Gallery’s Pick up for the Month (Art Fair Asia Fukuoka)

  • Gallery’s Pick up for the Month (Art Fair Asia Fukuoka)

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Gallery’s Pick up for the Month (Art Fair Asia Fukuoka)


September 22-24, 2023 (VIP View Sept.21, 22)

Art Front Gallery will participate for the first time in AFAF (Art Fair Asia Fukuoka) to be held at Fukuoka Marine Messe from September 22-24 (VIP View September 21 and 22).

We will exhibit in this art fair Eko Nugroho, contemporary artist representing Indonesia, and Takashi Kuribayashi, one of the members of CINEMA CARAVAN & TAKASHI KURIBAYASHI, who is the only Japanese art collective invited to Documenta 15 last year. Both artists tackle global issues faced by contemporary societies and continue to create works of art not only with sincere attitude but also with a sense of humor.

Prior to AFAF 2023 where their works will be exhibited and sold, we will introduce the charm and background of each artist, to shed lights on their works.

Date September 22-24, 2023 (VIP View Sept.21, 22)
Hours VIP View :Sept.21(Thu) 16:00 – 20:00 、22(Fri) 11:00 – 14:00 / Public View :22(Fri) 14:00 – 19:00、 23(Sat) 11:00 – 19:00 、24(Sun) 11:00 – 17:00
venue Marine Messe Fukuoka B (2-1 Okihama-cho, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture)
Booth Art Front Gallery
Official website
★★★Related event: FaN Week 2023 Special Event Exhibiting "Tanker Project" by Takashi Kuribayashi + CINEMA CARAVAN. The "Genki-ro" will also be in operation! Please come and enjoy it as well. Venue: Maizuru Park (about 20 minutes by car from Marine Messe Fukuoka)

Eko Nugroho

Eko Nugroho, one of Indonesia's leading contemporary artists active not only in Asia but also in Europe and the United States, was born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1977 and has been active in his career since the late 1990s while a student at the Indonesian Art Institute.

As a member of the "reformasi" generation that experienced the collapse of the Suharto regime and Indonesia's transition to democracy following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Nugroho enjoys the freedom of expression that has suddenly become a reality, and while he produces a diverse range of works, his works also project his own political and social consciousness.

Nugroho's work, produced in Yogyakarta, the art capital of Java, is based on two elements: Indonesian traditions and references to contemporary pop culture. While he incorporates traditional batik and embroidery styles into his work, he also draws strong inspiration from contemporary street art (graffiti, etc.) as well as comics and Japanese special effects. He works in a variety of media, including murals, sculpture, animation, tapestries, as well as drawings and paintings.

Among his new works will be "Embroidered Painting" (Embroidered Painting). The work is embroidered directly on top of Nugroho's drawings by local artisans using sewing machines.

Eko Nugroho (exhibited work) "Flowerful Future" 2023 , embroidered painting, 168 x 140cm ⒸEko Nugroho

Eko explains the concept of "Flowerful Future" as follows ;
The embroidery work is a reflection of the optimism to welcome the future after getting through and withstanding the global Covid19 pandemic. It looks at a new era to look forward to and be optimistic about. The work is also intended as a prayer and provider of hope and positivity in our lives to continue our activities and put our ideas and creativity into action. The title is constructed as a wordplay in which the word “powerful” is replaced by “flowerful” to emphasize a future of beauty, growth, hope for life, and brightness.

Also, he once stated that "The embroidery project began as a community project in 2007. The textile industry in the community had been replaced by computers due to the wave of mechanization, and as a result, the people in the community lost their jobs and returned to their villages to become farmers or cab drivers. I invited them to try their hand at embroidery again, and they were so enthusiastic that they bought a sewing machine and began to embroider based on my drawings as faithfully as possible. Of course, it couldn't be exactly the same, but I used the same color thread as much as possible."

Eko Nugroho "Flowerful Future" (detail) 2023, embroidered painting, 168 x 140cm

Nugroho, who has participated in art festivals in Australia, France, Korea, the U.S., and other countries since the 2000s, finds that being exposed to different places and cultures is a source of inspiration for him.

For his participation in the Fukuoka Art Fair, Nugroho visited Fukuoka to observe the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival, which is registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage site and is one of Fukuoka's representative festivals. Inspired by this festival, which is celebrated annually at Kushida Shrine as a religious ceremony to exorcise the plague, Nugroho has created a new work entitled "Festival of Life". Nugroho comments on this work as follows. It reflects on this remarkable ceremony in showing gratitude for life, nature and the creator, celebrated by the community in the form of a beautiful festivity. Apart from the colourful visuals and joyfulness, the event stands for a form of respect and gratitude for life itself and everything people have, and for the universe and nature. This expression and blast of beauty is what gives extraordinary life values for the people and the earth.

Eko Nugroho (Exhibited work) "Festival of Life" 2023, embroidered painting, 184 x 133 cm, inspired by the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival. ⒸEko Nugroho

Also to be exhibited at the fair is "Nowhere is My Destination," a work created locally during his solo exhibition in Tokyo, which reflects his impressions of Japanese culture during his visit to Japan. I have been to Japan many times myself," he said, "and I have been inspired by the energy of each place. I myself have been to Japan many times, but this time I tried to incorporate everyday scenes as much as possible. For example, "Gachapon" is interesting in the sense that it tells the fortune of the day. A small figurine comes out of it. It is very impressive that the Japanese have a very great faith or feeling for Mt. I think Japanese people are very good at protecting their cultural identity. On the other hand, we Indonesians have brought together many cultures from many countries, and recently I feel that people have fallen into a kind of "phobia," feeling anxious and angry about the frequent celebrations under various cultures. (From an interview with Eco Nugroho)

installation view of mural "Nowhere is My Destination" at Art Front Gallery ⒸEko Nugroho

《Bouquet of Love》2017, Plastic waste painted with duco, iron, 1000 x 700cm ⒸEko Nugroho

The artist has also developed major projects in terms of creating works associated with the locality, a good example being the project for a private club in Bali, where he launched a huge three-dimensional work created in 2017 to raise awareness about environmental issues such as waste disposal. The 300 kilograms of trash collected were composed into a 10 x 7 meter work of art called "Bouquet of Love". Eco collected these numerous windows throughout Indonesia and recycled everyday items to be reborn as a colosseum. Together with waste collectors and scavengers, Nugroho and his team collected a variety of discarded items, including plastic buckets, water and soda bottles, tires, and other electronic materials to create "Bouquet of Love," a 10-meter high, 7-meter wide relief work on the facade of the Colosseum. Nugroho's work is a socially conscious work.

Nugroho's work has a narrative that evokes social issues, but at the same time, it has a familiarity and humor that is associated with the faces of the people of the region, and a powerful and bold expression that is very appealing. Please come and see his works at the venue.

Takashi Kuribayashi

Kuribayashi was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1968. After graduating from Musashino Art University, he lived in Germany, where he completed the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as a Meisterschuler in 2002. He currently divides his time between Japan and Indonesia.

Kuribayashi, influenced by his stay in Germany, which has a history of being divided into East and West, continues to work on the theme of "boundaries" using various media, and in 2022 he participated in Documenta 15 (one of the world's largest contemporary art festivals held every five years in Kassel, Germany) at CINEMA CARAVAN & TAKASHI KURIBAYASHI were the only Japanese artists to participate in this event.

In Japan, his activities include "Sumpf Land" (2006), a work permanently installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Towada, "Tree of Ibuki" installed on Ibukijima Island in Kagawa Prefecture since the Setouchi Triennale 2019, and "Mountain Range" installed at Tokyo Midtown Yaesu in 2022, which is a dynamic and impressive work that shakes stereotypes. Many of you may be familiar with his dynamic and impressive works that shake up stereotypes.

(from top) Takashi Kuribayashi, "Sumpf Land" 2006, Towada Art Center, Aomori, Japan / "Tree of Ibuki" 2019, Setouchi Triennale 2019, Ibuki Island, Kanagawa / "Mountain Range" 2022, Tokyo Midtown Yaesu, Tokyo ⒸTakashi Kuribayashi

At this year's art fair, we will exhibit and sell a group of works related to the Tanker Project, which was also presented at Documenta 15.

Dozens of large tankers have run aground and been abandoned in the middle of the ocean, where there is nothing to see as far as the 360-degree view. In such a mysterious landscape that does not seem real, "Tankers leave their places due to storms and typhoons and wander around the world's oceans. Migratory birds stop to rest, and the creatures and plants they bring with them put down roots and eventually become a forest that covers the entire ship. Plants and creatures from all over the world will continue to grow on the tanker, creating one large ecosystem, the world of the tanker. The tanker project started from Kuribayashi's fantasy.

Starting from a virtual sea on the Internet, the project aims to put into service a real tanker island that carries all the energy of the earth and sails freely around the world, while turning each step of the process into an exhibition or project in the real world.

Reference: Takashi Kuribayashi "Tanker Project ― Prologue:Road to documenta fifteen" installation view at BankART1929

Takashi Kuribayashi (Exhibited work) "Tanker Project Concept Drawing" 2021, chalk on black board, 88x182cm ⒸTakashi Kuribayashi

Takashi Kuribayashi (exhibited work )"Tanker Project Drawing #05" 2021, water color on paper, frame size 42.4x 34.8cm ⒸTakashi Kuribayashi

Takashi Kuribayashi(+photo by Rai Shizuno) Exhibited work ”Road to documenta fifteen #2: Beuys_Genki-ro“, 2021, printed on Awa paper, drawing, frame size 113.7x156.8x5cm ⒸTakashi Kuribayashi and Rai Shizuno

Documenta 15, in which Kuribayashi participated last year, was directed by ruangrupa, an Indonesian art collective whose philosophy is "No art, Make friends." Fifty-four artists and collectives from around the world participated. This was the first time since Documenta's inception in 1955 that an Asian director was selected. "Lumbung" is the Indonesian word for a communal rice warehouse. The spirit of sharing material and intellectual resources, in the same way that harvested rice is stored and shared by the community, was a foundational attitude for Documenta 15.

Kuribayashi, who was told by ruangrupa not to do or create art this time, presented the project "Out of the Mosquito Net" together with Cinema Caravan. This mobile project, which included the piece "Genki-ro" took place at various locations depending on the day, including an herbal sauna using local herbs, an open-air film screening, and a bar. At night, when it gets dark, people gathered there as if attracted by the flickering lights. Artists and visitors from various countries and people walking their dogs stopped to chat. This work, filled with a mysterious energy, was a symbolic scene of this year's Documenta, according to the artist.

Kuribayashi also presented his project "Outside the Mosquito Net," which includes "Genki-Ro," and "YATAI TRIP," his lifework, in the main program of Roppongi Art Night held in Tokyo in June this year. The project was filled with energy as people from various places gathered in the middle of the city, surrounded by sounds, images, steam, and heat.

Documenta 15 "out of the mosquito net” 2022 CINEMA CARAVAN TV

Kuribayashi's "Genki-Ro" originated from a solo exhibition held at the Nizayama Art Park Power Station Museum in Toyama Prefecture from 2020-21. The background of "Genki-Ro" can be traced back to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which Kuribayashi describes as follows: "On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck, and the resulting tsunami was the catalyst for the creation of this work.

On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant made me feel both despair and the possibility of a new era. Possibility because I could see this accident as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wake up many people and steer the tide of the times toward renewables and renewable energy and a completely different world."

Here, Kuribayashi recognized the horror of the nuclear accident, but rather than leaning critically toward the current nuclear power plant, he offers suggestions for energy options that are more feasible and sustainable for people. The source of this idea was Kuribayashi's experience in Thailand when he was in his twenties, where he went to a local medicinal herb steam sauna and regained his own energy by regaining control of his broken health.

Takashi Kuribayashi Solo Exhibition, Nizayama Art Park Power Station Museum, 2020-21

Please come to the venue and feel Kuribayashi's ideas and energy through his "Tanker Project" works.
Please don't miss the "Tanker Project" exhibition and the operation of "Genki-Ro" which will be held at the same time as the FaN Week 2023 special project! We would appreciate if you enjoy them all.

Art Front Gallery

Marine Messe Fukuoka B (2-1 Okihama-cho, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture)

VIP View
Sept. 21(Thu) 16:00 – 20:00
Sept. 22(Fri) 11:00 – 14:00

Public View
Sept. 22(Fri) 14:00 – 19:00
Sept. 23(Sat) 11:00 – 19:00
Sept. 24(Sun) 11:00 – 17:00

Official website

■FaN Week2023 Special Event
Takashi Kuribayashi + CINEMA CARAVAN
Maizuru Park (about 20 minutes by car from Marine Messe Fukuoka)
Exhibition of "Tanker Project" and operation of "Genki-Ro" is scheduled as
19:00-22:00 on Sept. 16,17,21,24
For further information, please visit official website of AFAF: