autumn place: Kohei Akiba, Julia Chiang, Hiroki Tsukuda, Johannes Weiss, Klaus Scheckenbach
1st Sep 2012 - 30th Sep 2012
Opening reception: 1st Sep 18:00 -20:00
NANZUKA is pleased to announce the opening of a group exhibition featuring works by young new artists Kohei Akiba, Hiroki Tsukuda, American artist Julia Chiang, and German sculptor Johannes Weiss.
Kohei Akiba was born in Tokyo in 1982. He graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2009 with a degree in oil painting and today continues to work mainly in painting and drawing. His works are characterized by his fiercely self-confessional drawings and paintings. A series of self-portraits composed of unstable lines drawn so roughly and with such force that the paper is scratched offer a peek into the solitary, internal struggle of the artist who constantly questions the significance of his own existence, jolting the heart of the viewer. “When I am creating something, my mind becomes completely blank and I am unable to think about anything,” says the artist, whose paintings showcase a strong command of a variety of matière, created with paint that seems to have been thrown violently at the canvas, and which truly appear to be a product of his own flesh and blood. This will be Akiba’s debut exhibition.
Hiroki Tsukuda creates landscapes and architectural drawings in an abstract expression of plane composition. His paintings embrace an almost futuristic atmosphere while also keenly reflecting the contemporary civilized society in which we live. In contrast to the stark solids with which his images are composed, the materials he uses—black ink, pencil, charcoal—are quite simple. Tsukuda’s distinct compositional style, which obscures the code of symbolic images, is also apparent in the gap that exists between the bleeding ink and brushstrokes seen upon looking closely at the piece and the tranquility felt upon viewing the drawing as a whole. Highly acclaimed in Europe, Tsukuda has exhibited in Germany and Holland. He has previously had two solo exhibitions at the NANZUKA gallery.
Brooklyn-based artist Julia Chiang creates sculptures and installations using a variety of materials. Many of her works present an abstract gap between the work itself and the materials used, seen for instance in her ceramic chains, glass-ceramic apples, and a piece in which she spells out simple words using melting Ring Pops. Several of Chiang’s drawings are composed of words that carry simple but powerful messages such as “FOREVER YOURS” and “ALL MY LOVE” written over and over in extremely small lettering; in contrast to the creative process here, which requires a high level of concentration and perseverance, she is in fact able to candidly capture the heart of the viewer. Chiang creates pieces in this way to highlight the imperfection of creating something by hand and to pursue dualities such as pain and joy, fear and courage, and the strength and transient nature of material. Chosen as one of the “100 Artists to Watch” in Modern Painters Magazine in 2011, Chiang has exhibited at Half Gallery in New York and Colette in Paris, and is an up-and-coming young artist to look out for.
Johannes Weiss was born in Germany in 1979, and today lives and works in Berlin as a young sculptor. Weiss’ sculptures are shaped after furniture and other everyday objects that surround us, set in repetition, dismantled, or otherwise transformed to create new forms. He additionally attempts to overcome our conventional imagination by effectively employing a gap created through color usage. For example, when he boldly changes the color one would anticipate as essential for a certain object, the viewer also experiences feeling that the function (and even the taste or smell) of the object has been torn away. In repeating these attempts, he tries to create new models of physical, perceptual experimentation. Weiss studied under Tony Cragg at the Berlin University of the Arts, and though he has participated in a number of exhibitions throughout Europe, this will be his first show in Japan.
The upcoming group exhibition will also feature new wooden sculptures by Swiss artist Klaus Scheckenbach, totaling five young artists. Johannes Weiss will be traveling to Japan from Germany to attend the show’s opening.