London scene, Tokyo gallery

London’s East End artists come together at Taro Nasu

London scene, Tokyo gallery

Courtesy: the Artist, Herald St, London and TARO NASU, Tokyo. / Photo by Keizo Kioku

In recent years, the East End of London has become central to the city’s thriving artistic community. An exhibition of works from artists belonging to East End gallery Herald St is currently being held at Taro Nasu gallery in Bakurocho, Tokyo. Peter Coffin, Matthew Darbyshire, Cary Kwok, Djordje Ozbolt, Donald Urquhart and Nick Relph make up the group of six artists whose works are on display. Relph, in particular, has exhibited at the Venice Biennale (2003) and Yokohama Triennale (2008) as part of his collaborative work with Oliver Payne.

Of course, the style and concepts which shape each work differ, but what can be perceived as the overall tone of the exhibition is the presence of a new wave of conceptual art similar to that seen in the work of British artist Ryan Gander, who has also exhibited at Taro Nasu. While retaining the minimalism of artists like Donald Judd, and employing a skilled sense of vivid design, these present-day artists use an ironic sense of satire to level critiques on society and art history.

The works seem to present a fundamentally critical view of contemporary society; an antithesis to literary discourses on themes such as capitalism, religion, gay culture and underground culture. Yet, while embracing such a difficult agenda, the works themselves – with their light, whimsical quality and brilliant colouring – are completely contemporary, and speak of a sense of energy and vitality that is particular to youth culture.

The content of each artist’s exhibit is like an elaborately designed collection of their best works, so the exhibition gives a real impression of the contemporary London art scene. If you have the chance to take in some of the other galleries in the area, it will give you an interesting opportunity to compare these British artists to some of their Japanese contemporaries.

'Herald St’
Peter Coffin, Matthew Darbyshire, Cary Kwok, Djordje Ozbolt, Nick Relph, Donald Urquhart

Date: Until Sat May 8, closed on Mon, Sun and nat. holidays
Time: 11am-7pm
Location: Taro Nasu

By Kotaro Okazawa
Translated by Virginia Okno
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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