Tokyo Contemporary Art Award 2019-2021 Exhibition
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
March 20 – June 20, 2021
Temporary closure from April 25 (Sunday) to May 11 (Tuesday)
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Arts and Space (TOKAS) established the Tokyo Contemporary Art Award (TCAA) in 2018 as a contemporary art prize to encourage mid-career artists to make new breakthroughs in their work by providing them with two years of continuous support. An award exhibition will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo featuring Kazama Sachiko and Shitamichi Motoyuki, the winners of the inaugural Tokyo Contemporary Art Award 2019-2021. This exhibition highlights early and recent works by Kazama Sachiko and Shitamichi Motoyuki.
Kazama Sachiko‘s latest series is also the title of her exhibition: Magic Mountain. It is inspired by German novelist Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and revolves around the theme of breaking away from confrontation through introspection amid the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Her exhibition presents past works related to this theme, in addition to other large-scale artworks, to show the trajectory of her thought as an artist.
Kazama Sachiko probes the past to uncover the origins of contemporary phenomena, creating primarily black woodblock prints foreshadowing the dark clouds hanging over the future. She uses a variety of motifs, turning each print into nonsense in a manga-like style, experimenting with diverse forms of expression using a single color, black, but making effective use of its gradations. She uses sharp, knife-etched lines to artfully depict themes. Her works portray fictional worlds, but, in creating them, she has carried out original, and thorough, research on old documents and other materials. By carving the black gloom of reality and history, she scoops out the lies from truth and depicts truth from lies.
Through his projects, Shitamichi Motoyuki has created works that incorporate the intentions of others into his own process, as well as works that are passed onto, or used by others, and therefore blur the boundaries of what we consider “artwork.” He attempts to discover what lies between ordinary life and artistic creation by focusing on works that develop in the course of life as it unfolds.
Shitamachi Motoyuki spent four years researching and photographing gun batteries and hangars for military aircraft throughout Japan, publishing the results in the Remnants series (2001-2005). He then traveled to the USA, Taiwan, Russia, and Korea to shoot Japanese shrine gates remaining from Japan’s colonial period for his masterpiece Torii series (2006-2012). Shitamachi, known for creative activities based on extensive travel and fieldwork, produces works that, while documenting landscapes, are not an archive of historical facts. They are evidence of stories forgotten in everyday life or so routine as to be clearly sensed, brought to life through photographs, events, and interviews, edited to restore their reality, and shown to us today as events beside us, that continue to affect life today.