Exhibition Tokyo

Chiharu Nishizawa solo exhibition "FAMILY TREE ~ looking at life from both sides~"
2011.10.1 sat - 22 sat

Tokyo Gallery + BTAP is pleased to announce an exhibition by Chiharu Nishizawa entitled “Family Tree ~Looking at Life from Both Sides~”. This is Nishizawa’s first Japan solo show in four years, featuring more than 10 of his new works.

Today, art has permeated every aspect of our lives, to an extent that has not been seen in any previous generation. Art holds a mirror up to society, reflecting the times in which we live.

Contemporary artists deal with a wide range of subjects, making references to events and incidents from the same era and news and information from the past. What distinguishes these artists is the way in which they interpret aspects of our daily lives from a variety of perspectives, attempting to incorporate every one of these details into their work. This “everyday” consists of the family members that give form and structure to our lives, our workplaces and offices, as well as communities on a larger scale, such as one’s country and homeland.

Nishizawa’s work follows in this vein, depicting the daily lives of ordinary Japanese people.

Many of Nishizawa’s previous paintings depict men and women oblivious to their surroundings who perform a series of inscrutable actions in distinctive spaces, viewed from an overhead perspective. Using this approach, Nishizawa succeeded in capturing “shadows” that hint at extraordinary phenomena – things hidden within the everyday that typically pass unnoticed.

For this exhibition, Nishizawa has chosen to address the subject of the family.

In ancient societies where the presence of hostile, foreign enemies was clearly defined, the act of strengthening familial ties was a simple and straightforward process. Due to a process that began with the Industrial Revolution, leading to a society of global standards symbolized by consumption-driven American lifestyles, however, these traditional societies based on local modes of living have declined. Instead, family relationships increasingly appear to be merely functional arrangements, while direct emotional connections have become shallow and tenuous - a phenomenon that is perhaps connected to the state of equilibrium that now determines the way in which most cross-border conflicts unfold.

Influenced by this new social configuration and reinforced by a host of media images, the sight of these happy families gives us a faint sensation of coldness and distance. It is this sort of reality that Nishizawa’s paintings seem to thrust before us.

At the same time, through interactions with his own family members, Nishizawa has acquired a better appreciation of interpersonal connections that are more genuine and sincere. Embodied within these works is a desire to discover a glimmer of hope within the family that holds the potential to change our society.

In recent years, Nishizawa has shown his work at various international exhibitions in China, Korea, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Italy. We hope you take this opportunity to view this selection of his newest work.

Born 1970, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Following his graduation with a major in Painting from the Fine Arts Department of Tokyo Zokei University, Nishizawa continued to work in the medium of printing, but moved to painting as he felt it was quicker at giving form to his thoughts. Having had a solo exhibition at Tokyo Opera City Gallery in 2003, won an award at VOCA in 2004, his work became critically acclaimed for its combined expression of unease towards society with its dark humor. In 2005 he held a solo exhibition at Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, and continued to garner attention on the international stage with solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei. His work is known for its detailed, model-like depiction of crowds of people wearing suits or aprons against flat, unreal backgrounds. With his collaboration at Steinway Japan and a museum exhibition being held in Germany and Italy, he is continuing to make exciting developments in his work.

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