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  • Backwoods Gallery
  • Backwoods Gallery
  • Backwoods Gallery
  • Backwoods Gallery

Japanese Art at Backwoods Gallery: Hidden Champions of Tokyo Exhibition

July 22, 2015
Anika Dačić graduated in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade and is currently pursuing MA in Literary and Cultural Studies. Her interests lie in social and cultural aspects of contemporary art production and she especially enjoys writing about street and urban art. Likes to knit, play adventure video games and host quiz nights at a local bar.

Currently on view, at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne, is a collective exhibition titled Hidden Champions of Tokyo. The initiative for mounting this exhibition came from the director of Backwoods Gallery Alexander Mitchell who was, for the past ten years, working and living between Melbourne and Tokyo. This factor gave him the amazing opportunity to compare cultural similarities as well as differences and come to the conclusion that art is the universal language, no matter of its origin.

Backwoods Gallery
Left: Nao Nozaka – Heptagon 1. Giclee on Acrylic Board – 55.5 x 54.7 cm / Right: Tohru Matsushita – Black Fall #13, 2015. Lacquer Paint on MDF Board

Tokyo Contemporary Art Scene

The list of participants for this exhibition was carefully selected with the help of the Hidden Champion Magazine, Tokyo’s primary publication in the field of contemporary art and lifestyle which follows Japanese art scene as well as the global one. The selection came to be a representative sample of leading Tokyo artists in the field of urban, contemporary art, illustration and photography. Some of these artists are not strangers to the Melbourne art world since many of them already had the opportunity to collaborate with the Backwoods Gallery during the Study of Camouflage exhibition, a part of the ongoing series of exhibitions titled The Series of … hosted by Alexander Mitchell. The aim of the Hidden Champions group exhibition is to show how cultural spirit between Melbourne and Tokyo local communities is rather similar than oppositional.

Backwoods Gallery
Left: Yuma Yoshimura – Kaihouku, 2013. Marker, Pen, Toner, Needle on Aluminium – 41 x 31.8cm / Right: Yuma Yoshimura – Dakara-Watashiwa-Sikonisuwaru, 2015. Marker, Acrylic, Spray on Canvas – 41 x 24.2cm

Hidden Champions

The Hidden Champions exhibition will gather some illustrious contemporary Tokyo artists. The roster will include: Jun Inoue, K-Narf, Kami & Sasu, Madsaki, Mark Drew, Masaho Anotani, Mhak, Nao Nozaka, Ryuchi Ogino, Senekt, Shohei Otomo, Shohei Takasaki, Shun Kawakami, Tohr, Toshikazu Nozaka, Usugrow, Yasumasa Yonehara, Yoshimitsu Umekawa and Yuma Yoshimura. These artists are presenting their latest achievements through the various artistic techniques from painting and photography to illustration and mixed-media artworks. The ‘hidden champions’ of Tokyo’s art scene are bringing some refreshing view on the contemporary artistic practices while at the same time stay in touch with their cultural heritage, creating a dialogue between Tokyo of the past and the one of today.

Backwoods Gallery
Left: Mark Drew – Teen Bedroom Floor: Beastie Boys T-shirt. Papercut – 42 x 52 cm / Right: Mhak – Set. Mixed Media on Wood Panel – 29 x 21 x 5 cm

Contemporary Japanese Art at Backwoods Gallery

The Hidden Champions of Tokyo exhibition is in progress and it will run until the July 26th, 2015. If you happen to be in Melbourne, you have a few more days to visit the Backwoods Gallery and see some remarkable artworks created by the leading contemporary Japanese artists. The Hidden Champions exhibition is a great opportunity to get in touch with current achievements of Tokyo’s local contemporary art scene and to see if Alexander Mitchell was right and these two cities really share the same ‘vibe’ in spite of their cultural differences.

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Featured images:

Shohei Otomo – Syaraku Acid – 2015 – Ballpoint and Sticker on Ukiyo E-Print (Toshusai Sharaku), detail Shonei Takasaki – The Analyze B – Ink on Paper – 2015 – 79 x 53 cm Yasumasa Yonehara – Tokyo Amour – Fuji Instamax mini, cheki film and acrylic frame – 38 x 48 x 4.5cm Yoshimitsu Umekawa – Incarnations #60 (Urban) – Lambda Digital Print, Edition 1 of 10 – 100 x 100 cm

All images courtesy of Backwoods Gallery

Backwoods Gallery
Shun Kawakami – Landscape, 2015. Original print on traditional Japanese Gold Leaf – 180 x 90 cm
Backwoods Gallery
Left: Madsaki – Happiness Overdose. Acrylic on Stratched Canvas / Right: Knarf – Televideoscope. Mixed Media Bricolage