In recent years modern and contemporary Japanese art has seen a meteoric rise in appeal, thanks in part to several major exhibitions; in New York in 2013 alone, crowds flocked to “Gutai: Splendid Playground” at the Guggenheim, “Tokyo 1955–70: A New Avant-Garde” at MoMA, and recently “Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived In heaven” at David Zwirner. Along with Kusama, big names On Kawara and Takashi Murakami, among others, have established a tradition of Japanese artists as major contenders in the global art market. Additionally, the nation has seen renewed interest in dynamic artist groups from the 1950s, namely Gutai and Mono-ha, causing a shift in previous conceptions regarding the scope of the international avant-garde during the 20th century.
At the Japanese platform at Art Stage Singapore, Mami Kataoka, chief curator at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, orchestrates “dark matter: invisible presence” an exhibition that takes its inspiration from the ambiguous, invisible substance that supposedly occupies a quarter of the universe. Addressing concepts including the afterlife, states of consciousness, and memory, the exhibition considers the vast universe and its interventions in everyday life.
Platform highlights include: Satoshi Hirose’s Beans Cosmos, a universe of beans suspended within glass cubes; Hiraki Sawa’s Sleeping Machine video consisting of dark, dreamlike episodes; Tomoko Yoneda’s “Between Visible and Invisible”, a series of gelatin silver prints that imagine the viewpoints of historical intellectuals through their actual eyeglasses; and Nobuhiro Nakanishi’s multi-layered drawings that allude to the passage of time.