Special news! Announcing the opening of Cafe PONCOTAN!

In conjunction with the Nightmare exhibition, we will be opening a cafe on the first floor. All guests who register to the Kaikai Kiki newsletter will receive a free drink coupon which will entitle them to one of any of the drinks available at the cafe.
The coffee at the venue is made from beans provided by Norwegian Coffee maker Fuglen, who will are collaborating with Kaikai Kiki on a cafe scheduled to open next year.※For further information, see the article in BRUTUS No.742

Kaikai Kiki Gallery’s exhibition “A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True:Anime Expressionist Painting” is now on display in the special exhibition room of Kaikai Kiki Sapporo Studio Poncotan, our Sapporo animation studio!

The current exhibition is the second stop for the show which began in Tokyo in May 2012 and explores the cultural landscape of postwar Japan. Summarizing his thesis, curator Takashi Murakami declares that “The phrase ‘all your dreams will some day come true’ has led us into a world of nightmares,” a notion which the show furthers by confronting viewers with the collective nightmares of Japan as a nation in the aftermath of the 2011 disasters.

For the opening on December 9, at 14:00, Takashi Murakami, the exhibiting artists, and Poncotan studio leader,
Hokkaido’s own mebase, will be on hand for a live group discussion.

Japan’s Nightmare is the World’s (Dark) Future
We proudly present the exhibition “A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True: Anime Expressionist Painting.”

The incantation “all your dreams will come true” has conjured up a world of nightmares.

For the past 70 years, Japan has been blinded by the turbulence of its post-war recovery. In that time, the nation has seen the rise of an educational format founded on appeasement, in which individuals seek only the fulfillment of immediate desire and go through life without considering their place or role in society – worse, they are taught that it is right and proper not to consider these things and that to refrain in this way represents the cutting edge of contemporary thought. It is a world in which otaku and rampant irresponsibility stand unopposed. Ignorance is power, incompetence is sincerity and both are hailed as just causes and signs of moderation.

This dormant sophistry concealed itself in the guise of social justice and we have come this far without being alerted to its more negative effects. But in the aftermath of last year’s disasters, the fabric of that tranquility has begun to tear and the monstrous nature of what lies inside has instantly shaken open the eyes of the popular mind. Beginning with the nuclear disaster, deformity has revealed itself in many corners. And yet, we still have no idea how to tackle the problems we face; our education has robbed us of the ability to think in a structural manner and the appeased people simply grope about, terrified and powerless, like an army of zombies with arms outstretched before them. So what then do we do? The Japanese people must now develop a specific solution from nothing. That is the nightmare in which we reside. Having passed down the road of Superflat, we find ourselves in the midst of a depressed society

And what can be said of those of us in the creative fields? As computers have come to occupy a central civilized role in the past few decades, ‘creators’ have become the subject of long overdue praise. But what was the meaning behind such praise? Was it simply a promotional campaign for artistic trade schools? Was it a form of anti-social enlightenment that only served to speed up the process of appeasement?

Reading Japanese history, we find that the balance of freedom and constraints that was once given to people on the bottom rung of the social ladder went on to become the cornerstone of our society. And yet, for contemporary creators, the chains have long been gone. What rests instead at the core of today’s Japanese artists is a righteousness on level with a children’s dare, a freewheeling mentality that says to do the things you want as much you want; one where all boundaries are grounds for adventure, with no consideration of social morality, and encroachment itself is courage. But having now witnessed the recent disasters, we realize that if we do not come together as a people, we cannot counteract the terrifying power of nature that was displayed. The time has come for us to reexamine the nature of morality.

We must find forms of expression that fit the reality of our society. We must paint darkness as darkness is.

What is the proper stance for those who wish to create images with sincerity? What effect and potential can those works have? The army of zombies feeling their way in the dark hold as their hope the idea that one day all their dreams will come true… The courage and strength necessary to call out that fallacy is the theme of this exhibition.

Takashi Murakami (This exhibition curator)

Dates : December 9 – 22, 2012

Gallery Hours : 11:00 -19:00 (20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)

Venue:Special Exhibition room at Kaikai Kiki Sapporo Studio Poncotan

Opening Reception
Sunday December 9, 2012, 14:00-16:00

・Live Talk w/Artists
 Takashi Murakami × Mr. × JNTHED × NaBaBa x Oguchi × STAG × mebae(special guest)

・Live painting by artists

Closing Event:
Saturday December 22, 15:00-17:00


・Lecture and Talk
Takashi Murakami x Studio Transister: Kohta Morie (Left) x Junichi Akimoto (Right)
For further details, click here.

What is Poncotan

Founded in Sapporo in Spring 2011, Poncotan is Kaikai Kiki’s animation studio. The name is derived from the Ainu word for small villages.

Led by Hokkaido’s native son mebae, the studio devotes itself to the production of original animated projects under the banner “From Sapporo to the World”. !

The studio is currently seeking new staff:
http://gallery-kaikaikiki.com/poncotan3/

Statement From Takashi Murakami

Artists’ Round-Table Discussion

Installation

Artists’ Interview(YouTube)

A Nightmare Is a Dream Come True – Open Studio (pixiv Zingaro)


JNTHED

A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True
Anime Expressionist Painting

May 26, 2012 – June 21, 2012
Photo Fuminari Yoshitsugu

Comments on Exhibition:
It’s been a year now since I began working in an analog manner. Images on canvas are imbued with an alluring materiality and I enjoy both looking at them and creating them. This is probably because working with paint is still a relatively fresh experience for me. These days, the act of spreading emulsion on a screen for printing or other tasks has become a source of relaxation. Unlike the digital world, there are no software upgrades which force me to relearn everything or shell out exorbitant costs. My environment is very stable. I concentrate only on the act of rendering and every action I take is reflected on the surface as it is supposed to be. I suppose that most people who turn to digital are of the type who get bored with that sort of predictability but I began working in CG with the hope of reproducing analog images in a digital format so it simply feels like I’ve made my way slowly back to my true path (although I did explore the primitivism of digital along the way).

The artists in this show all have a full command of both digital and analog but most of them seem to be working in digital as an extension of their analog work and looking at their paintings, I am quite envious of their fluid command of the canvas. I myself have only recently gotten used to using menso brushes and I hope you will have a look at these new works which I have drummed out.

Profile

JNTHED was once one of the most renowned digital artists in the entirety of Japan’s online illustration community.
After leaving his position at a video game company, he held his first solo exhibition Bye Bye Game in 2011 at Kaikai Kiki Gallery. There, he unveiled a new set of massive works on canvas, up to 6 meters in height and 2.5 meters wide, showcasing his immediate transformation from digital master to analog painter.

Career
1980 Born
Solo Exhibitions
2012 “Byebye Game” Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Group Exhibitions
2012 “SP-Arte” Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, São Paulo
“The Armory Show” Piers 92/94, NY
2011 “Art Platform – Los Angeles” L.A. Mart, Los Angeles
“VOLTA7″ Dreispitzhalle, Basel
“Nihonga ZERO Introducing a new brand of Nihonga studies incorporating the aesthetic history of manga! ” Hidari Zingaro, Tokyo
“SNOW MIKU for SAPPORO2011,”pixiv×Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Sapporo

Mr.

A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True
Anime Expressionist Painting

May 26, 2012 – June 21, 2012
Photo Fuminari Yoshitsugu

Comments on Exhibition:

Other than myself, the artists in this exhibition are all in their youth and I can’t help but be struck by their talent. Working with them has been a fresh, pleasant experience. I too want to transform myself. There are times when I find myself in the role of teacher but it’s mostly with regards to the basic manners and rules they will need to succeed as professional artists. I’ve now reached the ripe (laugh) age of 42 so maybe that’s where I belong. But even with the difference in age, I’ve now known some of them, JNTHED and NaBaBa for instance, for over a year now and there hasn’t been anything particularly difficult so far. If we were doing this show at pixiv Zingaro, it may have been different but doing it an artistic context here means that I have few problems. This is the type of work I’ve been painting all this time anyway.

I have a hard time keeping up with it all but there are around 50 artists on pixiv who I am particularly fond of. Their works are interesting as stand-alone illustrations but the structure, trends seen in their characters, and style can serve as a reference point for panting as well. I tend to see and hear what Murakami is looking at in fragments so I understand in some ways but in others, I just have to use my imagination to guess what he’s thinking. With this show, I believe he expects me to create a lineage between these young artists and himself.

Profile

After 15 years as Takashi Murakami’s apprentice, Mr.’s signature style of painting young girls in an anime and video game-esque manner has earned him an increasingly large following among Japan’s SNS generation and he is now on his way to being part of the mainstream. He has exhibited in several major institutions both in Japan and abroad. In September of 2012, he will hold a solo exhibition at New York’s Lehman Maupin Gallery and is also scheduled to publish a catalog of works in the near future.

Career
1980 Graduated from Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School, Tokyo
1969 Born in Cupa
Solo Exhibitions
2010 “Solo Exhibition” Leeahn Gallery, Daegu, South Korea
2008 “Nobody Dies” Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France,
Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY
2006 “Mr.,” Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, France
“Nin – stealth,” Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami, FL
2004 “ISSEY x Mr., ISSEY MIYAKE by Naoki Takizawa,” Tokyo, Japan
“Thank You for Your Hard Work,” Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2003 Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France
2001 “Venus #2,” Vedanta Gallery, Chicago, IL

NaBaBa

A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True
Anime Expressionist Painting

May 26, 2012 – June 21, 2012
Photo Fuminari Yoshitsugu

Comments on Exhibition:

In addition to my painting, I also work at a video game company and I try to draw a line between the two. However, in terms of craftsmanship, they both are the result of continual trial and error. Art carries with it the depth of context and a wide of expression, while games have a uniquely high level of interactivity and immersion. Interactivity in particular is something that is important to my work and from that aspect, I think video games are unmatched by any other medium. However, when I look at the current state of the industry, I think that high potential is only being realized in very confined areas. For example, if we create something with a seeming amount of realism, it will have a sense of
authenticity but that is not all there is to expression. There can also be immersion which is more symbolic and takes the audience inside the creator’s internal universe. From that aspect, I think that art offers a lot of possibilities. That is why I paint and that is why I am taking part in this exhibition. I would like to learn the gist of art and to realize that potential on my own. I would then like to bring what I gain from that experience back with me into the game world. My practice of late revolves around this idea. And while it may be a distant dream, I hope one day to create a work that will combine art and games into a new expressive medium.

Profile

A graduate of Tama Art University, NaBaBa once worked as an assistant for Makoto Aida. More recently, he has been working for a video game company while also building a career as a painter. In 2011, he worked as an assistant on “SNOW MIKU for SAPPORO 2011″ (pixiv x Kaikai Kiki Gallery) and went onto exhibit in “Nihonga ZERO Introducing a new brand of Nihonga studies incorporating the aesthetic history of manga”
(Hidari Zingaro) and “Hyakka” (pixiv Zingaro).

Career
2011 Graduated from Tama Art University
1987 Born in Kanagawa
Group Exhibitions
2011 “Hyakka,” pixiv Zingaro, Tokyo
“Nihonga ZERO Introducing a new brand of Nihonga studies incorporating the aesthetic history of manga! ” Hidari Zingaro, Tokyo
“SNOW MIKU for SAPPORO2011,”pixiv×Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Sapporo
2009 “pixiv Festa vol.2,” Design Festa, Gallery Harajuku, Tokyo

STAG

A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True
Anime Expressionist Painting

May 26, 2012 – June 21, 2012
Photo Fuminari Yoshitsugu

Comments on Exhibition:

I still have my day job as the manager of a store. I haven’t told my company that I’m painting for Kaikai Kiki and they’d probably be furious if they found out. But even so, I’m thinking about my future. The connections that I create working
as an artist provide feedback at work and of course the opposite is also true. I haven’t considered dedicating myself to one or the other but I would like to improve the balance a bit.

I create my pieces with posca markers. I’ve used them at my store for many years so I can paint in a very limited time or space.This the first time I’ve done any works this large in scale. While working on this exhibition with so many people of different skills and experiences,I’ve come to a clear understanding of my own weak points. The next step is to better them. My core as an artist is the ability to combine different fields. I love music and manga and use elements of both in my work but in the end, I just want to be a vessel for these things. If viewing my paintings makes you like music a little more or want to go to a club or concert for the first time in a while, then I think my work has been a success.

Profile

Began career as an illustrator by creating a digital jacket for a song a friend had made on the internet and uploading it to pixiv. In 2011, he participated in the exhibitions “KAI-YOU presents Sekai to Asobu!” and “Hyakka,” both at pixiv Zingaro. He contributes artwork to the dojinshi Diorama even while working at a job that forbids work on the side. As a member of the pre-SNS generation, he is strongly aware of his surroundings.

Career
1982 Born
Group Exhibitions
2011 “Hyakka,” pixiv Zingaro, Tokyo
“KAI-YOU presents Sekai to Asobu!,” pixiv Zingaro, Tokyo

oguchi

A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True
Anime Expressionist Painting

May 26, 2012 – June 21, 2012
Photo Fuminari Yoshitsugu

Comments on Exhibition:

I’ve been working in Kaikai Kiki’s production chamber since the end of February and of course, it took some courage for me to take part (laugh). However, if someone is able to find value in some element of my work than I am happy to continue working hard. I also must acknowledge that I’ve gained many things by working here so far.

For this exhibition, I hope provide my own answer to the question of what lies between subculture and art. I’m still in the early part of my studies as an art student and though I’ve painted with oils since junior high, it’s only been four or five years that I’ve done so seriously. I still have a lot of room to grow but I also think I’ve made progress in my own way.

Profile

Oguchi is a student at Tokyo University of the Arts. In 2011, he participated in the group exhibition HEISEIBU at pixiv Zingaro. A member of a new generation of Japanese painters who are equally versed in digital and analog methods, his unique mode of expression serves as a bridge between the two while embodying neither.

Career
2011 Enrolled at Tokyo University of the Arts, major in oil painting
1991 Born
Group Exhibitions
2011 “HEISEIBU,” pixiv Zingaro, Tokyo

hiruki

A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True
Anime Expressionist Painting

May 26, 2012 – June 21, 2012

Profile

After graduating from Kyoto City University of Arts, Hiruki began working at a video game company and made his debut as an artist at the ob curated exhibition “Wassyoi,” held at the (now defunct) 0000 Gallery in Kyoto.
In 2012, he held first solo exhibition Non Sugar War at Hidari Zingaro. His work was featured in Kaikai Kiki Gallery’s booth at the Armory Show 2012 in New York.

Career
2012 Graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts
1988 Born in Osaka
Solo Exhibitions
2012 “Non Sugar War” Hidari Zingaro, Tokyo
Group Exhibitions
2012 “SP-Arte” Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, São Paulo
“The Armory Show” Piers92/94, NY