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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. 18”

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Featured Interviews and Cross Talks

DUMB TYPE

Dumb Type” is a pioneering art collective in Japan. Last year, after being selected to exhibit in the Japanese pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, the group invited Ryuichi Sakamoto as a new member and presented his new work “2022”.
Yuko Hasegawa, curator of the exhibition, who was involved in their large-scale solo exhibition in France, talks about the history of their creation with Shiro Takatani, who has been a core member of the group since its formation.

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Since his debut in 1978, musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has been at the forefront of the music scene for nearly half a century. Earlier this year, he released his latest album “12,” which he produced while battling cancer, but he passed away at the end of March this year.
Just before his death, in the middle of the same month, ONBEAT selected Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 12 original albums, from his debut “A Thousand Knives” to his latest original album “12,” and the rare musician “Sekai no Sakamoto” talked about behind-the-scenes stories of each album in a long interview. The 22-page interview with Ryuichi Sakamoto, the greatest musician of all time, is the last long interview before his death.

Shinji Ohmaki

Artist Shinji Ohmaki works on the theme of what “existence” is. Using a wide variety of materials and techniques, Ohmaki continues to attempt to create a physical time-space to approach the ambiguous and elusive “existence”.
He is currently holding a large-scale solo exhibition “Ohmaki Shinji – Before and After the Horizon,” at the Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art, and will hold another solo exhibition at the National Art Center, Tokyo this fall. With the keywords “space,” “time,” “gravity,” and “memory,” he talks about the history of his creation and his own thoughts.

Special Exhibition Visionaries: Making Another Perspective

As the human society undergoes drastic changes, such as increased awareness of the global environment and technological advancements, the importance of what only human beings can do is being reexamined.
Noriko Kawakami, the curator and supervisor of the current exhibition at the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, talks about 20 up-and-coming Japanese artists working in art and design, who deftly connect and reinterpret diverse relationships between nature and artificial, information environment and real society, in a lighthearted way.

KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival

Co-founders/co-directors Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi talk about how KYOTOGRAPHIE, now in its 11th year, has grown into an event that brings together not only has the high quality of the exhibits won the support of art fans, but the event has also grown to involve the city of Kyoto and its people through its diverse programs.

“NIJIGEN-HA” (Miwa Kutsuna×Atsuo Nakayama)

The term “Nijigen (two-dimensional)” refers to Japanese video games, otaku culture, and other aspects of Japaneseness in the broadest sense. The curator Miwa Kutsuna, who has named such an art scene “NIJIGEN-HA” and is organizing the exhibition, and entertainment sociologist Atsuo Nakayama, author of “Enta no Kyosho (Master of Entertainment),” will look back on the history and discuss the future from the perspective of art and entertainment under the theme of “NIJIGEN-HA.”

“Tokyo Gendai” (Eri Takane×Takeo Obayashi)

The Art Assembly, one of the world’s leading art fair organizers, will hold a new international art fair, “Tokyo Gendai,” this July. The fair director Eri Takane and contemporary art collector Takeo Obayashi, who serves on the advisory board, will discuss the fair.

Series

Gaze of YOICHI OCHIAI

The series provides an insight into the world of media artist, Yoichi Ochiai, through his own words and works. In this 8th edition, Ochiai looks back at activities since late 2022 and introduces episodes related to the AI image-generated “IBM Buddha” and “Digital Nature Buddha.”

“Learn the New and Visit the Old” by Yoshio Suzuki

Art journalist Yoshio Suzuki presents “Learn the New and Visit the Old,” a new series of articles in which he will compare and contrast contemporary works of art with works from the past that may have directly or indirectly influenced them or stirred them up associations in the viewer. In the third edition, Suzuki will explore the relationship between artists and cats, using Ukiyoe by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and others, and paintings by Yoshitomo Nara and Tsuguharu Fujita, among others.

“Value of the Contemporary Art of Japan” by Ryutaro Takahashi (KASETSU)

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. The 8th of our series, in which Takahashi shares his insight on the gems from his collection,introduces KASETSU.

Worth preserving for the 22nd century” by Nobuyuki ‘Nobi’ Hayashi

A 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. The second article in the series, “Creating Art Using AI,” examines the coming of the AI age, which could revolutionize the art industry’s current trends.

“Production Designers in Film” by Yoshihito Akatsuka

In this series of articles, a production designer Yoshihito Akatsuka will be interviewing some of the most notable production designers in Japan. In this forth installment, he talks with Ryo Sugimoto, who won the Japan Academy Film Prize for Best Art Direction Award for in 2011, 2014. Sugimoto shares about the secret stories behind the production of Character (directed by Satoshi Nagai), I Fell in Love Like A Flower Bouquet (directed by Hiroyasu Doi, script by Yuji Sakamoto), Kageura (directed by Keishi Otomo), and others.

“Welcome to the Brave New World” by Mitsuhiro Takemura

Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” oppositely describe the fear of the future society, which today’s Japan is unaware of. This is the warning from Mitsuhiro Takemura, a media aesthete who has been placing himself in the “scenius”, like New York, San Francisco, and Berlin, where innovation comes up and analyzing information around the world.
In this third edition of the series, through “the trends of the super-rich that reflect the world situation”, Takemura, the president of “Takemura Juku” where many innovators comes from, explains how modern society is moving toward a hyper-medieval age from his unique perspective.

 

Visiting Art Collectors

Dr. Shotaro Michishita, Neurosurgeon and Medical Stylist
While working as a neurosurgeon, he founded Rehabilitation Inc. and last year opened “AFRODE CLINIC,” which also has an art gallery. He says “Death and art are similar in that we face things which have no answers”. We interviewed Dr. Michishita, who offers “prescriptions for art” and other creative medical treatments while dealing with life.

OTHER

《Talk》Mikuro Ueshima and Yuta Tokunaga

Mikuro Ueshima started his own business while still a student at the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Engineering, and has since developed a multifaceted business as an entrepreneur and investor. While running his business, he also collects artworks that stimulate his business brain and senses, and is now planning to open his collection to the public in a “Ueshima Museum”. Yuta Tokunaga, a representative of ARCHI HATCH and an old friend of Mr. Ueshima’s from his junior high and high school days, asked him about the trajectory of his collection.

《Conversation》Ricoh Art Gallery and Kazuki Umezawa

Ricoh Company, Ltd. launched a project called “StareReap” in November 2019 to create new artworks together with artists using the company’s proprietary technology. In addition, Ricoh Art Gallery will open in June 2021 to exhibit and sell the works created in the project. We interviewed artist Kazuki Umezawa, who held a solo exhibition to kick off the project, Naoto Shimura of the gallery, and Tatsuyuki Hayashi, an engineer at the company.

《Interview》 Study: Osaka Kansai International Arts Festival 2023

Art Rogue Inc., which aims to solve social issues through art, is holding “Study: Osaka Kansai International Art Festival” as a pre-event for holding one of the world’s largest art festivals in Osaka in conjunction with the “Expo ‘2025 Osaka-Kansai”. We spoke with company representative Daisuke Suzuki about the significance of the event and its efforts.

《Interview》yutaokuda

yutaokuda (Yuta Okuda) studied fashion design in Japan and England before working as a designer for the fashion brand TAKEO KIKUCHI. Since turning artist in 2016, he has been actively participating in solo and group exhibitions both in Japan and abroad. He has painted miniatures based on monochrome since his debut, but after the Corona Disaster, he started to present mainly “flower” works using vitamin colors to express his appreciation to viewers. Yutaokuda talked about his personal journey to date.

《Interview》Takahashi Maho

“That child”, the core of Takahashi’s work, is the image of a young girl which visualizes Takahashi’s own childhood, and at the same time, it is a universal existence that leads to a sanctuary that exists in everyone’s memory. “That Girl”, which was the catalyst for Takahashi’s uniqueness as an artist, is now freely flapping its wings as an icon that speaks for people’s heart, and is attracting sympathy. We interviewed Takahashi about the story behind the birth of “That Child” and his other representative works, and his aspirations for the future.

《Interview》Rooo Lou

Portraits painted with minimal outlines and few color schemes. Although there is no emotion in his portraits, they lead the viewer to individual mental images. His pop and simple art, which evokes a strange sense of familiarity, is now attracting the attention and sympathy of many art lovers. Perhaps the reason for this is that the anonymous portraits he depicts leave room for each viewer to project nostalgia for the past or faint dreams for the future. We interviewed the artist himself about the sincere thoughts put into his extremely simplified portraits, as well as the trajectory of his career.

ONBEAT PICKS】Arai Bungetsu


《Limited works for sale》

Artists: Ukiko Fujiwara, Toru Harada, Yurika Horikawa, Megumi Ishibashi, MARINO., Shoichiro Matsuoka, Ken Matsuyama, Takami Miyaoka, Kayoko Mizumoto, Yuki Morita, neuronoa, Sayaka Oishi, Nobumitsu Takahashi, Towa Takaya, Ryuji Tokuda, Kenki Tsujimoto, Maoka Ueda, Sousuke Ueda, Shinichi Iwasa, Shishiyamazaki

List of Works for Sale