Emily Wakeling

  • picks March 28, 2018

    Archie Moore

    Archie Moore’s largest solo exhibition to date is titled “1970–2018,” which is the span of time he’s spent on Earth. For this show, the Australian artist has taken over every inch of the Griffith University Art Museum and transformed it into a multisensory experience in which visitors are encouraged to touch the objects. The eponymous work on display comprises several rooms associated with the indigenous artist’s earliest memories.

    Through one doorway, Moore’s first angsty art-school paintings hang along a narrow hallway that smells of disinfectant. Around the corner, a living room: Clips from

  • picks March 02, 2018

    Tracey Moffatt

    In 1984, Audre Lorde issued a declaration to her white, straight feminist associates: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” In this small but rich survey of key works from the 1980s and 1990s, Australian artist Tracey Moffatt demonstrates her fondness for doing just that—using the tools of Western popular narrative to tell unresolved, unsettling fictions that somewhat resemble the artist’s own biography.

    The exhibition begins with Nice Coloured Girls, 1987, a short film about young indigenous women who use the master’s tools for their entertainment. Stepping out in Sydney’s

  • picks September 28, 2017

    Ross Manning

    In this mid-career survey of Brisbane artist Ross Manning, everyday electronics—along with their prescribed, ubiquitous purposes—are deconstructed to show the fundamental wonders of light, movement, and sound. Many works brilliantly exploit the mechanics and science behind analog projectors, giving (a nearly obsolete) technology new life as kinetic sculptures and immersive installations. In the first room, the artist has constructed Spectra XIII, 2017, a free-hanging, kinetic assemblage of small electrical fans, connected to and propelling fluorescent lights that softly oscillate in opposing

  • picks August 31, 2017

    Manabu Ikeda

    Produced during a residency at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin, Manabu Ikeda’s Rebirth, 2013–16, is the artist’s largest drawing to date. It took Ikeda a little more than three excruciating years to complete this work depicting volatile waves crashing into a precariously perched cherry blossom tree. Rebirth is being exhibited here after traveling to the Saga Prefectural Art Museum in the artist’s hometown—where it drew a record number of visitors—and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. One of the attractions of the piece is its visual acrobatics: Where you expect

  • picks November 24, 2015

    Tsuyoshi Ozawa

    Art institutions across Japan, in observing the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, have started to allow artists more freedom to explore this extremely sensitive topic. With its sympathetic depiction of a fictional war-artist protagonist based on Leonard Foujita, Tsuyoshi Ozawa’s series “The Return of Painter F,” 2015, strongly makes the point that war changed the country’s artists. These men—as could be said of many Japanese returnees—found it difficult to come back to Japan after the war because they no longer felt “Japanese” enough. As Ozawa writes in Chapter 7, one of his

  • picks October 30, 2015

    Masato Nakamura

    After his Japanese pavilion exhibition at the Forty-Ninth Venice Biennale, Masato Nakamura left behind his art practice in favor of leading numerous art initiatives. Questioning the roles of society and education in contemporary art practices, his post-Venice projects also sought to sustain meaningful communication with local communities, such as those surrounding 3331 Arts Chiyoda, his venue in the central Tokyo neighborhood of Kanda. His current solo exhibition, “Luminous Despair,” is his comeback as a practicing artist. Staying true to his closely held interest in locality, his new works call

  • picks June 27, 2014

    RongRong & inri

    Tsumari, in a remote region in northern Japan where Yasunari Kawabata’s 1948 novel Snow Country (Yukiguni) takes place, remains relatively cut off from progress with its late introduction of major roads and train lines. In their latest exhibition, which offers black-and-white photographs shot in this area, the Beijing-based artist duo RongRong & inri offer an intimacy that also evokes the imagery of pure isolation described in Kawabata’s masterpiece. Since “Fuji,” 2001, a previous series in which the artists declared their passion for each other under Japan’s iconic mountain, RongRong and inri

  • picks April 04, 2014

    Danh Vo

    For his first exhibition in Japan, Danh Vo’s flattened-boxes motif is given a local treatment. 麒麟 (Kirin), 2014, uses boxes with labels for Kirin beer. The way these boxes are neatly stacked and bound resembles the way in which Tokyo households leave their paper products outside on recycling day. Once holding something of value—in particular, a product associated with reward and celebration for many Japanese people—the boxes are now empty, transformed from an item of possibility into an item of waste stacked on street corners.

    Waste and objects left behind seem to be unifying themes across all

  • picks September 22, 2013

    Yuichi Inoue

    During his long career, the celebrated avant-garde calligrapher Yuichi Inoue gained international recognition for his bold brushstrokes. Trained under the master avant-garde calligrapher Sokyu Ueda, Inoue became associated with Abstract Expressionism and was featured in major exhibitions in the 1950s, including one at the Museum of Modern Art and “Abstract Art – Japan and the USA,” which toured Japan and Europe. In fact, Inoue was one of the first Japanese artists to be embraced by a postwar Western audience.

    Ten of his large works are currently on view at Tomio Koyama Gallery in the Kiyosumi