Monday, March 20, 2017

3331 Art Fair

On Friday Loh Xiang Yun and I joined Hiroko Murata and Tatsuhiko Murata, the Directors of Youkobo Art Space, and Makiko Tsuji, AIR Co-ordinator of Youkobo, at the opening event of 3331 Art Fair - Various Collectors Prizes. The Various Collectors Prizes presented a curated exhibition of 77 artists' work, selected from emerging to well-established artists.
Some artists were selected by galleries, others selected by curators and arts industry figures; Youkobo Art Space directors selected two artists in the Art Fair.
It was a lovely evening of art viewing, introductions, wonderful conversations and invitation giving to our upcoming Open Studio event at Youkobo Art Space.




A few artists stood out for me, Fuyuka Shindo whose work I saw on my last trip to Japan at the Sapporo International Art Festival. Her artwork is a detailed layering of imagery in embroidery on dried fish skin, with the appearance of translucent textured parchment, it's a delicate yet striking combination of materials, heritage and ecological discussion. It was a delight to meet Fuyuka on the night and see more of her work.
Yasuko Toyoshima had a substantial work on paper installed on the gallery wall, discussing history of migration of Japanese people. Specifically selected washi paper added another layer of significance to the work.


With special thanks to Murata-san for many introductions. Above image courtesy of Youkobo Art Space. 3331 Art Fair finishes today Monday 20th March 2017.


The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Private garden tour - Shinmachi

It was an absolute delight to be given a guided tour of two private gardens in Shinmachi this week. Youkobo Art Space where I am currently in residence, sits within Shinmachi, a name from older times for a smaller surrounding local area. I've walked many of the streets in Shinmachi looking at land that was once an agricultural greenbelt of Tokyo. So being invited behind the gates to see gardens up close was a real treat.


At Youkobo Art Space, Tatsuhiko Murata introduced me to the 'Urban jungle', a garden with many memories, heritage, art and seasonal flora. Artworks by Hiroko Murata and Ryozo Takashima have a delightful presence as they occupy open and hidden spaces within the garden. Citrus fruit, salty plum, apricot and ornamental banana plants provide seasonal flowers and attract birds. This little 'wild' patch is a haven.


Tatsuhiko Murata-san in his garden.



Above: Ryozo Takashima-san with his artwork 'Jinen Seki' transported from 'Trolls in the Park' 2015 Open air festival to the Youkobo garden.
Trolls in the Park is a contemporary art exhibition held annually since 2002. Bringing together an open air art exhibition held in metropolitan Zenpukuji Park every year since its inception, and various exhibitions in the town of Nishiogikubo since 2014.


The second garden visited has been in the family of Noda-san for many generations, formally being an agricultural farm. Now surrounded by dense suburbia, a smaller garden remains with remnants of agricultural heritage. It was so interesting to hear the history and connection to land of this family. A grove of bamboo forest stands amongst surrounding homes as a special place to visit and listen to the wind blowing.





With special thanks to Youkobo Art Space and Eiichi Noda-san for opening their gardens and exchanging their stories with me.


The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Opening at Youkobo Art Space


Invitations arrived for the Open Studio event at Youkobo Art Space. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to come and join in viewing our residency developments and have a chat, it would be lovely to see you.
I'll have new paper cut works and small sculpture pieces on show along with residency research and work in progress.

Open 22nd to 26th March, 2017, 12 noon to 7pm daily, with opening party Friday 24th March from 5pm. Youkobo Art Space, Zempukuji 3-2-10 Suginami-ku, Tokyo.


The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Green Space


Green space in Tokyo takes many forms, from light wrapped street trees in Downtown Shinjuku, to manicured curb-side gardens. Highly pruned specimen trees sit within viewing distance of improvised, highly personal, and often 'wild' pot collection gardens (which I see as the equivalent of a front garden). There are many beautiful public parks, reflected green space and utility green space with solar panels, bike parking and well the odd concrete 'green' space. Hanging window views of green space and suburban gardens that are not so different from Australia.


So why did I come to Tokyo? Well I have watched for over a decade the development of housing on the Gold Coast; with new town centres turning what was once farmland and bushland into medium and high density housing suburbs. Brisbane and Gold Coast City are growing regions, evolving into more densely populated and built environments. Where does green space fit within this development and how does our relationship with green space change as the environment around us evolves? We understand the importance of green space - for biodiversity, for clean water, to combat heat and air pollution, to make our cities liveable and contribute to our sense of well-being.


Exploring green space in Tokyo and researching the '10 Year Project for Green Tokyo', is in a way, taking a view of a possible future. Youkobo Art Space, where I am currently in residence, sits within Suginami City, one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. It has a very similar population to Gold Coast city with around 565,000 residents. The difference is scale and density - Suginami City occupies 34.06 km square, while Gold Coast City occupies 414.3 km square.
I already realise that coming back to the Gold Coast will be like seeing it afresh - perhaps seeing it in a real way, one less familiar. This residency at Youkobo Art Space gives me fresh eyes, not only here in Tokyo, but also back home.


The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.














Sunday, March 12, 2017

Artist talks at Youkobo Art space





2017年3月12日(日) 15:00-17:00
現在滞在中のアーティストNicola Moss(オーストラリア)、Loh Xiang Yun(シンガポール)、
そしてライターのSaku Heinänen(フィンランド)がこれまでの活動と滞在中の近況をお話しします。

(英語ベースで進行) 尚、会場が小さいため15名限定とさせていただきます。
<要予約>参加ご希望の方はお名前をご記入の上、こちらまでご連絡ください。info@youkobo.co.jp
*本イベントは開発好明さん企画のサンキューアートの日の参加プログラムです。 http://www.39art.com/

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Please feel welcome to book and join us for the artist talks on Sunday 12th March at Youkobo Art Space, Suginamiku, Tokyo. [Booking] Please send an e-mail to info@youkobo.co.jp, including your name. (limited to 15 persons).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Scenes of our city at Museum of Brisbane

 'Life on the edge - Moreton Bay' ©2012 Nicola Moss. Hand cut papers, synthetic polymer paint, charcoal frottage, natural ochre. Gadens Brisbane Collection. Courtesy of the artist and SGAR.



I was delighted to receive an email yesterday to inform me that two of my papercut works are currently on show in the exhibition - Scenes of our city at Museum of Brisbane.


Scenes of our city, includes a selection of works from the Museum of Brisbane Collection and Gadens Brisbane Collection. It presents urban scenes inspired by Brisbane’s architectural history by 21 artists including Vida Lahey, Noel McKenna and Margaret Olley. These artists have observed the life of the city with fascination and inadvertently captured its physical changes.
This selection of artworks reveals the emergence of Brisbane as a confident new world city and honours the buildings and settings that have shaped it.


Scenes of our City is on show at Museum of Brisbane until 16th July, open daily 10am - 5pm.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Suginami City morning walk

 This morning's walk, in Suginami City not far from Youkobo Art Space, revealed a variety of urban green spaces just off the main road. From community plots - full and being marked out, to market gardens and greenhouse nurseries; to hand-pruning activities, a lonely cabbage and gorgeous driveway garden....a selection here.










Sunday, March 5, 2017

Zempukuji River walk

Headed out on a walk to explore and document green spaces along the Zempukuji River today. Starting at the river's origin in Zempukuji Park finishing at Wadabori Park, around 8kms away, west to east through Suginami city. On foot is an excellent way to see local neighbourhoods, a few images from the day below.
With thanks to Loh Xiang Yun for joining me.