CLEAR EDITION & GALLERY is proud to announce a group exhibition “1974” by 3 Japanese artists Ken Kagami, MADSAKI and Joji Nakamura.
People born in Japan between the period of 1971 and 1974 are referred to as the 2nd baby boomer generation, generally considered as spending their youths in the wealthiest times of Japan, educated under the slogan of liberty, equality and humanity. However they also experienced the burst of the bubble economy during their late teenage years, which lead to quite a large population of dispatched workers and unemployed. Sharing these same social backgrounds, the paths these three artists took were significantly different, but they did result in sharing similar visions.
Ken Kagami as an assistant fashion stylist for 6 years before moving to San Francisco, and started his artist career since his return to Tokyo. Currently he is known for his installations, performances and drawings along with his own shop “Strange Store” also located in Tokyo. MADSAKI was born in Osaka Japan and moved to NY in his childhood due to his fathers occupation. After graduating Parsons School of Design with a fine arts degree, he decided to step away from art and worked as a bicycle messenger for several years, before joining an artist collective the Barnstormers where he re-boots his interest and career for arts. He is currently known for portraying provocative phrases and sampling of master pieces in his works. Joji Nakamura starts his artist career deeply influenced by his friends and roommates who were art school students. He starts his career with joining these friends in exhibitions during his stay in Santa Barbra. After returning to Japan he has been both producing his own abstract paintings and drawings, along side with his curatorial practices of organizing exhibitions and publications. Recently he created art works for NY based band DIIV.
Career and style wise the three artists come from a completely different background. However they do share, in a sense a "twisted" and awkward stance, deep respect and attitudes towards contemporary art. Keywords, such as readymade, appropriation, abstract expressionism etc can be found to link their works to the context of art, though the artist themselves do not force(or even dislike) the viewers to feel such historical weight. Freed from restraints the three artists swim smoothly through the world of contemporary art, portraying through their works without hesitation, the environment, conditions and interests they each face.
With full usage of social networks and communicating with teenagers from overseas to internationally renown artists, the three share another common stance of enjoying getting themselves involved in boarder-less genres from fine art to fashion and music, easily crossing over the walls of such cultures. Far from what someone would expect from a so-called “academic” artist, the “pranks” these three portray can be considered as a serious statement against the closed and isolated domestic art-circle, and a hope for all others wishing for freedom. Aside from each of their own art works, and by viewing the activities happening around these three artists and their own community might be a hint to an answer that the so called contemporary art world can not solve alone.