Azby Brown

  • Teiji Furuhashi

    Teiji Furuhashi is an innovator’s innovator. Adept with moving imagery, technology, visual language, text, and the use of the body in performance, he was the founding member of the Kyoto-based art collective Dumb Type, and recently held his first solo exhibition with a work entitled Lovers. The work presented there, sponsored by ARTLAH and held ar Hillside Plaza in Tokyo’s Daikanyama, not surprisingly shared many characteristics with Dumb Type’s previous large-scale performance works, installations, and mixed-media pieces, bur there were differences as well. Whereas the “characters” in Dumb

  • Mika Yoshizawa

    An abstract painter who became known in the early ’80s for her large-scale, gestural paintings on unorthodox surfaces such as vinyl and aluminum, Mika Yoshizawa has continued to refine her vocabulary with an uncommon singularity of purpose, seemingly impervious to the vagaries of the art world. She remains an autographic artist, for whom delicate touch and meditative process are the keys to content. Hers is an art of solitude, of focused and incremental (though not systematic) investigation, about the search for form and the bestowing of meaning through that search.

    From the outset, Yoshizawa

  • Atsushi Kitagawara

    Atsushi Kitagawara first gained widespread recognition in 1986 with his theatrical, faux-deco cinema complex called “RISE” in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Since then he has consistently revealed himself as a master of free juxtaposition and nonorthogonal planning and detailing. Not unlike the experience of Shin Takamatsu or Philippe Starck’s designs, the experience of his buildings is predominantly one of hedonism, eroticism, and sadomasochism. While not as vacantly painful as Takamatsu, nor as gallicly scatological as Starck, Kitagawara seems to share with them a voyeur’s conception of Tokyo, and

  • Yukinori Yanagi

    Yukinori Yanagi is one of the few contemporary Japanese artists whose work can be characterized as primarily conceptual, and one of an even smaller contingent that attempts to address the thorny issues of nationalism, ideology, and politics. Yanagi’s recent projects have all dealt with national flags as emotionally charged but essentially abstract symbols, humorously probing notions of statehood, history, and the myths of national character. This exhibition featured plans and documentation for the ongoing “Wandering Position” project, which involves vehicles of various types operating within

  • “Reproduced Authentic”

    Although computer networks, new broadcast media, etc. show great promise for the future of “global” art, the art object itself has lost none of its appeal. This timely exhibition, entitled “Reproduced Authentic,” could only have been realized in this age of FAX, and it proposes a solution to the problem of how to reap the advantages of dematerialized electronic transmission without losing the marketable object in the process.

    David Byrne, Barbara Kruger, Sol LeWitt, Haim Steinbach, Jeff Wall, along with curator Joseph Kosuth, each sent an image by FAX from New York to Tokyo. The receiving machine

  • Yasumasa Morimura

    Since 1985 Yasumasa Morimura has been photographing himself as the central character of various Western paintings. Although the satirical component of these works is readily apparent, and much of their impact lies in their sexual and racial ambiguities, they can perhaps best be understood as critiques of Japanese culture and its relation to the West, explored through the self-portrait format.

    Morimura rightly sees the canon of Western art history as an important part of the visual culture of contemporary Japan. On several occasions he has stated that Western art and classic Japanese art are

  • “Japonisme”

    Japonisme,” an exhibition concerning the Japanese influence on Western art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is by and large an impressive show. It is exhaustive and exhausting, with an equally comprehensive accompanying catalogue. The initial and most lasting impression is one of overwhelming quantity; there were so many artists and designers working with Japanese motifs during this period, and their work was widely disseminated, both through the printed media and through the mass production of designed goods. What we now call “Japonisme,” as well as those products better labeled “