Artists: Atsushi Fukui, Masahiko Kuwahara, Toru Kuwakubo, Richard Tuttle, Shooshie Sulaiman, Yuko Someya
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 started exhibiting his work in the 1980s. He has consistently expressed a sense of absurdity with regard to scenery and humanity being changed by modernization. Inorganic buildings and sceneries created by Japan’s economic prosperity during the 1960s and 70s, dolls and toys that were consumed and abandoned to anonymity, and uncanny creatures living by polluted water, are the primary scenery in which Kuwahara himself grew up. He depicts their sadness in light and humorous ways, assimilated with pale color tones and blurred outlines, suggesting our contemporary feelings of fleeting emptiness, dullness, and loneliness, yet also enabling us to sense a mysterious kind of happiness.
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 hold 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 was born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1978. He graduated from the Department of Painting, Oil Painting Course at Tama Art University in 2002. He currently lives and works in Kanagawa.
Kuwakubo started his artistic practice with a theatrical approach, finding the figure of an imaginary painter within himself as a means to explore contemporary art through the medium of painting. His unique expressions created by a classical technique of layering thick oil paint to depict contemporary imagined sceneries reminiscent of the work of Van Gogh, have received acclaim both internationally and within Japan.
The “Calendar Series,” which he started producing in 2014, depicting the respective lives of great masters within art history upon a single canvas, was finally completed in 2020. In the “Calendar Series,” prominent painters selected by Kuwakubo, such as Munch, Van Gogh, and Modigliani, are each assigned a month in the calendar, and the works, studios, and lives of these artists are expressed as spectacular spaces of alternate dimension through manner of Kuwakubo’s own interpretation, serving as an ultimate homage that gives rise to a certain resonance that transcends both time and space.
He has held solo exhibitions in numerous locations throughout the world including New York, London, Copenhagen, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo. Major group exhibitions include “Site: Place of Memories, Spaces with Potential” (Hiroshima MOCA, Hiroshima, 2013), “Tokyo Painting II | Mindscape between interior and exterior” (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, 2013), “Artist File 2010: The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art” (The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2010) and “Tokyo Wonder Wall” (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2003).
Kuwakubo won First Prize at the 3rd D-Art Biennale (2013), VOCA Encouragement Prize sponsored by The Ueno Royal Museum (2012), the 3rd Koji Kinutani Prize by the Mainichi Newspaper (2011) and the Tokyo Wonder Wall Award sponsored by Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2002).
His works are included in numerous public collections including JAPIGOZZI Collection, the DAI-ICHI LIFE Insurance Company, Ryutaro Takahashi Collection, Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Taguchi Art Collection and Toyota Art Collection.
Born in Malaysia in 1973, Shooshie Sulaiman is currently recognized as one of the most important contemporary artists of Southeast Asia. Of both Malay and Chinese origin, the history of Southeast Asia, the culture of her homeland of Malaysia, as well as her personal memories and her own identity, serve as significant themes within her work. An almost mystical air permeates Sulaiman’s oeuvre, with works produced through diverse approaches such as drawings, collages, installations, and performances that at times appropriate natural elements from trees, soil, to water that are native to the land. Through them, the works inform viewers of the complex and inextricably connected relationship between human beings, nature, and art.
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. The recent solo exhibitions include “Malay Mawar” at Kadist Art Foundation, Paris in 2016 and “Shooshie Sulaiman Drawings” at 8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo in 2018. Her work is collected by Kadist Foundation, Paris, Singapore Art Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
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.
Richard Tuttle was born in Rahway, New Jersey, USA, in 1941. He currently lives and works in New York City, and New Mexico. In 1963 he completed his BA in philosophy and literature at Trinity College, Hartford, USA. He held his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, in 1965 when he was 24 years old, and an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975 when he was 34 years old. Such exhibitions attracted significant attention, and had given rise to various topics of public discussion. Tuttle has further participated in international exhibitions such as La Biennale di Venezia (1976, 1997, 2001), Documenta (1972, 1977, 1987), “Skulptur Projekte in Münster” (1987), and the Whitney Biennial (1977, 1987, 2000). Richard Tuttle is thus not only a leading figure in post minimalism, but can also be described as an artist who has constantly stimulated the art scene while transcending conventions of categorization, historical contexts, and genres.
His recent exhibitions include The Art of Richard Tuttle, a large-scale retrospective that was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and then traveled across various venues within the USA from 2005 to 2007. In 2014, Tuttle held a major exhibition I Don’t Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language at the Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery, garnering much interest for his monumental winged sculpture with textiles that was installed in the Turbine Hall. Tuttle’s works are housed in the collections of numerous museums throughout the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum among other prestigious museums in the USA, as well as the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, and Museum Ludwig. In Japan, his work is a part of the collection of the National Museum of Art, Osaka.