Photos by GION
JULY 1 - AUGUST 7, 2021
SEIZAN Gallery New York is pleased to announce our summer group show, Ghosts of Summer. The show opens from July 1st through August 7th, 2021 and presents provocative works by four Japanese artists; Yukiko Hata, Emi Katsuta, Shunsuke Ochi and Akiko Tabata.
As many parts of the world embrace something closer to normalcy, groping for the end of this global pandemic continues. In Japan, the country heads towards the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to open in late July in spite of the skeptic voices raised all around. For the group show in this somewhat uncertain summer, SEIZAN Gallery has selected four Japanese artists who powerfully capture contemporary society and present critical views.
Yukiko Hata creates oil paintings of hallucinatory scenes in rich color. They frequently depict children or teenagers in ominous settings rife with the metaphorical imagery of Japanese culture. The show takes its name after Ghosts of Summer, the painting of a child on a tricycle facing the ghost of a WWll Japanese soldier on a carousel. Hata’s paintings are often inspired by social issues she has encountered in everyday life. They also reflect her sorrow and the sense of responsibility towards children that a mature member of society experiences.
Emi Katsuta returns to SEIZAN Gallery after a previous and successful first solo exhibition in 2018, That Fantastic Someone. At one time an apprentice under master wood sculptor Satoshi Yabuuchi, Katsuta carves whimsical characters from wood and her unique imagination. Colorful and approachable characters reveal the artist's exploration of the darker side of society. Lack of empathy towards the socially vulnerable is one of the strong visual messages conveyed to viewers.
Shunsuke Ochi vividly illustrates contemporary life in Japan with irony and sarcasm. Humans are often depicted as androids without emotion who are mechanically work and are enslaved to social network systems. Ochi's dystopian view of contemporary Tokyo brings to mind masterpieces such as the 1988 animated film by Katsuhiro Otomo, AKIRA. Chillingly the film predicted the cancellation of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The oil paintings by Asako Tabata are poetic and quiet very much like to the artist herself. She works in a small studio space in a typical house in Tokyo where she also lives with her husband and son. Yet, underneath the muted color and imagery is filled with emotions and voices that resonate with viewers. One of Tabata's recurring images is a painting of a woman or child sitting in a cubic room in isolation. The image is particularly relatable now more than ever at this uncertain time.
SEE AVAILABLE WORKS ON ARTSY