FEMINISMS | ITSLIQUID GROUP

FEMINISMS

Art | January 17, 2022 |

feminisms
Image courtesy of ENDO Mai x MOMOSE Aya, Love Condition, 2020

Feminisms
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
October 16, 2021 – March 13, 2022

Feminism in Japan from the 1990s onward was linked to popular culture, focused on girls and young women in Europe and the US, and was disseminated through the media. Young women’s activities in Japan were also featured in the media, particularly a brand of feminism that became known as the “Girly Movement.” However, in Japan’s case, it cannot be denied that in some ways the movement was less a call for change than it was fodder for the media, turning images of women into objects for consumption. Laws such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1986 and the Basic Act for a Gender Equal Society of 1999 were passed and a gender-equal society seemed to be on the way, but in reality, there remained a pervasive sense of incongruity between the individual and society, as seen in the marital and family systems, social norms of heterosexuality, and conventions of femininity and masculinity.

feminisms
Image courtesy of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Photo: KIOKU Keizo

Now, in the 2020s, social changes are stirring as small voices raising dissent to connect through the Internet and gain strength. Feminism, which was thought of as only for women, is extending a helping hand to anyone who feels out of place in society. In recent years, the word has begun to be used in the plural form: feminisms. Ways of thinking about and understanding feminism differ depending on people’s generation and era, nation and ethnic group, environment and values. The message of pluralistic feminisms is the importance and necessity of members of society mutually acknowledging diverse ways of thinking. In this exhibition, works by nine artists, each with their own perspective, offer a window into expressions of feminism in Japan, and how artists perceive gender, the body, society, and what lies beyond.

feminisms
Image courtesy of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Photo: KIOKU Keizo

As the title FEMINISMS indicates, the theme of this exhibition is feminism in plural form, and various interpretations are presented through a wide range of Japanese artworks from the 1990s onward. In today’s digital society, gender, the body, and perceptions of sexuality are becoming more diverse and individualized, and feminist concepts are being expressed from the perspectives of all kinds of people who feel discomfort with societal norms. This exhibition focuses on feminist thought and its shifting, ongoing evolution, and explores diverse perceptions and interpretations through contemporary art.

feminisms
Image courtesy of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Photo: KIOKU Keizo

The exhibition features nine primarily Japan-based contemporary artists whose keen observations and abundant sensitivity have kept them at the forefront of the art scene since the 1990s and in the 21st century. They work in a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, and installations. Here, the viewer is invited to break free of preconceptions and reclaim the innate freedom of the body and mind through works that question relationships between the body and the inner spirit, explore the essence of gender differences and sexuality, and re-examine how gender and identity affect individuals and the society that surrounds them.

feminisms
Image courtesy of KOGURE Shinya USUI Yui, shadow of a coin, 2013-2018, Private collection

With the theme of FEMINISMS, this exhibition consists of gallery spaces co-created by the artists, presenting flexible, diverse, and original ways of thinking about the contemporary body and sexuality, seeking to connect to the next generation by opening up possibilities for new interpretations not bound by existing social norms, institutions, or values. Underlying this endeavor is a warm and gentle gaze fixed on a future society in which physical differences and individuality are accepted and people coexist harmoniously. We hope that this exhibition, firmly rooted in the foundation of feminism that has been built over so many years, will serve as a bridge to a future in which individuals can coexist by celebrating rather than emphasizing differences.

more. www.kanazawa21.jp

feminisms
©️Sachiko Kazama, Courtesy of Tokyo Arts and Space Collection of the artist, photo: TAKAHASHI Kenji KAZAMA Sachiko, Der Lungenwald-LUNGENWALD, 2021 woodcut print (Japanese paper, oil ink), acrylic.
feminisms
©️Sachiko Kazama, Courtesy of Tokyo Arts and Space Collection of the artist, photo: TAKAHASHI Kenji KAZAMA Sachiko, Der Lungenwald-LUNGENWALD, 2021 woodcut print (Japanese paper, oil ink), acrylic.
feminisms
Image courtesy of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Photo: KIOKU Keizo
feminisms
Image courtesy of Yu-KI Yuki, For your own good., 2020
feminisms
Image courtesy of NISHIMURA Koichi NISHIYAMA Minako, ♡Erica’s Palpitant Teleppone Club♡, 1992
feminisms
MORI Eiki, Untitled from the series of Family Regained, 2017 © Eiki Mori, Courtesy of KEN NAKAHASHI

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