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WHAT'S NEW

2010/08/04
TENMYOUYA Hisashi curating BASARA Exhibition at Spiral Garden (SPIRAL 1st floor)

  • 1. Hisashi Narita "Ishoku" 2008 Thread and old clothes 1200°Ŗ380cm
  • 2. SHIGE "Fudomyo-o" photo by SHIGE
  • 3. Manabu Ikeda "History of Rise and Fall" 2006 200x200cm Pen and ink on paper photo by Kei Miyajima
  • 4. Yasutaka Nakajima "Time°ķMachine, rice burner" 2009 Kawasaki Z400FX, paint, mother-of-pearl inlay, gold, silver, FRP, iron, straw mat photo by Shinichi Yokoyama
  • 5. "Helmet with Open Clamshell Ornament" Edo Period°°lacque and others H62.5°ŖW35.5°ŖD37cm
  • 6. Utagawa Kuniyoshi "Rorihakucho Chojun, from Kuniyoshi°«s series of woodblock prints illustrating the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden°°Minamoto Yorimitsu" 1818-30 Oban Nishiki-e°°
°ŁBASARA°Ł
Period: August 4 (wed) - 7(sat), 2010 (4 days)
Venue: Spiral Garden
5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
tel:03-3498-1171
www.spiral.co.jp
Oening hours: 11:00-20:00
*Oening reception: 19:00-21:00, August 4
(live performance scheduled)
Admission: free

Artists: Manabu Ikeda, Kaoru Ijima, Takehiko Inoue, Yuki Inoue, Jumpei Ueda, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Kawanabe Kyousai, Kim Riyu, HORIYOSHI ?, SHIGE, Masaru Tatsuki, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Hiroaki Tsujino, Hisashi Tenmyouya, Toyohara Kunichika, Yasutaka Nakajima, Hisashi Narita, Tetsuya Noguchi, HITOTZUKI (KAMI+SASU), Jun Matsuyama, Maruwakaya+Kamide Choemongama, Ruriko Murayama, YAMAGUCHI Akira, Tadanori Yokoo

Other exhibits: Inro, oribe teacup, handguard, helmet, kanzashi, Jomon pottery, tobacco pouch, decoration trucks, decoration mobile phone, customized motorbikes
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The BASARA Exhibition sheds light on the lateral sides of Japanese culture. The show is organized, planned and curated by contemporary artist Hisashi Tenmyouya. Until now, talking about Japanese culture whether from or outside Japan would probably put the accent on words such as °»wabi°… (austere beauty), °»sabi°… (elegant simplicity), °»zen°… or °»otaku°…, depicting Japan as the country of anime and manga, austere and static, valuing simplicity and minimalism. But Japanese culture doesn°«t stop to this, those aspects being only one side of it. Japan°«s culture is also about the Japanese admiring cherry blossoms gaily scattering from full bloom trees, getting enraptured by the beauty of fireworks illuminating the sky or dashing and cheering while parading with gorgeous mikoshi (portable shrines) and dashi (parade floats).

At the extreme opposite of those °»wabi°…, °»sabi°…, °»zen°… or °»otaku°… values, is an extraordinary beauty, outrageous and rebel. This is BASARA and this exhibition aims at finding out its essence into several moments of Japanese beauty history. BASARA originally designated someone enjoying beauty in terms of luxurious behaviors, adopting gaudy unusual customs and was a fashionable social trend back during the Northern and Southern Courts period in medieval Japan. The word itself comes from the name of one of the Twelve Heavenly Generals, Basara, which original Sanskrit meaning is °»diamond°…. Diamond as the hardest material, able to crush anything, became an image for those who rebel and abolish the established order and notions, and sneer at the authority.

The sense of beauty of °»BASARA°…, enjoying bravery and seeking for splendor, is both dazzling and rebellious. This is a unified æsthetics of °»luxury°… when considered visually and at the same time an inner urge for °»destruction°…. It is based on the ambiguity of the splendor of the outside appearance that catches the eye and the defiance toward the existing order, an attempt to triumph over it with a plan for deconstruction. In The Characteristics of Japanese Art, art historian Yukio YASHIRO speaks of 4 traits that are °»impressionism°…, °»ornamentalism°…, °»symbolism°…, and °»sentimentalism°…. In that frame of thought, the BASARA beauty would be an ornamental beauty as well as a symbolic one.

The BASARA exhibition is a new attempt to boldly deconstruct Japanese art history and try to directly reconnect contemporary Japanese culture to its history. The BASARA spirit, free from established values, was the seed at the origin of the later °»revolution°… that took place during the troublous times of the warring kingdoms period, when the law of the jungle prevailed. Thus I propose BASARA as an opposite alternative to the °»wabi°…, °»sabi°…, °»zen°… and °»otaku°… values.

The genes of BASARA displayed in this exhibition are more alive than ever in contemporary Japan. Exhibits range widely from Artworks by contemporary artists to Jomon earthenwares, golden leaf sliding door paintings, grotesque samurai helmets, tea ceremony bowls, ukioe prints, Japanese traditional tattoos, gekiga graphic novels and examples from the decoration culture. I aim through this exhibition at establishing new æsthetic standards, BASARA, that revolution Japan°«s stiffen cultural values, its traditional ethics and prevailing hierarchy.

TENMYOUYA Hisashi
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