’Under Current’, an exhibition of 16 Japanese artists, opens at Powerlong Museum in Shanghai, China

November 14, 2022

From November 11, 2022 to January 29, 2023, the Powerlong Museum in Shanghai, China will present ‘Under Current,’ an exhibition of 16 Japanese artists. (URL: http://www.powerlongmuseum.com/exhibition_detail/80.html)

KOTARO NUKAGA is proud to announce that Yuichi Hirako, Tomona Matsukawa, Mariko Kobayashi and Keita Morimoto participate in this group exhibition.

Regarded as the largest private museum in Asia, the Powerlong Museum is one of the leading museums in Shanghai, a city that in recent years has been developing its reputation as the center of the Asian art scene. Curated by Miwa Kutsuna, who has played an active role in bridging the gap between Japan and the rest of Asia, the rich and diverse breadth of expression in this exhibition will feature approximately 100 paintings and sculptures by 16 rising artists.

Concept of the Exhibition
The title of the exhibition, “Under Current,” can be defined as a “hidden flow”, and refers to another current that is difficult to see but that exists underneath the ebb and flow of trends and the mainstream of the times. Japan’s post-war economic growth reached its peak in the bubble era of the late 1980s, and the long period of stagnation following the bursting of the bubble has arguably continued until now. The artists featured in this exhibition are those in their 30s and 40s who grew up in the 90s during what is often referred to as the “lost 20 years” of Japan’s economic stagnation. Coming after world-renowned artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, and Yoshitomo Nara, these people are the next generation of artists, the people that have been seeking a new zeitgeist in a domestic contemporary art scene that is somewhat alien to the global mainstream. This exhibition is divided into four sections, “Another Story,” “Scream,” “Division and Conversation,” and “Song of the City,” and is the first attempt at bringing together these artists’ works and activities, which until now have not been systematically evaluated or discussed in relation to the history of contemporary art in Japan.

The practices of the artists who experienced the end of that era of prosperity are detached from political perspectives, and instead question the identity of the most basic unit of society, the “individual”. In doing so, they have produced many works that are able to transcend social frameworks such as nationality, culture, gender, and generational differences and instead ask relatable questions about the significance and universality of human existence. Additionally, due to their first-hand observations of societies of mass consumption shifting towards societies of sustainability, they have produced powerful, future-oriented works that focus on the reverence for nature, respect for life, and the need to create a new relationship between the natural environment and human society. As a country that is also currently undergoing a period of significant development, I believe the messages woven into these works will resonate deeply with the people of China.

Message from executive director,Powerlong Museum
In looking forward to the exhibition, Wang Xiaosong, executive director of the Powerlong Museum, states: “By bringing together the new generation of Japanese artists in China, we are able to present an exhibition that offers us an entryway into understanding the future of art in Japan.” We hope that visitors will take advantage of this special opportunity to see major works by some of the most acclaimed artists in the Japanese contemporary art scene today.

Naoya Inose, Atsushi Kaga, Makiko Kudo, Arisa Kumagai, Toshiyuki Konishi, Mariko Kobayash, Masaaki Suzuki, Keisuke Tada, Tomoko Nagai, Sanemasa Namonaki, Yuichi Hirako, Tomona Matsukawa, Tarou Maruyama, Keita Morimoto, Takanosuke Yasui, Yuki Yamamoto

Miwa Kutsuna

Consulate-General of Japan in Shanghai
Shanghai International Culture Association
Agency of Cultural Affairs

Hwa’s Gallery

Hwa’s Gallery

Gallery Koyanagi
Koyama Tomio Gallery

Exhibition detail
‘Under Current’
Date: November 11, 2022 – January 29, 2023
Venue: Powerlong Museum Hall 4&5
Adress: 3055 Caobao Road, Minhang District, Shanghai, China
Closed day: Monday