white tiles used for the bathrooms in the Taisho Period.”Mr. Nakamura is a part-time lecturer at Kyoto Seika University and Kyoto University of Art and Design. He is engaged in the theory and production of tiles and ceramic wares from the viewpoint of architectural industrial arts. Recent exhibitions include “Roppongi Crossing 2013 / Out of Doubt…in pursuit of future landscape,” held at Mori Art Museum in 2013.He is running a curriculum called “APP ARTS STUDIO” to deepen the knowledge of industrial arts as applied arts and look at their production method from the viewpoint of producers.

Mariko Tomomasa

Ms. Mariko Tomomasa received her PhD from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, in 2012. Ms. Tomomasa mainly works with videos, photographic expressions, and installations.

Her recent solo exhibitions include “Have a Meal with Father,” Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taiwan (2013); “Training,” TALION GALLERY, Tokyo (2013); and “CRITERIUM85 Mariko Tomomasa – Waodori,” Art Tower Mito Criterium, Ibaraki (2012). She has also participated in group exhibitions, such as “TOKYO STORY 2014,” Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo (2014); “National Holidays,” TALION GALLERY, Tokyo (2012); “VIDEOZOOM: Giappone Re-inquadrare il quotidiano,” Sala 1, International Contemporary Art in Rome, Italy (2010) and Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Bari, Italy (2011); and “Kanazawa Art Platform 2008,” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa, Ishikawa (2008).

Co-presented by The Japan Foundation.

  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014
  • 6:30 pm