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Frantic Gallery
IID 1F, 2-4-5 Ikejiri
Setagaya, Tokyo
Japan 154-0001   map * 
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2010 Frantic Underlines - Part I
by Frantic Gallery
Location: Frantic Gallery
Artist(s): Haruki OGAWA, Naritaka SATOH, Isotani KENTARO, Naoki SASAYAMA, Ken HAYASHIDA, Hitoshi NAKAMORI
Date: 26 Feb - 13 Mar 2010

At the start of 2010, frantic gallery manifests its decisive, irrevocable and vigorous under-lines. Being in the epicenter of a vast, active but unsettled art field we make our choices in the sphere of artistic methods, curatorial programs and critical attention. We frantically point out the artists that we have already shown, draw new attention to the underappreciated sides of known masters, insist on focusing on just-emerging newcomers and strive to discover as-of-yet unrecognized talents. frantic gallery would like to draw 2,010 lines under the names of those with whom it would be honored to think about art together.


frantic underlines Kentaro Isotan’s new series of sculptures, “Dark Watchers,” which we are crossbreeding with his earlier series “White Bitches”. We also would like to bring attention to new two-dimensional works by this sculptor and point out the Pop Art features in his work, which are neither simply kawaii – cute -- nor emptily grotesque.   


frantic underlines are scrawled under Naoki Sasayama’s new series of paintings, “The New World/Hunting,” that manifests the artist’s transition from realistic depictions of death scenes to a fantasy about how the fight for life -- the motive of survival -- would look like beyond the world of the living. We stress the artist’s research into Gothic fashion as a form of resistance to modern propaganda promising a narrow-minded vision of “peace” and the “calmness” of consumer society. And finally we start to work on the topic of “The Primitive!!!”.   


2,010 frantic underlines are scrawled under Haruki Ogawa’s experiments with abstract expression and his generation of intertwined layers of a picture plain. After his solo exhibition “Irritated Figures,” we are thinking about visual representation of “resonance” and the pictorial way in which it is possible to visualize a wave that emanates out from a central figure and turns space and objects around it into pure abstraction.   


frantic underlines Ken Hayshida’s research into extreme interiors, from grimy toilets to baths covered with dirty ceramic plates. The tactile, substantial traces that appear in these interiors -- dust, excrement-like liquids, scratches - lead us to the particular use of cloth threads in Hayashida’s work. Stretched along the canvas, the threads add an enveloping and downy touch to the painting while playing with the figurative dimension by resembling dense, streaming liquids. These threads support the imaginary depth of the painting, and, in the same manner as Japanese calligraphy, bringing forward the surface of the picture itself.     


frantic underlines are scrawled under Naritaka Satoh’s “mechanical” pencil figures, which bring together the artificial and the organic in one body. Satoh’s stuffed toys appear to suffer or seethe with anger; their skin and stitches, their volume and poses are filled with juices of life. His babies shine with artificial beauty, as if their voluptuous shapes were filled with silicon. We bring attention to Satoh’s attempt to create circles of these creatures that share complicated relationship between them, while continuing to explore the topic of “twisted versions of the antagonism between a baby and his doll”. 


frantic underlines are scrawled under Hitoshi Nakamori’s photo-etching technique and the “post apocalyptic” beauty of his works. First, we manifest our plan to think about Japanese prints as an autonomous form of contemporary art that has value beyond that of being easy to sell during economic crises. Second, we draw attention to Nakamori’s method of unifying the ephemeral imprints of memory captured with photography and the more tactile (burned, engrained, rough) surfaces of etching. Third, besides the conceptual strength, we are happy to find in Nakamori’s work a frantic version of kawaii (cuteness): frantic kawaii. Nakamori interprets two of the most representative subjects of Japanese pop culture, Hello Kitty and Panda, depicting them with a deep sensuality. Drawn with chalk, the gloomy figure of Kitty and wandering in the darkness Panda, evoke sadness and lost, making us aware that Japanese Cuteness is always based on a depth of sorrow, while the sweetness of Japanese beauty is light and often has bitter after taste.     


Curated by: Rodion Trofimchenko

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