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Liquid and Magnetic Radiation

JUNE 29 - JULY 28, 2019

PAST

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Liquid and Magnetic Radiation

JUNE 29 - JULY 28, 2019

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Free Admission
 
The Mass is pleased to present Seb Janiak’s first solo exhibition in Japan.
 
In a photographic career spanning over 30 years, Seb Janiak has explored a remarkably diverse range of areas. From his matte paintings with their revolutionary new techniques and unique perspectives, Janiak has successfully preserved a sense of cohesion while covering the full range of possibilities offered by photography. Janiak started out as a young freelance graphic designer without specific aspirations to be an artist, who wanted above all to give free rein to his curiosity and to experiment with a piece of equipment which he discovered by chance and which opened up the possibility of creating stunning images.
 
In 1987, images could be created and digitally enhanced using Quantel Paintbox. Janiak was one of the very first people to extend its use beyond the TV and film applications for which it was originally designed in order to produce photographic images for exhibition. In these photographs, scenes of unbridled fantasy were reconstructed with a hitherto unprecedented degree of realism. This marked the dawn of a new photographic esthetic. A variety of different shots taken all over the world could be assembled digitally into large- format images conjuring up a sci-fi world suffused with the staggering transparency of photography. This new style of image would become the staple fare of the next two decades, but Janiak’s achievement lay in being the first to create them.
 
Seb Janiak is a pioneer, spurred on by a restless desire to observe the world, challenge it and apply his artistic skills to reshaping it. He has an unquenchable thirst for everything that supplements our understanding of reality, opens up new perspectives and creates meaning. Whether he is dealing with institutionalized phenomena (religion, science, and astrophysics in particular) or niche areas (esotericism, ufology) his imagination draws on humanity in all its boundless diversity, transcending time and place. An overview of his work is instructive in this respect.
 
The success of his early digital photos was followed by a meteoric rise in the world of advertising in 1995. He made a seamless transition from still images to video and the most influential musicians quickly approached him to direct their music videos, including Daft Punk, Janet Jackson, and Robbie Williams.
 
In 2005, after ten years of frenetic activity, major health problems forced Janiak to make radical lifestyle changes. At the height of his artistic powers, he resumed his experiments with photography, free from the constraints of commissioned work. Drawing inspiration for his work from a variety of sources over the years such as traditional oriental texts including the Tibetan Book of the Dead or the history of Western art, Janiak created strikingly powerful ensembles in which human figures were replaced by nature and ideas.
 
Since 2009, Janiak has set new parameters on this research by restricting himself to the techniques of analog photography, namely double exposure, superimposition and photomontage.
 
—Paul Frèches, former gallerist and curator, currently cultural attaché at the Consulate general of France in Shanghai.
 
 
Liquid (2014)
 
The perpetual struggle of the forces in action (those of gravity and fluid dynamics) between two fluids — one liquid and one gas — poses the question of pure form. The revealing of this struggle proves that what we actually see can be seen only via its environment. Form itself does not exist as such without the universe which surrounds it, without the knowledge / information which gives it shape, as the adage “Form is emptiness and emptiness is form” reminds us.
 
It is always useful to quote what follows in the text:
 
“In absolute terms, the world has no real or concrete existence. The relative aspect is the world of phenomena, and the absolute aspect is emptiness. Phenomena occur in a process of interdependence between causes and conditions, but nothing exists in itself or by itself. The direct contemplation of absolute truth transcends all intellectual concepts and all duality between subject and object.”
 
Given that vacuity does not empty things of their content since it is their true nature, I again used here the technique of lighting by reflection from the environment. For the bubbles in this series, a liquid was used together with a valve system connected to a compressed air canister. The viscosity of the liquid acts to slow down the changes in the pressure forces involved. Each bubble is thus compressed beneath the one above.
 
Magnetic Radiation (2011 – 2012)
 
For the Magnetic Radiation series, it was the use of a ferrofluid liquid which was the obvious choice. This liquid laden with ferric nanoparticles enables us to visualize a magnetic field as it curves to follow the force lines of the magnetic field generated by powerful magnets. The set-up was designed so as to modulate the power and the spacing of several magnetic fields in parallel or in opposition, or both at the same time. Since the liquid is jet black, it is only possible to illuminate it by reflection from its environment.
 
This can be described in terms of a “revelation” in the sense that the hidden realm is revealed in images. The natural aesthetic result refers back to the creation of the universe when magnetic fields shaped matter, atom by atom to provide a structure, so that 14 million years later we have become what we are living, thinking beings.
 
Technical Note: There are no changes made to the colors, no retouching or special effects applied to the image in post-production. As of 2009, Janiak has set new parameters on this research by restricting himself to the techniques of analog photography used since 1850, namely double exposure, superimposition and photomontage inspired by pioneers of photography such as Henry Peach Robinson, Édouard Baldus and Gustave Le Gray.
 
 
Seb Janiak The Kingdom
Limited Edition of 100 copies
Softcover
42 x 26 cm
39 pages
Text in English and Japanese
2019
 
Mimesis Silk Scarf
Limited Edition of 5 Mimesis (12 scarves per motifs)
Soie 100% Silk, Hand Rolled Hems
94 x 94 cm
Made in France, 2019
Special Order (4 weeks)
 
© Seb Janiak, Liquid 01, 2014

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12 TITLES

FEBRUARY 9 - MARCH 10, 2019

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Free
 
The Mass is pleased to present Toluca Éditions.
 
Time Capsules of Photography
 
The professional photography studios that proliferated in Japan in the 1860s initially produced portraits, in the form of daguerreotypes and then ambrotypes. Ten years after the introduction in 1848 of the camera into Japan by Shimazu Nariakira, who would later become the feudal lord of Satsuma, the opening up of foreign concessions in the country’s principal port cities provided Japan with Western technologies, including photography. Although the use to which it was put ―mainly portraiture and landscapes― was similar to its country of origin, the practices that developed in Japan around this remarkable, recently imported invention differed. Unlike in the West, where the glass plates were generally set off within a gilt frame, photographs were stored unframed in boxes of Japanese cypress wood, conceived in the manner of the tomobako, the boxes to be found accompanying any work of traditional craftsmanship. These boxes would generally include a mention, written in ink, of the date the image was captured and the identity of the subject. This traditional practice of preserving portraits, and the call inherent in it to a more private contemplation of the images, has since been lost in Japan, owing to the generalized use of photographic prints (on either albumen or gelatin silver print paper), which created the more lasting format of the photographic album. And the development of photographic printing techniques has in turn replaced this more personal practice by the photobook, whose crucial role in the place of photography at the heart of twentieth-century visual culture is well known. The integration of photography into publishing, in book form, has rendered its connection with text, and therefore with literature and theory, inseparable. Today, in an age of dematerialized photography and digitalized portfolios, the idea of photographs on glass plates in an ornamented box has something of the air of a fossil.
 
Nevertheless, a sumptuous and uncompromising approach to publication has made the photographic object endure by renewing it. Halfway between the boxed set and the photobook ―itself threatened by the digital dissemination of images―, Toluca Éditions has been creating unique photographic objects for fifteen years now. The principle is simple but unprecedented: an original case contains a combination of sheets bearing unpublished texts and original photographic prints. A photographer, a writer, and a designer submit individually the component parts of a work which is then put together and published by Toluca Éditions.
 
The publications of Toluca Éditions have maintained the text element of the photobook. This is still more striking in that the texts are not analyses (as in a monograph) nor accounts written by the photographers themselves (as in the works of Chris Marker or even of Nobuyoshi Araki), but constitute rather a work in themselves, with a supple yet intimate relation to the visual world of each series of photographs. Toluca’s publications have also preserved and developed the photobook’s relation to twentieth-century cultural production techniques, through the incorporation of three practices of the multiple: photography, text, and design. These three creative disciplines are based on a technical infrastructure that implies serial production. In this sense, each one of the publications of Toluca Éditions is a contemporary cultural object par excellence.
 
In an art of the multiple ―as is thrice the case here―, the very principle of the limited edition is an arbitrary decision, often motivated by commercial calculations: why limit the run of a photograph or a print ―which is multiple by nature― to just a few dozen copies, on the economic model of a sculpture? At Toluca Éditions, it is precisely the sculptural quality of the design applied to the production of each title that justifies the publication of small runs: the box contains a total work at the intersection of design, literature, and photography. An essential component in the appreciation of any one of the publications of Toluca Éditions is precisely its texture. Not only the grain of the photographs (and Toluca Éditions displays on this point a versatile taste, from the cleanly defined images of Candida Höfer to the supersaturated images of Tokyo produced by Daidō Moriyama), but also the search for the most appropriate paper (a constant also of quality photobooks), as well as a container which, in its material and its form, will crystalize the themes of the photographic and literary world it encloses.
 
More fundamentally, the uniqueness of Toluca’s productions resides in their complexification of the temporality proper to photography. Each photograph has its own temporality, marked initially by the moment at which it is captured, and by the semantic references of the image, which are then modulated by its intersection with a text. This ensemble, once it has been acquired by a collector, undergoes a slow aging process, protected from the elements, in its custom case. Every copy of Toluca’s limited editions is therefore a time capsule.
 
When it is opened, the case provides a space appropriate for a non-linear publication. The choices provided by a number of unbound sheets allow the photographs and texts to be explored as in an exhibition, reminiscent of the paradigm of Marcel Duchamp’s La Boîte-en-valise. Instead of a binding, one may find some folded sheets. The folds create not only a compartmentalized space and a new dimension, but also endows the reading of them with a different timeframe. The fold is a non-verbal frontier.
 
Let us imagine now the little universe formed by the forty-two titles published by Toluca Éditions, side by side in the same place, like so many microcosms, each one containing its own timeframe and a unique vantage point on reality. Photography lovers can only await with impatience the editions to come, which will continue to infuse new life into this complex, unique, and effervescent publishing venture.
 
Kei Osawa
Associate researcher, Intermediatheque, University Museum, University of Tokyo.
 
 
Toluca Éditions is an extraordinary publishing house based in Paris, founded in 2003 by Alexis Fabry and Olivier Andreotti. Each project is the result of a close collaboration between an artist using photography, a writer, and a designer, who contributes a custom-made slipcase. The ‘artist’s book’ as it had been understood since the early twentieth century, has given way to a hybrid art object, which occupies a novel position in the field.
 
Olivier Andreotti is a graphic designer and artistic director. He works in a range of different fields, including regular publications, limited editions, exhibition catalogues, corporate identity, signalling systems, and exhibition design (at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, the Jeu de Paume, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City, among others venues), as well as on special projects for various prestigious brands, including Louis Vuitton, Veuve Clicquot, Hennessy, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
 
Alexis Fabry is the curator of the Leticia & Stanislas Poniatowski and the Anna Gamazo de Abelló photography collections. He has curated numerous exhibitions, including Urbes Mutantes (International Center of Photography, New York, 2014), Latin Fire (CentroCentro, Madrid, 2015), Daido Moriyama, Daido Tokyo (Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2016), Transiciones (Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 2016), and Géométries Sud (Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2018). He works as a consultant for private collections and is deputy artistic director of Hermès Maison.
 
VOL. 42 • Thomas Ruff, Patrick Bouvet, Herzog & de Meuron, World Wide Cloud, 2018 © Toluca Éditions

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Roses From My Garden

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 successful 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.
 
Making an international debut, Knight’s ‘Roses From My Garden’ series speaks to themes that the photographer is constantly grappling with. For Knight, modern photography is something deeply removed from its roots. It is not tied to any of the things it used to be – chemistry, science, printing processes. Photograph is now free to focus on the pure creation of imagery and images. In Knight’s mind, the process of photography, and what he creates, are almost two separate things. He is an artist, who most often refers to himself as an image maker, not a photographer. And yet, with this body of work, Knight is returning to a traditional glass plate printing process to play with how we see his contemporary compositions through the lens of a traditional boundary. Again, the artist shows us something familiar in a completely new way. The fragility of the rose echoes against the fragility of the glass, and yet the permanence of the printing process speaks to how ephemeral images are in our increasingly visual culture.
 
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, Sunday 6th November, 2016

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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.
 
©︎ Hajime Kuwazono, body to body no.7, 2018

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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.
 
The gallery will exceptionally open on August 14th and 15th, 2018
 
© Bernie Boston / The Washington Post / Getty Images / Kyodo News

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Marefumi Komura ‘Big ship’

MAY 19 - JUNE 17, 2018

Hours 12:00 – 19:00

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Admission: Free
 
In conjunction with the exhibition, Komura’s book Small Ship (Graphite on paper, 14.8 × 21 cm, 136 pages, edition of 300) will be available during the exhibition.
 
© marefumi komura「Subtract (Beam) 」

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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.
 
©︎ ECAL, José Ferrufino, Slightly Windy (music box), Reuge, 2010

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Takeshi Masada × fragmentdesign × NOMA t.d.

NOVEMBER 18 - DECEMBER 17, 2017

Hours 12:00 – 19:00

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Admission: Free

 

A selection of collaborations produced by Takeshi Masada × fragmentdesign × NOMA t.d. will be available in our store during the exhibition.

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SHOWstudio 01

JUNE 30 - JULY 30, 2017

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Free
 
The Mass is pleased to present a SHOWstudio takeover.
 
SHOWstudio 01
 
This is a limited-edition box set of prints and photographs, published by SHOWstudio in 2001. Entitled ‘SHOWstudio 01’, the set contains artworks and artefacts brought together in the spirit of Andy Warhol’s ‘time capsules’. Gathering pieces from the fields of fashion, music, art and design, ‘SHOWstudio 01’ features works by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Juergen Teller, David Chipperfield and Kate Moss.
 
Moving Kate Postcard set • Edition of 500
 
Nick Knight
Flora
A comprehensive volume of wonderfully composed flowers and plants which Knight discovered in the Natural History Museum. The book reveals 46 of the most striking specimens, providing the first ever photographic insight into the collection. (Signed copies)
 
Nick Knight
Nick Knight
This retrospective monograph brings together over 300 images by Nick Knight, reflecting his extraordinary vision and fearless experimentation in photography and image making. (Signed copies)
 
Nick Knight
SKINHEAD
Nick Knight’s debut publication that presents an unflinching vision of Skinhead culture from the early ’80s. The book features both written and visual musings on the style, music and behaviour that came to define the skinhead movement. This book is an essential fashion reference which helps to contextualise Nick Knight’s artistic and photographic trajectory. (Signed copies)
 
Nick Knight
NICKNIGHT
Published in 1994, this book reviews Nick Knight’s first fifteen years of artistic activity. This truly luxurious volume is bound in purple velvet suede and designed by Peter Saville. (Signed copies)

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71-84

MAY 27 - JUNE 25, 2017

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: ¥1,000 (free for students)
 
71-84 Book fully illustrated in nine volumes boxed with in a slipcase

(W23.5 x H31.1 x D15.8 ), 1,468 pages. Designed by mo’des book.

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Henry Leutwyler ‘DOCUMENT’

MARCH 24 - APRIL 15, 2017

Hours 12:00 – 19:00

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Admission: Free

 
DOCUMENT Postcard set ・ Edition of 500
DOCUMENT 3 Posters ・ Edition of 200 each

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12×12 ART×MUSIC

FEBRUARY 25 – MARCH 19, 2017

Hours 12:00 – 19:00

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Admission: Free

 
12×12 ART×MUSIC catalog will be available in our store during the exhibition. Edition of 2000

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Fumio Tachibana ‘Plastic’

NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 18, 2016

Hours 12:00 – 19:00

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Admission: Free

 
A selection of collaborations produced by Fumio Tachibana × The Mass will be available in our store during the exhibition.
 
© Fumio Tachibana, Kuroboshi (prototype), 2016

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FRAGMENT x AMKK x S.U.C.C. x The Mass

AUGUST 27 - SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Hours 12:00 – 19:00
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: ¥500 (free for students)

 
A selection of collaborations produced by FRAGMENT×S.U.C.C.×AMKK will be available in our store during the exhibition.

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Avant-Garde Symbolism

JULY 29 – AUGUST 14, 2016

Hours 12:00 – 19:00

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Admission: Free

 

In this inaugural exhibition organized by The Mass, we are pleased to present Russian avant-garde artworks from the poster collection of Ruki Matsumoto. Created in the 1920s at a time straddling the Russian Revolution, these posters are examples of propaganda (political and philosophical) and movie advertisements that served national cultural policies—as can be inferred from the word “avant-garde”, which was originally a military term—and encapsulate works of visual art that reflect strong political elements. The works shown in this exhibition are referred to as examples of Russian Constructivism, and can be said to directly communicate their meaning through the arrangement and extreme restriction of characters, images and colors in a single image, making it possible to express and convey the essence of “graphics”. This exhibition of Russian avant-garde posters, which represented a new culture within a chaotic era that was by no means positive, will provide a valuable opportunity to question the significance of their existence as graphic design forms that stand as innovative and groundbreaking symbols, while retaining the identities of their creators.
 
©︎ The Mass, Nikolai Prusakov, Man of Fire, 1929