uncategorizedArmory Week 2012
Friday, March 16th, 2012

Rising Sun on the Hudson: New Fair for Japanese Contemporary Art


New City Art Fair: Japanese Contemporary Art

March 7 to March 11, 2012
529 West 20th Street, Second Floor
New York City

Tomoko Ashikawa and Shin Yamauchi in their gallery, Waitingroom, and (right) a Zen garden greeting visitors to the fair.  Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Tomoko Ashikawa and Shin Yamauchi in their gallery, Waitingroom, and (right) a Zen garden greeting visitors to the fair. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

A couple of blocks south of the Independent was the latest addition to the packed roster of Armory Week fixtures:  New City Art Fair.  The vowel-free hpgrp Gallery was the instigator of this fair  that brought together eleven galleries representing Japanese contemporary artists.

Shusuk Ao, gallerist Ei Kibukawa, Masaru Aikawa and Yuki Hashimoto. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Shusuk Ao, gallerist Ei Kibukawa, Masaru Aikawa and Yuki Hashimoto. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Kawaii figures, animé riffs on classical scroll paintings, and whimsical reactions to life in a high tech world were evident at eitoeiko gallery.  These three young artists there in person to discuss their work.

Works by Yuki Hashimoto at eitoeiko, Tokyo (left) and by Kenichi Yokono at Unseal Contemporary, Tokyo. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Works by Yuki Hashimoto at eitoeiko, Tokyo (left) and by Kenichi Yokono at Unseal Contemporary, Tokyo. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Yuki Hashimoto painstakingly creates and crafts figures made entirely with clay onto cellphone bodies. Each one has its own profile. #15, for example, is YOSHIE: She has a difficulty to walk. But she is good at English and she is a Japanese/English bilingual office worker. Last month she was married with a tall man who was introduced by her friend. She will quit her job and will be a housewife. Inspired by Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth (1948).

FSS X00 by Shusuke Ao at eitoeiko, Tokyo.  Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

FSS X00 by Shusuke Ao at eitoeiko, Tokyo. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Shusuke Ao showed an airplane in reverse, as he described it, called FSS-X00. In a statement the artist says: We are usually surrounded by technology. However, supposing you stand in front of this work, you will be in the outside of technology then. And that is a frontier of imagination and creativity usually confined by technology. You will hear the exhaust sound of your engine called imagination which exists inside you there.

Masaru Aikawa with his work at eitoeiko, Tokyo (right) and another stand at New City Art Fair.  Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Masaru Aikawa with his work at eitoeiko, Tokyo (right) and another stand at New City Art Fair. Photo: Robin Siegel, for artcritical

Masaru Aikawa’s CD project appears, at first glance, to be a display of disks on shelves with two listening stations next to it. On closer inspection, they are in fact replicas and on listening to them one discovers not Queen, Kraftwerk, Jimi Hendrix, or the Ramones, as labeled, but a tonally challenged Aikawa humming each song.


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