Artists: Atsushi Fukui, Masahiko Kuwahara, Toru Kuwakubo, Richard Tuttle, Shooshie Sulaiman, Yuko Someya
Atsushi Fukui’s paintings embrace peaceful and tranquil world of fantasy based on his original stories. His motifs and landscapes – plants such as mushrooms and trees, a girl in a forest, animals, fragments of daily life – are woven into metaphorical and philosophical world with meticulous lines and beautiful, clear colors. Influence from the western science fiction and comics that fascinated him in his childhood and time when he was aspiring to become a musician led to his touches and themes. Fukui has created a cover picture of David Sylvian’s record jacket as well as a collaboration work with him.
Atsushi Fukui was born in 1966 in Aichi prefecture. In 1989, he completed his B.A. in oil painting at Tokyo University of the Arts. He is currently based in Yamanashi prefecture.
His major solo exhibitions include “air” (2016, yu-un, Tokyo) and “Council of Backpacking” (2015, ROPPONGI HILLS A/D GALLERY, Tokyo). His first show at Tomio Koyama Gallery was the group exhibition “morning glory” curated by Yoshitomo Nara (Tokyo, Japan, 2002). Thereafter, he held 6 solo exhibitions at Tomio Koyama Gallery.
Fukui’s major group exhibitions include “TAKAHASHI COLLECTION Mindfulness!” (2013, Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Kagoshima, Japan [touring Sapporo Art Museum, Hokkaido, Japan]) “ORANGE SKY” (2011, RH Gallery, New York), “Punkt Art 2011 David Sylvian-in cooperation with Atsushi Fukui uncommon deities” (2011, Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway), “convolvulus: Atsushi Fukui / Hideaki Kawashima” (2009, Michael Ku Gallery, Taipei), “The Masked Portrait” (2008, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York), “ROPPONGI CROSSING” (2004, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo). His works have been included in the public collections of The Olbricht Collection (Germany), The JAPIGOZZI Collection (US/ Switzerland), The Takahashi Collection (Japan) and The Japan Foundation (Japan).
Masahiko Kuwahara was born in Tokyo in 1959. He has held nine solo exhibitions with Tomio Koyama Gallery: “Abandoned Child” (1997), “View” (1999), “Life and Pus” (2001), “Land Development” (2005), “In the End of Summer” (2007), “Window” (2008), “Sweet and Desserts” (2010), “Only in Dream” (2012), and “Bright Days” (2015). He has also help two solo exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, the United States, in 2001 and 2008. His major group exhibitions include “TOKYO POP” (Hiratsuka Museum of Art, Kanagawa, 1996), “The Japanese Experience – Inevitable” (Ursula Blickle Stiftung Foundation, Kraichtal, Germany, 2002; traveled to Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria in 2004), “POPjack: Warhol to Murakami” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, 2002), “Japan Pop” (Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, 2005), “Portrait Session” (NADiff, Tokyo / Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, 2007) and “Pathos and Small Narratives” (Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea, 2011).
Toru Kuwakubo started his career as a painter in a theatrical manner – inventing an imaginary painter within himself and creating paintings with thick layers of paint that remind us of the Impressionists – as a part of his performance as an idealized professional painter. Since then he has continued exploring the possibility of painting as a medium, by working with the richness of the materiality of paint and physicality of the painter. Narrative is an important element of Kuwakubo’s practice. He has written Telling of Sea, Telling of Painter, his self-published paperback, which contains short tales as well as his theory of art. The images that are flowing out from the narratives take forms on paintings, perhaps searching for continuing narratives and painting’s ability of conveying them.
Toru Kuwakubo was born in Zama, Kanagawa in 1978. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department at Tama Art University in 2002. Kuwakubo won the Tokyo Wonder Wall Award sponsored by Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 2002. He also received the 3rd Koji Kinutani Prize by the Mainichi Newspaper in 2011 and VOCA Encouragement Prize sponsored by The Ueno Royal Museum in 2012. He has held many solo exhibitions including “The Sea by Night and Day” at The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation (London, 2012) and group exhibitions both in Japan such as “Site: Place of Memories, Spaces with Potential” at Hiroshima MOCA (Hiroshima, Japan, 2012) and abroad including Germany, Denmark, Korea. He has held solo exhibitions at Tomio Koyama Gallery in 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2014.
Richard Tuttle is one of the most significant artists at work today. His oeuvre over long artistic career of almost half a century since the mid – 1960s comprises an extraordinarily multifarious body of work – sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, installation, poetry and publication – that is beyond categorization. Shared by all his work is a sense of autonomy and independence, and its own features – line, form, texture, color, volume – are woven into fresh and poetic, alternative visual languages that are outside of existing preconceptions or representation systems, and which, through their spatial developments, result in rich sensory engagement. He has had a large influence on subsequent generations as one of the most important post-minimalist artists. Without a specific reference point, his investigations of line, volume, color, texture, shape, and form are imbued with a sense of spirituality and informed by a deep intellectual curiosity. Language, spatial relationship, and scale are also central concerns for the artist, who maintains an acute awareness for the viewer’s aesthetic experience.
Tuttle held a major exhibition “I Don’t Know. The Weave of Textile Language” at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and Whitechapel Gallery in 2015. His latest solo exhibition “Richard Tuttle: Critical Edge” is being held now at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (April 2–June 26, 2016).
One of the most important artists working in Southeast Asia, Shooshie Sulaiman utilizes a wide array of artistic approaches, from two-dimensional works, site-specific installations, and performances to writing, and even creating spaces such as gallery and bookstore to encounter fresh experiences of art, suggesting that for her, artistic practice and life are inextricable. Many of her works are based on situation, experience, and process, unique to her identity. Seeking knowledge to educate herself and layering semiotics, contradiction and beauty, her work explores history, cultural and social configurations and human experience and imagination within the context of Malaysia and Southeast Asia and beyond.
Sulaiman has recently held a solo exhibition “Malay Mawar” at Kadist Art Foundation, Paris from June to July this year.
She has presented in many important international exhibitions including Documenta 12 (2007), Asia-Pacific Triennial (2009- 10), Singapore Biennale (2011), and Gwangju Biennale (2014). Following the Art Unlimited section at Art Basel in 2014, she has presented a large scale installation at the Encounter section at Art Basel Honk Kong curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor in 2015. Her work is collected by Kadist Foundation, Paris, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
For more information about Yuko Someya, please visit the website of Koyama Art Projects.
Yuko Someya was born in 1980 in Chiba. She completed her Master’s degree in printmaking at Tokyo University of Arts, the Department of Art, in 2006. She received awards for her work at Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo in 2004 and her works are now part of the museum collection. “I move my pencil as if I was spelling a word,” Someya says of her works, intricately drawing and coloring motifs such as flowers, birds, plants, and animals. The paintings often embrace generous blank spaces in which the motifs are given the sense of floating, releasing strong brightness as if to invite the viewers into the stories, and to continue them. Her specialized method using ink and distinctive transparency in color and texture created by layered washi paper are also attractive.