I headed over to Okuno building in Ginza-itchome to see a few exhibitions. I started off at Gallery Nayuta to see nihonga by Aya Shiina. Here is an image of one of my favourite works from the exhibition. I love her detailed rendering of wood textures in her paintings. I got a chance to also talk with Aya Shiina whom also studied biology at university and then made the transition to fine arts a number of years afterwards. The exhibition "Atami" runs through tomorrow, December 9th.
From there both Gallery Nayuta's and Gallery Camellia's gallery directors recommended heading to the 3rd floor to see the etchings by Nagoya-area based printmaker Mayuka Wakui at Gallery Kobo. She takes an experimental approach to her printmaking as she explained all the different ways she created the series of different prints for the exhibition. She also mentioned that she spent two months in France for printmaking. There were quite a few pieces that resonated with me and my Daily Drawings and made me think more and more that etching is probably the best approach for me to translate my work to printmaking. This is an image of the work that is on the exhibition postcard, although the digital image does not quite do the actual print justice as the orange is much more luminous. You can see more of her work at her website's gallery page. Her exhibition at Gallery Kobo also runs through Saturday, December 9th.
From Gallery Kobo, I headed back up to the fifth floor to see Makoto Umemura's exhibition "The MECHANICALs - High grade cells" at Gallery Camellia. I met Makoto Umemura during my "Everyday Circuits" exhibition at Gallery Camellia and I remember seeing images of his hand-rendered mechanised/steam-punked animals and buildings. It was great to see the work up close to see the detailed work he makes on washi. His exhibition runs through Sunday, December 10th. Below is the exhibition postcard with an example of his work.
From there, I headed back on the subway and all the way back across Tokyo to Nishiogikubo to see Ryoko Sugizaki's solo exhibition at Galeria Aoneko. I met her at hasu no hana this past summer when she came to the Endless Dialogue exhibition to pick up some newspapers from hasu no hana director, Kazue Fukuma, for her work. I saw Sugizaki's work in person for the first time in August at a group exhibition at Galeria Aoneko and I was immediately enamoured with this piece.
She uses the text and photographs of the newspapers to create amazingly detailed sculptures of various dinosaurs. She does not use paint, but rather uses the color that comes from the newspaper's text and photographs to create color in her works. The exhibition is filled with so many different species of dinosaurs and her work takes me back to my childhood when I was also fascinated with dinosaurs. There is a gallery talk and reception on Saturday from 4 pm which will features a guest collector who is 11 years old, but quite an expert on dinosaurs. He saw Sugizaki's work in August and used his savings to buy one of her pieces. It sounds like an fun event, but I wanted to get to the show as soon as possible so that I could have my pick of pieces. I knew back in August that I wanted to buy one of her pieces and I can happily say that I now own the piece you see above. I am looking forward to having it on my studio desk so it can look on as I make new works. Ryogo Sugizaki's exhibition recently opened and runs through Sunday, December 17th and I highly recommend seeing the exhibition!
After this exhibition, I wanted to head to the Tama Art University Alumni Small Works exhibition to see the works of Junko Kikuchi. I met her earlier this year in the Okuno building and she was responsible for introducing me to the Koganei Artfull Action NPO this summer. Through her introduction, I was able to conduct an extensive workshop on the memory of smell and sounds in collaboration with Artfull Action at the Musashikoganei Middle School. More on that in a later post.
I had it in my mind that the exhibition was in the Omotesando / Aoyama area so I would head there through Shinjuku. But once I looked up the exhibition information, I realised it was back on the other side of Tokyo nearer to Ginza. So, I hopped back on the train across Tokyo to Jinbocho and the Bunpodo Gallery. This is the 20th exhibition of small works by Tama Art University alumni. There were a wide variety of works to see from paintings, functional objects, printmaking, and sculptures. Overall, the printmaking works were the most interesting for me as some of the works' sensibilities resonated with me. I finally got to see Junko Kikuchi's work in person after seeing her works and works-in-progress on social media. I have acquired a deep fondness for apples over the last few years and I could not resist picking up one of her handcrafted apple accessory straps. There was one green apple left and I immediately gravitated to that one as it reminded me of a frequently used remedy for alleviating migraine pain. This exhibition also runs through Saturday, December 9th.
After seeing the exhibition, I took a look around Bunpodo and picked up some notebooks and also discovered new colours of the super thin 0.03 Copic Multiliner pens to use for my drawings. There was a maroon, olive green, and denim blue which I immediately bought to add to my collection. I ended up spending enough money at Bunpodo to receive an advent calendar from a Belgian chocolatier. So I ended the day with new drawing tools, chocolate, and another artwork to add to my collection.
There will be some more gallery hopping on Sunday for the Tamagawa Open Atelier weekend event and hopefully enough energy and time to see the Akiko Ikeuchi exhibition in Jiyugaoka.