exhibition : PAST
An exhibition curated by Kult
2016.8.19(FRI) – 11.11(FRI)
DIESEL ART GALLERY presents MASKS, a group exhibition opening on 19 August, showcasing the creative diversity of emerging talent from Asia. Curated by Singapore based Kult studio and gallery, in collaboration with ASHU.Kult presents the theme of MASKS, bringing the contemporary mask into the spotlight as 26 Asian Artists explore what MASKS means today in the context of Modern Asia. The multi-media exhibition blurs the lines of Street Art, Sculpture, Illustration and Craft. For centuries, masks have been used as tools for storytelling. Masks give us the ability to change ourselves to escape or hide in a variety of situations including entertainment, ceremony, practicality or disguise.In a new era that everyone produces another character like online avatars, the virtue of masks is prominent more than ever. 26 artists from seven countries in Asia explore what “masks in the 21st century” means to them, through their artworks. Featuring artists from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, this exhibition offers a glimpse into Asia’s emerging underground art scene. Exhibited works will be available to purchase during the show at DIESEL ART GALLERY
Title : MASKS Co-curation: ASHU
Sub title : An exhibition curated by Kult In collaboration with ASHU
Date : 19 August – 11 November 2016 Venue: DIESEL ART GALLERY
Address：cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Web : www.diesel.co.jp/art
Phone : 03-6427-5955
Hours : 11:30-21:00
Holidays : non-regular holiday
Curation : Kult
Co-curation : ASHU
Tokyo based ASHU aims to facilitate collaboration between Asian creators and Japan, through artist management, events, publications and gallery activities. ASHU aims to promote the uniqueness of Japanese creation and create ties between the creators of Asia and Japan.
KultKult was established in 2009 to promote cutting edge visual culture in Asia and beyond. Based in Singapore, they have built up an international network of over 1000 artists, who range from illustrators, designers, sculptors and street artists to research subjects and themes such as Fear, Food, Poverty, and Animals. These collections of artworks are curated into pop-up exhibitions partnering with Museums, Brands, Galleries, and other public or private institutions. Kult’s self-published magazine can be discovered here: kultmagazine.com.sg
Chris Chai （Singapore）chrischai.com
Chris Chai was born and raised on the ever sunny isle of Singapore. He has a BFA in Illustration from the School Of Visual Arts (2013) and previously attended Temasek Polytechnic School of Design, graduating with a Diploma in Visual Communications (2008). His work is influenced by a myriad of artists, illustrators and graphic novelists such as Albrecht Dürer, Gustav Doré, M.C. Escher, Alfons Mucha, Jean Giraud (Moebius), James Jean, Mars-1 and Virgil Finlay. He thoroughly enjoys anything and everything Sci-Fi and Fantasy, epic sounding music, ancient and modern mythology, lots of coffee and occasionally writing about himself in the third person.
Daniel Yu (b. 1985) is a Singaporean sculptor who works primarily in the medium of clay and resin. Heavily influenced by an upbringing steeped in local tradition, as well as pop culture ephemera; his works combine both worlds of imagination. His investigations centre on the intrinsic value of memory and the use of storytelling as a tool that highlights social and cultural similarities. His works offer a means of escapism from the real world, yet remain largely shaped by his personal experiences. Daniel’s fictitious characters see a cult following amongst the urban and subculture art scene in both Singapore and abroad.
Dawn Ang (Aeropalmics) is an avid drawer currently residing in Singapore. She graduated with a BA Hons Degree in Fine Arts from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2010, and enjoyed every minute of the strange and wonderful journey. Since then, she has constantly produced drawings, papercuttings and photography inspired by youth, growth and memory. She draws inspiration from nature and a deep-seated phobia of the unknown. While pursuing her passion for creating, she discovered a love for children and taught art in various schools for a year. She has since taken up interior designing and is currently exploring digital illustration, furniture design, along with a whole slew of other media.
Eric Foenander has been illustrating, painting, and doing all things artsy and fartsy since he was a 3-year-old toddler. His earlier years had him delve into, and focus on, oils and acrylic. Since then, he has developed into a multidisciplinary artist, with stints in the worlds of advertising, animation and industrial design. Eric is now a full time creative, focusing on illustration, design, mural work and creative consultancy. His style ranges from simple and graphic to rich and bombastic, paralleling his love of music, which stems primarily from hiphop. Eric thrives on collaborating with people, even if it doesn’t involve “drawing stuff”. He has had his work shown at Kult Gallery in Singapore, Singapore Arts Museum & Clear Edition & Gallery in Roppongi, Tokyo, amongst others. Commercially he has worked with clients such as Nike, Esquire, FHM and Brainfeeder.
Yana & JUN met in 2007 and soon started creating Art as kittozutto in 2008. Their creation, through the juxtaposition of their art and life, acts as a parallel universe of their creative & romantic partnership. They are fascinated about the beauty in strangeness resulted from the connections between seemingly unrelated subjects. The resulting tension, by enforcing the subjects to coexist within the same canvas, creates an awkward beauty, in which many of their works aim to seek.
Mojoko [Steve Lawler]（Singapore）mojoko.net
Born in Iran, raised in Hong Kong and educated in Europe. Mojoko (aka Steve Lawler) attended the prestigious FABRICA art residency in Treviso, Northern Italy in 2001. Launching his interactive design career at Diesel HQ, he quickly climbed through the creative industry as an artist, designer, art director and Creative Director. Creator of the Kult Magazine, Gallery & Studio. His work has expanded into curation, installation & interactive design and fine art. Having worked some of the most exciting artists, designers and animators around the world, he now operates within a network of over 600 artists.
BÜRO UFHO is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Singapore delivering beautifully crafted solutions for aspiring clients around the world. Their work uses crafted illustration with a design edge to create high impact imagery and graphics since 2008.
James Jirat Patradoon（Thailand）jirat.jp
James Jirat Patradoon is a Sydney-based visual artist and illustrator who creates high octane yet playful images that remix hot pink aesthetics of 80s retro with Japanese cult anime influences, conjuring visions of a surreal bubblegum cyberpunk paradise. With a visual language informed by excessive amounts of unsupervised exposure to cartoons as a child, James fell into illustration after studying screenprinting at artschool where he discovered his rapid production-line process of image-making. He has since worked for clients such as Facebook, HBO, RVCA, FOX, Nike, Converse, Mishka, Microsoft, and Ministry Of Sound.
Tikkywow [Pichet Rujivararat]（Thailand）behance.net/tikkywow
Pichet Rujivararat aka Tikkywow, a graphic designer, was born in Bangkok, Thailand. Inspired by various elements in traditional Thai art and culture, Tikkywow’s creations are a modern, colourful, and graffiti-inspired world using a dynamic and bold vector graphic style.
Rukkit Kuanhawate (b. 1978) is a graphic designer and street artist. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Chulalongkorn University, and started street painting in 2011 using primarily applied stencil, in a colourful and geometric style. Since then Rukkit has gone on to paint walls in many countries, include Thailand, Korea (Seoul, Busan), India (New Dehli), Hong Kong, and Dubai. As a graphic designer, Rukkit’s clients include Nike, Casio G Shock, Toyota , Tiger Beer, Smirnoff, Absolute Unique, Lacoste Live, Jaspal, Dtac, Wonderfruit Festival, Bearbrick Medicomtoy, and Bangkok Siam Center.
Born and based in Yogyakarta, Arwin Hidayat (b. 1983) creates works that reflects both local tradition (batik) and global popular culture (comics), using ink on paper, or more recently, Indonesian Batik as his medium. In his works, Hidayat repeatedly juxtaposes everyday elements like birds and vehicles with the vulgar and explicit – such as phalluses and orifices. The central topic of his works reveals to be of a more sentimental, romantic nature, combined with a playfulness, portrayed through both image and words. Hidayat has participated in ArtJog 2013 and 2015, the biggest annual art fair in Yogyakarta, and has been working closely with Daging Tumbuh, an indie zine collaborative movement. He has also held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia (“Flash Show Drawing”, 2012) and in Yogyakarta (“Blues Bau Kencur”, 2013). His group exhibitions span both locally and abroad, namely in Kobe, Japan (“Hujan Siang”, 2006), Viridian Art House, Singapore (“Postcard Exhibition: Poskad”, 2012), and Ikkan Art Gallery, Singapore (“Neo Folk”, 2014).
Kanoko Takaya (b.1991) grew up in Kyoto, Japan. After graduating from the department of visual design at Kyoto Seika University, she studied at the Indonesia Institute of Arts (ISI) Surakarta. She is now based in Solo, Indonesia, and creates artworks with various mediums. A “mask” has been a key motif in her creation for recent years.
Muklay [Muchlis Fachri]（Indonesia）instagram.com/muklay
Muklay, also known as Muchlis Fachri, was born in Jakarta in 1993. He has experimented with various mediums but primarily is an illustrator, starting every creative project with a drawing. Describing his art simply as ‘lowbrow’, Muklay’s subject matter is inspired by every day life in Jakarta. Since 2012, he has been exhibiting his pop-coloured artworks in various cities all over Indonesia, as well as Netherlands and Singapore. Muklay is one of the founders of merchandise collaboration project ‘JunkNotDead’ and continues to contribute to exhibitions and publications.
Rudy Atjeh（Indonesia）rudyatjeh.blogspot.com / instagram.com/rudyatjeh
Born and raised in Langsa, May 15, 1982. Moved and lived in Yogyakarta since 2002 to study Graphic Art in Indonesia Institute of the Arts (ISI Yogyakarta), a town which has become a big influence in Atjeh’s artistic expression. This is often reflected in the characters that are featured in the artist’s work, as well as Atjeh’s main artistic medium: print making. Atjeh uses paper not just as a passive medium for printing but goes further to reconstruct paper to become subject matter as well as narration in the artwork. Atjeh’s paper works are often featured as diorama and site specific installations. Personal narration and daily issues are frequent themes in Atjeh’s work and creative process, especially personal identity, forms the basis of his artwork. Atjeh’s artistic expression often features his hometown, Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, the only area in Indonesia which practices the controversial Islamic Sharia Law, combined with a history of political conflict. Atjeh is also one of the founders of Yogyakarta based heavy metal band SANGKAKALA, and a regular collaborator in experimental art & music performance project, PUNKASILA. Rudy is a member of artist collective group Ace House Collective.
With a background in advertising as a graphic designer, Dina Gadia knows what people want - and deliver she does, in the language of cult film posters of the 1930s to the 70s, comic books, delivered in a Pop Art-inspired collage explosion. Though her inspirations are in B-movies, her fine draughtsmanship deserves an A plus. Gadia lives and works in Quezon City, Phillippines.
Dex Fernandez, a fine arts and advertising graduate from TUP (Technological University of the Philippines), quit his job at an advertising firm to become a full-time artist. And the Art world is better off for it. His art transports the viewer to another space, a tea-stained technicolor mash-up of the darling and the sinister - where both children and adults play with imaginary creatures, and otherworldly being hunts us with ugly truth about what’s right and wrong. He bravely experiments with images culled from adult magazines and puts a new spin on them by adding layers of mixed media on the re-painted images. Thus, he only hints their original context, as he turns them into nearly abstract configurations, especially when viewed from distance. Dex Fernandez was a recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Artist-Residency Program in 2011, Pingpong Art Space Artist-Residency Program in Taipei, Taiwan in 2012 and Lir Space in Jogja, Indonesia in 2013.
Epjey Pacheco（Philippines）epjey.weebly.com / instagram.com/epjey
Epjey Pacheco (b.1986) graduated with a Fine Arts degree, Major in Advertising from the University of Santo Tomas and has worked as a graphic designer. He has been actively exhibiting his art in various galleries and exhibition spaces in Manila and abroad. He considers 70’s era magazine illustrations, Memento Mori minus the gore, Wesley Valenzuela, Mexican art’s juxtaposed content and aesthetics, and the wonderful world of the Internet as major influences for his art. Aside from gallery work he also dabbles in street art, customizing vinyl toys, and ukay-ukay (Tagalog for secondhand shopping).
Mr. Ogay is a Taiwanese Street Artist. A Street artist from Taiwan. He graduated from National Tainan University in 2012 and his works can be found on walls all over Taiwan since he stepped into the world of graffiti in 2000. Mr. Ogay continues to be a regular participant in street art festivals around the world.
Jaejung Beck [BJJ Art] (South Korea)instagram.com/bjjart
JaeJung Beck is a Korean born Artist. Graduated from Korea National University of Arts with a Master’s in Animation. His work is inspired by Toy Art and robot culture. He also works as part of an artist collective called “Goo for Brothers”. A Seoul based trio of image makers.
1992 Born in Seoul, Korea. MAWZ based on Seoul, Korea and he is young visual artist. He’s typical work
is starting at 2012. When he was a child, he enjoyed comics, videos, Disney animations and he loved to draw those things. These are beginning of his story and strong motivation in his work style - Simple line drawing by Uni-Posca’s black marker, many symbols like flame, thunder, heart, angry eyes etc. In this exhibition , MAWZ will show part of his new drawing series and .
Hideyuki Katsumata has been exhibiting in Japan since 2002. He has also been solo shows & included in various group shows around the world, such as: “Ninguem” at Sala Cega – Trezeta Musik in Sao Paulo, 2007, “Yubi Sumo” at Forthrite gallery in Oakland, U.S.A, 2009, the roving exhibition Buro Beukorkest in Holland in 2012 - 2013, “DRAWABLE” group show at F.L.A. gallery in Florida U.S.A in 2013, “Tropical Sushi” at Speedy Grandma gallery in Bangkok, 2014, “Hide In My Brain” at Hellion Gallery in Portland, U.S.A, 2015, “Asie Riderz” in Nantes, France, 2015. “USO de HONTOU” at DCA gallery in Dundee, Scotland, 2015, and he has also participated in various exhibitions in Japan. Hideyuki has also illustrated for various CD and vinyl records, including covers for Little Dragon, CUZ (Sam Dook from The GO! Team & Mike Watt from The Stooges), Rainbow Arabia, Simone White, Mutiny on the bounty, T-Bone, Ramp Recordings, and Mad et Len. Apart from being a drawing and painting mad man, he also loves to create motion video works for music clips and live VJing.
Hideki Kuwajima（Japan）Born 1964 in Osaka, lives and works in Kyoto, Japan. Graduated from Japan Institute of Photography and Film. Since 1997, Kuwajima has held solo exhibitions all over Japan and has taken part in many group exhibitions globally, exhibiting his sculpture and photography works. Kuwajima was awarded 1st prize at APA 2000, presented by the Japan Advertising Photographers' Association in 2000. About the artwork: Kuwajima’s photography attempts to capture the unsettling feeling of seeing oneself in a photo, looking entirely different from how they imagine. To create the image, the artist used various techniques – shooting self-portraits at various angles, and then further abstracting the image using duplicate slide films on a light box. The artists’ meticulous process in capturing various expressions in this image hints at the many emotions one suppresses in their every day lives – posing questions of identity, the self-portrait, and representation. Kuwajima ponders: ‘what is a true self?’, as well as the relative ease of constructing a mask to wear in our daily lives, to ‘keep ourselves hidden from the world’.
Reona Tatekawa / writtenafterwards（Japan）xprs.imcreator.com/free/reona/reona-tatekawa / www.writtenafterwards.com
A collaboration between “writtenafterwards”, the fashion label created by Yoshikazu Yamagata (fashion designer/born 1980) that advocates a new role of fashion as a communication in terms of society, culture, education and environment, and Reona Tatekawa (student at Joshibi University of Art and Design/born 1995) who studied under Yamagata at “coconogacco” run by him. The artwork was created for the latest collection of writtenafterwords “ gege” (2016 A/W), in the motif of Yokai (monster).
The eerily human eyes that peer out from many of his pieces also compound the sense of voyeurism inherent in the installation and make viewers feel as if they are being watched just as they are watching. Like the Mona Lisa, the distinctive eyes of Kim’s artwork follow you around the room, and in this setting, it is as if they are scolding you for looking so closely at illicit material. Each painstakingly carved piece reveals a love for the clay and a mastery of the material rare in young artists. The finish of his metallic green and black glazes are not only stunning, they also show a dedication to process that is pivotal and particular to the ceramic arts. Likewise, his reference to the vessel pays homage to the history of the craft, even if unintentional.
Sexual Youkai is Long-term resident in Japan, Illustrator known for his intricate paper cutting artworks, his work has been featured globally and is interested in God Myths, Lost Continents, Astral Surfers, Dungeon Slime, Cosmic Beams, Unknowable Entities, Ancient Rites and The Great British Countryside.
Takahiro Komuro [TkoM]（Japan）tkomsculpture.com
TkoM is the moniker for sculpture and cult artist Takahiro Komuro. After receiving a Masters in Fine Art & Sculpture in 2011 from Tokyo University of the Arts, he has made some of the most exciting Toy inspired Sculptures in group shows and exhibitions around the world.
©James Jirat Patradoon
Kult Special Interview for DIESEL ART GALLERY Exhibition“MASKS”
--Please tell us about yourself.
We are Steve and Zarani from Kult, and the curators of the 'Masks' exhibition at Diesel Art Gallery.
--Please tell us about Kult.
Kult is a gallery and magazine with a history of commissioning artwork for both commercial and cultural projects. Having worked with over 1000 artists in its 8 year history, we have been able to produce a wide range of projects with some of the most exciting pioneers of Visual Culture working today.
--What are the concept and the highlight of the exhibition?
'MASKS' represents the perspective of 26 artists from 7 countries in Asia, many of who came from different artistic backgrounds. The theme resulted in so many varied interpretations, and tells a diverse narrative of the modern day 'mask'. For us this was the highlight of the exhibition.
--You have a great network of various artists. From what point of view did you select participating artists for this exhibition?
We were looking for artists who we felt were highly skilled visual artists, but not traditional. Coming from various backgrounds like street culture, toy art, sculpture, graphic and textile design. Most of the artists are friends and we have worked with them several times over the years. Primarily because we love their work so much and want to share it with more people. The opportunity to show at Diesel Gallery was exciting and for such a long time (3 months) gives a whole new audience a chance to see their work.
--Kult magazine has featured contents in various themes such as “AIDS”, “Neo Folk”, “Food”, and “Memory”. How do you pick the theme to create the magazine?
Themes are chosen because of what is happening in the world. If we feel like there is a topic which is in the news or current affairs we pay attention, but we are not led by trends. We like to pick global, human themes, which are timeless. We want to make the magazine/publication feel relevant to anybody who picks it up today, or even in 10 years time. It is not a disposable object. It is a portfolio of our time.
--Is there any particular message you want to tell people through Kult magazines and your activities of Kult?
We want to develop the visual language used by artists and designers, and increase the visual literacy of the public. We want to use the language and tools of advertising to discuss subjects that are important to us. To use the symbolism and visual storytelling to analyze subjects which are not commercial. Things like health, pollution, depression. Modern day matters.
--How was your experience of curating an exhibition in Tokyo?
We had a great experience with the people that we worked with on this exhibition. Starting with our collaboration with ASHU and setting up the exhibition together with their team, along with Diesel Gallery, whose team were a great support throughout the exhibition, and hosting a wonderful opening that introduced us to many wonderful people who are now friends, and possibly future collaborators in Japan! We also enjoyed our time with the artists from Japan, it was awesome to reconnect and collaborate on the exhibition. Artists from Thailand, South Korea and Singapore were also present at our opening and everyone was really happy with the show.
--What do you think of the art scene in Singapore or Asia?
Exciting and growing exponentially! There are many new perspectives that continue to be explored by artists in Asia, and many new platforms provide more opportunities for artists. The growing interest and engagement from the general public also allows for more opportunities to view art, whether it's through new exhibitions, galleries, or museums.
--How do you spend your day-off?
Go to comic book stores, antique shops, toy stores, museums, video games. Walking dog. Meeting friends. Watching B-Movies and classics.
--How was your stay in Japan this time?
Awesome! We really look forward to our next visit to Japan.
--Please give a message to viewers who are planning to come to the exhibition.