Art News

The ICN Gallery Opens in London With Contemporary Japanese Show

artwork: Ryo Arai - "Untitled", 2011 - Paper sculpture - Courtesy Hanakgesho Gallery. On view at ICN Gallery, London  in "Ohako" from September 8th until October 19th.

London.- September 8th sees the opening of ICN Gallery, an exciting new commercial Asian art gallery in Shoreditch, London, that will exhibit everything from Pop Art to traditional craft works from the contemporary Japanese and Asian art scene. Reflecting the creative culture of Asia, and in particular Japan, this unique gallery with its adjoining café specialising in Japanese tea, delivers a new style of art space in London. The ICN gallery will open with a very special exhibition entitled ‘Ohako’, on view from September 8th through October 19th.

artwork: Keiko Masumoto - "Not quite a vessel, not quite an object", 2011 Ceramic sculpture Courtesy ICN Gallery, London.The word ‘Ohako’ means ‘one’s best skill’ but is also the word for traditional Japanese tea boxes. Each of the 30 participating artists, who are leading the creative culture scene in Japan today, specialising in manga art, ceramics, architecture, fashion design, character design and fine art, were given a traditional tea box from Shizuoka. They created a unique piece of art that is housed inside, transforming it into an art box, with a view to giving London visitors a rare opportunity to experience the unique harmony of the Japanese arts using a combination oftraditional and contemporary expression.

Amongst the participating artists are Riusuke Fukahori, who’s signature works are his goldfish that look three dimensional but in reality they are two-dimensional, painted with acrylic on layer after layer of resin. The painted layers create a shadow that makes it seem as if the goldfish are actually swimming around. The work could be counted as both contemporary art and contemporary craft. Keiko Masumoto challenges the traditional dominating relationship of the vessel and it’s motif. Keiko’s work possesses comprehensive techniques of Japanese pottery that will make a believer of anyone. Ryo Arai is a sculptor who specialises in papier-mâché, the art of shadow. He has inherited the craftsman skills in making traditional toys with papier-mâché, which originates from the Edo period (since the 1600’s). Arai continues to pursue this rare form of craftwork that is under the threat of extinction. His paper sculpture creations are well known as book cover designs for the popular Japanese author Kyogoku Natsuhiko.

Sachiho Kondo’s works are created by using Japanese washi paper, ink, pigments and pen. By only using the colour black she creates a graphic and catchy pop element of work with a humorous twist. After working at the Issey Mikake design studio since 1983, Kazushi Kobayashi became independent in 1988. In 2001 he received the Ueno no Mori Museum prize at The 24th Japan Ivory Sculptures exhibition. His works are created from a sheet of paper cut out with scissors and folded into three dimensional forms. The theme is the momentary brilliance of life and his works have mythical stories hidden within.

artwork: Sachiho Kondo - "Unlimited Panties", 2011 - Ink, pigments & pen on washi paper Courtesy ICN Gallery, London. On view from September 8th until October 19th.

Other artists included in the exhibitions include, Paradise Yamamoto, Seijiro Niwa, Takao Aoki, Reiko Motohara, Gen Miyamura, Mai Miyake, Kyoei Design: Kouichi Okamoto, Hideyuki Kume, Shinnosuke, Daisuke Nagaoka, Kazuhiro Ishigami, Wabisabi: Kudo “Wabi” Ryouhei/Nakanishi “Sabi” Kazush, Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama, Osamu Watanabe, Takao Sakai, Ayako Takagi, KIMA, Yukinori Dehara, Wataridori project: Tomoko Aso /Akiko Takeuch, Nobumasa Takahashi, Masataka Kurashina, Riusuke Fukahori, Fantasista Utamaro, Shiriagari Kotobuk and Tanaka Katsuki. Visit the gallery’s website at …