Exploring diverse expressions of surface in painting among professors, students and alumni WAITINGROOM Group exhibition “Island with ONI”

The Installation view of “Island with ONI” (2019) at WAITINGROOM
Courtesy of the artist and WAITINGROOM

A group exhibition “Island with ONI” by six artists Daisuke Ohba, Kengo Kito, Shinya Imanishi, Saya Okubo, Kurumi Kotani, and Naosuke Wada was held at the gallery WAITINGROOM, Tokyo, Japan. This exhibition led by Daisuke Ohba and Kengo Kito, two professors of Kyoto University of Art and Design and the purpose of the exhibition was to make a showcase for their students.

The four students, Shinya Imanishi, Saya Okubo, Kurumi Kotani, and Naosuke Wada were graduated in different years and it is also the first time that showing their work together. According to the artist Ohba, the environment of students was very poor seven years ago when Ohba started teaching at the university. In his opinion, there were not many connections and relationships between students and professors and there were not so many students and alumni who exhibited their works art museums and commercial galleries.

The Installation view of “Island with ONI” (2019) at WAITINGROOM
Courtesy of the artist and WAITINGROOM

Two years later, after Kengo Kito returned to the university from Berlin and teaching with Ohba, they have tried to make some opportunities together for students and alumni. As a result, a relationship among professors, students and alumni became strong and these bonds started to bring more and more chances from art scene as well. This group exhibition “Island with ONI” is also derived from a relationship between the gallery and Saya Okubo one of the participating artists and the alumni of Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Since the exhibition was made up of the strong bond and understanding each other, the exhibition was very well organized. Regarding a group exhibition, a mismatch in between art works happens very often due to an insufficient preparation. When different works do not match each other, it is obvious that a group exhibition is a group exhibition. However, the exhibition “Island with Oni” seemed almost like one’s solo exhibition because of the selected composition of the works and artists.

A common point of all the participating works was mainly dealing with two-dimensional surface of canvas intensively which is one of important features as to painting. Due to the point that the exhibition was composed with the painters who focusing on expression of surface, it has been an absolutely fascinating display for audience who want to enjoy ‘painting’ deeply. Moreover, the origin of the group exhibition was not only a relationship between artists and professors but also with the gallery, it is very interesting.

The Installation view of “Island with ONI” (2019) at WAITINGROOM
Courtesy of the artist and WAITINGROOM

The exhibition “Island with Oni” was from 21st September to 20th October in 2019. Although the exhibition has been finished, it is expected that four young artists with two professors will continue to collaborate together and have exhibitions actively.

“Island with ONI” at WAITINGROOM

  • DATES : September 21 (Sat) – October 20 (Sun), 2019
  • HOURS : Wed. Thur. Fri. 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and National Holidays
  • Cooperation: SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, KENJI TAKI GALLERY, rin art associationm nca | nichido contemporary art

Article written by Jeongeun Jo
Jeongeun Jo is from Korea now living in Japan. She is one of the member of TRiCERA who graduated from Graduate School of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA/ Geidai). She is also working as an artist herself. 

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