2018

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Flora

NOVEMBER 10 - DECEMBER 16, 2018

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Free
 
The Mass is pleased to present Nick Knight’s first solo exhibition in Japan.
 
For the past four decades Nick Knight has consistently challenged the standards of beauty and, as a result, is celebrated as one of the world’s most influential and visionary photographers working today. His groundbreaking creative collaborations with leading designers including Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano, Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen, alongside his vanguard advertising campaigns for prestigious clients such as Dior, Shiseido, Tom Ford, McQueen or Nike have secured him as a major figure in fine art and fashion.
 
Alongside his success commercial career, Knight has a rather more personal side of his practice that is demonstrative of a constant desire to experiment and challenge himself. In ‘Still’, Knight brings this somewhat more private work to Tokyo, in three distinct bodies of work: ‘Flora’, ‘Roses, Photo Paintings’ and ‘Roses From My Garden’ which are all exceptional examples of Knight’s restless journey with aesthetic margins. Unlike the images of flowers we are used to seeing, Knight’s compositions are balanced, harmonious compositions that move us to think about the innate power of nature and its fleeting beauty.
 
‘Flora’ was first published in 1997 as a book of the same name. A daring and comprehensive volume of 46 images of flowers and plants chosen from the Natural History Museum’s six million specimens, the book came to life after Knight and his wife, Charlotte, spent three and a half years in the herbarium mapping the infinite complexity of plants. The resulting compositions are enduringly fresh and beautifully poised in their simplicity. Each reads as form in space. Without border or perspective the compositions are almost palpable: Colours bloom; Structures wilt; Some even read like drawings organically unraveling. Knight flawlessly allows the beauty of each piece to come into sharp and unwavering focus.
 
From the original specimens he captured for the acclaimed book, Knight selected 15 prints representative of the arresting diversity in botany that he found so exciting when he first gained access to the herbarium to be his first limited edition portfolio which is making its Japanese debut at The Mass. As Knight himself says, “There are few things that make me happier than discovering a new way of seeing the familiar.“ Together, the images do exactly that.
 
As the first show outside of the UK to exhibit these bodies of work together, ‘Still’ lends insight into Knight’s relentless desire to find and capture new versions of beauty and new visions of the familiar.
 
Nick Knight OBE (b. 1958) is a British fashion photographer who is also founder and director of SHOWstudio.com. He is an honorary professor at University of the Arts, London and was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by the same university. For the last forty years, Nick has shot award-winning images for commercial and editorial purposes. His groundbreaking creative collaborations with leading designers including Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano, Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen, alongside his vanguard advertising campaigns for prestigious clients such as Dior, Lancôme, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein or Yves Saint Laurent have helped to make him a household name in both fine art and fashion.
 
His stories in British Vogue, Paris Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Another, Another Man, i-D and W magazine have all pushed the industry past the classic parameters of fashion photography, while his award winning music videos for Björk, Lady Gaga and Kanye West have firmly established Knight as an eminent Director and Image Maker. His first book of photographs ‘Skinheads’ was published in 1982, winning a D&AD award in 1996. He then went on to published ‘Nicknight’, a twelve year retrospective of his work, and ‘Flora’, a series of inimitable still lives, both published by Schirmer/Mosel. His latest book, entitled ‘Nick Knight’, was published by HarperCollins in 2009. His work has been exhibited at such international art institutions as the Tate Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum, Saatchi Gallery, the Photographers’ Gallery, Hayward Gallery, the Daelim Museum, and the Gagosian Gallery.
 
© Nick Knight, Flora, 1994-1997

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PORTRAIT

AUGUST 25 - SEPTEMBER 23, 2018

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: ¥500 (free for students)
 
The Mass is pleased to present PORTRAIT curated by Seika University Culture Club (*S.U.C.C.)
 
Taking the theme of portrait, this exhibition will draw connections between manifold artists of different ages and genres, providing an opportunity to see works with distinct expressions all in one space.
 
*S.U.C.C. is a group of popular culture studies (creation and PR) formed by Hiroshi Fujiwara who is currently a visiting professor at the Kyoto Seika University.

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War and Flowers

JULY 20 - AUGUST 15, 2018

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Free
 
The Mass is pleased to present ‘War and Flowers’. Curated by AMKK led by flower artist Makoto Azuma and The Mass; this exhibition includes a selection of photographs relating to war and flowers that Azuma and his team have collected intermittently over the past eight years forming the foundations for the exhibition, which brings together images that reflect on the subject of war from various aspects, compiled with the cooperation of international photo agencies: Magnum Photos, Asahi Shimbun and Kyodo News.
 
From birth to death, flowers occupy a familiar place in people’s lives; as gifts of celebration and encouragement, or in moments of mourning and prayer. From long ago people have offered flowers, investing their radiant appearance and transient existence with the role of conveying feelings, desires, and tenderness that sometimes cannot be expressed in words. Such actions can even be glimpsed within the darkest events of human history like war. The world has seen dramatic developments in science and technology over the last few centuries, together with a diversification of conflicts. We wish that through these photographs bringing together and connecting in one lens the seemingly contradictory elements of “war” and “flowers”, the negative historical facts of humankind are faced squarely in the hope that many visitors, and especially younger generations, will be given the opportunity to think deeply about peace.
 
AMKK
 
Azuma Makoto and Shiinoki Shunsuke were born in Fukuoka, Japan. Together they opened the on-demand ‘haute couture’ flower shop “JARDINS des FLEURS” in Ginza district in 2002. The shop is currently located in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. Around 2005 they launched a second line of operations when Azuma invented the genre ‘botanical sculpture’ and Shiinoki captured those creations in his photographs. Following a solo exhibition in New York, their audacious works have been repeatedly shown in Europe. They set up the experimental botanical lab Azuma Makoto Kaju Kenkyujo (AMKK) in 2009, they went on to exhibit their works at art museums, galleries and public spaces all over the world. In recent years, they have been focusing on projects that explore the connections between human beings and flowers.
 
AZUMA MAKOTO • Flower Artist
 
Azuma Makoto has been in the flower business since 2002, and is the owner of the ‘haute couture’ floral shop, “JARDINS des FLEURS” in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. In addition to the flower shop business, Azuma began to explore the expressive potential of plants in 2005. He invented the genre of the ‘Botanical sculpture’, creating works for which he soon received orders also from outside Japan. Following a solo exhibition in New York, his audacious works have been repeatedly shown in Europe. While launching the experimental botanical lab Azuma Makoto Kaju Kenkyujo (AMKK) in 2009, he went on to exhibit his works at art museums, galleries and public spaces all over the world. Every activity of Azuma Makoto focuses on elevating value of flowers and plants by finding unique and mysterious forms that they posses. Respecting the existence of nature and keeping its dignity, he converts and expresses these beautiful elements to aesthetic level of artwork.
 
Photo © Bernie Boston / The Washington Post / Getty Images / Kyodo News
 
The gallery will exceptionally open on August 14th and 15th, 2018

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Marefumi Komura ‘Big ship’

MAY 19 - JUNE 17, 2018

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Free
 
The Mass is pleased to present Marefumi Komura’ solo exhibition Big Ship.


 
In his new “subtraction” series, instead of building up layers of paint, Komura takes away thin washes of colour down to lines and scrapes in an attempt to express fragility, impermanence and imperfection.
 


The title Big Ship, a metaphor for the beleaguered state of Japan adrift on the sea of globalisation or even a symbol of the chaotic course of the cosmos, came to Komura in an intuitive flash after the death of his grandmother.
 


The word ship, or scip in Old English, derives from the Indo-European skep, meaning “cut” or “trim”, yet partakes of the notion of skipan “shaping” that suffixes such compounds as friendship or relationship — hence it somehow reflects elements of Komura’s method of “shaping by removing”. His images hint at lost senses, evoking hidden landscapes, reawakening primal memories.

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ECAL Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship

MARCH 24 - APRIL 22, 2018

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Free
 
The Mass is pleased to present ‘ECAL Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship’, a selection of student projects of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne from their Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship.
 
The exhibition highlights some of the many collaborations undertaken with international brands from the fields of luxury and craftsmanship. In addition to the exhibited prototypes, a selection of mock-ups and sketches illustrates the students’ creative process.
 
ECAL / University of Art and Design Lausanne (Switzerland)
 
As a school of international renown in the fields of design, photography, graphic design, cinema, new technologies and art, ECAL has been constantly ranked among the top 5 art and design schools. Since 2011, ECAL has been headed by Alexis Georgacopoulos and it has grown and established itself as a leader in the creative world. This could not have been achieved without the involvement of skilled practitioners, artists and designers of global renown or the many collaborations and commissions for cultural companies and institutions. As a consequence, ECAL students acquire a sound knowledge and benefit from a challenging practice-oriented education.
 
The Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship (MAS DLC)
 
This unique course is specifically aimed at Bachelor and Master graduates who wish to further their design education in areas of excellence as varied as ne watchmaking, tableware, fashion, gastronomy, ‘Métiers d’Art’ or who wish to learn particular techniques with regards to the use of noble materials. The students (fifteen or so each year from all over the world) are able to work in collaboration with high-profile companies, which can draw on a heritage of a hundred years or more, and to gather skills from workshops organized by major players from the international design scene.