A bilingual art magazine that introduces Japanese art and culture, focusing on contemporary art, architecture, fashion, music, and other aspects of Japanese art and culture without borders in both Japanese and English.
“ONBEAT vol. 17”
List price 2,500 yen + tax
Lee Ufan, an international artist and prominent member of the Mono-ha group. What is the concept of “art of the margins” at the heart of his creative philosophy? “After going through various trials and errors, I am finally standing on the primal horizon of expression,” says Lee. In this interview with him, we will learn about his life and activities over a long time, from his childhood experiences to the large-scale retrospective exhibition currently held at the National Art Center, Tokyo.
Contemporary artist Shinro Ohtake will hold his first major retrospective exhibition in 16 years at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and other venues beginning this fall. Ohtake himself will talk about the trajectory and origin of the vast number of works he has produced over the past half century under the theme of “what’s already there,” as well as the highlights of this exhibition, which has the catchphrase, “All things are art materials.”
Art journalist Yoshio Suzuki presents “Learn the New and Visit the Old,” a series of articles in which he compares and contrasts contemporary works of art with works from the past that may have directly or indirectly influenced them or stirred up associations in the viewer. In the second installment of this series, Suzuki introduces old and new works currently on display at the “HIROSHI SUGIMOTO HONKADORI” exhibition (Himeji City Museum of Arts) to reveal the aesthetics of honkadori, which can be considered the foundation of contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work, based on interviews with the artist himself.
Sculptor Kenji Yanobe, armed with a subcultural sense of beauty, has been creating sculptures while constantly confronting social issues. Yanobe, who describes the site of the Osaka Expo as his original landscape, talks about his journey from his boyhood as a science fiction and manga geek to his current state, which he describes as “embarrassingly positive.”
ARTISTS’ FAIR KYOTO (Noboru Tsubaki × Kohei Nawa)
ARTISTS’ FAIR KYOTO was born in 2018 as a new style of an art fair where artists themselves plan, manage, and sell directly on-site. Noboru Tsubaki, an artist, and professor at the Kyoto University of Arts, who founded and serves as the fair’s director, and sculptor Kohei Nawa, who serves on its advisory board, discuss AFK’s activities and the future of Kyoto and art.
Contemporary artist Kengo Kito creates works that transcend the preconceived notion of viewers by using a technique called bricolage, where artworks are constructed from various everyday objects such as hula hoops or hand mirrors. Kito is a successful painter and installation artist who freely moves back and forth between the two genres. In this interview, the artist talks about the story behind the birth of his signature works.
Yuji Akimoto is the driving force behind Naoshima, a sacred place for contemporary art, and after serving as director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, he now serves as director of the Nerima Art Museum. Akimoto talks about his recent projects, such as “Go for Kogei,” which focuses on kogei (Japanese crafts) in order to “bring art back into our daily lives.”
Hisashi Eguchi has created numerous hits as a manga artist and is currently active as an illustrator. In this interview, Eguchi talks about why he continues to draw “girls,” the object of his “eternal longing,” and his thoughts on Kiyokata Kaburaki, the great master of Bijin-ga (beautiful person picture), as well as the works, exhibited at the “Kanojo (She)” exhibition, which has been touring nationwide since 2018. We will also look into the secret of Eguchi’s popularity.
Yoshihito Akatsuka, a production designer in film, has been working on a series of articles on the work of notable production designers in the Japanese film industry. In this third installment, Akatsuka will introduce Yohei Taneda, a production designer in film, who has worked with directors such as Mamoru Oshii, Koki Mitani, and Tarantino on numerous high-profile films in Japan and abroad, and also created the stage design for opening and closing ceremonies of the “Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” We will discuss Taneda’s wide-ranging activities that transcend genres, from animation to stage design, and his true intentions and hopes for the future of Japanese film.
The series provides an insight into the world of media artist, Yoichi Ochiai, through his own words and works. In this seventh edition, we look back on his special exhibition “Ubiquitous of Bodies, Interwoven Time and Space” held this spring at the Kusakabe Folk Museum in Hida Takayama, Gifu, in an exclusive interview with Ochiai. We look at Ochiai’s playful attempt to fuse folk art and media art in the setting of the Museum, and the context of the exhibition’s title.
The series by Yuko Hasegawa, an internationally renowned curator, delves into complex topics using art as a starting point. In this fifth edition, Hasegawa discusses the new developmental form of Afrofuturism, using “In the Black Fantasic,” which was held in London under the theme of black fantasy, and Afroscope, which was exhibited in the Ghana Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and drew much attention.
Ryutaro Takahashi is a psychiatrist and contemporary art collector. His collection, which includes many valuable works by prominent Japanese contemporary artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, and Yoshitomo Nara, has become known as the Takahashi Collection and is now indispensable in the Japanese contemporary art scene.
In the seventh installment, Takahashi talks about the gems in his own collection, he discusses the appeal of “excessive beauty,” which reflects painter Nanae Mitobe’s complex and desire for beauty.
《New Serials》Nobuyuki ‘Nobi’ Hayashi
A new series of articles entitled “Worth preserving for the 22nd Century” by Nobuyuki Hayashi, a journalist who covers design, technology, education, and traditions to be preserved for a better future.
In this first edition, he looks back on public art that has created local cultures, such as Roppongi Hills and the Marunouchi Street Gallery, and examines the future of public art.
This is a series of articles by Mitsuhiro Takemura, a media aesthete who presides over the Takemura Juku and has produced many innovators to date.
In the second installment, we will read from Takemura’s unique perspective about “Deep Fake,” which has now become a global problem due to the evolution of technology, and the major issue lurking in the background, the “Post-Truth Society.”
《Series》Visiting Art Collectors
Shinichiro Minagawa, Chairman of the Board, Beads International Inc.
Minagawa’s collection ranges from cultural pieces by Raymond Savignac and others to art by Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, and others. Toshihiro Terauchi, art director of the Seibu Shibuya store, who has coordinated Minagawa’s collection for many years, asked him about the trajectory of his collection, in which he has supported artists both as an individual and as the owner of an apparel brand.
Mr. KiNG holds many titles including artist, designer, producer, consultant, evangelist, and freedom researcher. We spoke with him about his unique philosophy based on luck, love, etc., and the unique collection he has built with his philosophy.
《Interview》 Shinya Kushino
Inspired by nature and its final design, Shinya Kushino creates shoes using cutting-edge and traditional techniques. We interviewed Kushino, who studied fashion in Italy and is now based in Kyoto, about the works he has created and his creative activities, as well as the pieces that are permanently preserved at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
《Interview》HOSOO Representative Masataka Hosoo
Masataka Hosoo, the 12th generation of Hosoo, a long-established Nishijin weaver in Kyoto since 1688, is also a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.
HOSOO has been bringing innovation to Nishijin textiles by collaborating with world-class luxury brands and artists one after another. We interviewed Hosoo, who says “Continuous innovation is the key to preserving tradition”, about his goal of reforming traditional crafts through Nishijin textiles and art.
【ONBEAT PICKS】Yuki Deguchi
《Limited works for sale》
Artists: Amanatsu Aono, Reiya Hatano, Kenta Kawabata, Meta Flower, Ryoki Kurasaki, Yasuaki Kuzumoto, Rina Kurosawa, Mitsumasa Miura, Rintaro Mizuguchi, Hanae Nakajima, Yuka Nishihisamatsu, Reina Sato, Tao Shirokoma, suma, Haruki Tajima, Seino Takahashi, Misa Tsuchiya, Ayaka Umeda, Yudai Yamamoto, Ken Yashiki