OAC in JAPAN
27 September – 5 October 2017
The second edition of OpenArtCode Tokyo will take place from 27 September – 5 October 2017 at the
ALL NATIONS & JAPAN ARTISTS’
AJAC was established in 1975 by contemporary artists, regardless of nationality, race and sex. AJAC stands for modern and liberal expressions. Many artists send to AJAC their works for the main exhibition at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
2017 edition participating Artists
Agneta Gynning is a Swedish sculptor who has specialised in bronze and marble but currently also works in glass, silicone rubber and most recently, in terracotta: indeed she has successfully created some incredible, minimalist floor standing vases at the kilns of the Fattoria di Montecchio, San Donato, Tuscany. Her art succeeds in fusing both classical and contemporary influences; the lines she creates are elegant, graceful and transmit a feeling of life and soul, with a free spirit that seems to inhabit the space both within and around her artworks. Rubber is another recent material that Agneta is exploring, through which she reveals an instinctive talent to uncover the evocative power of its colour and movement. On her process, Agneta says, ‘I often think of a theme or a feeling that I want to express and then I get a picture in my head that I start working from. Or I just take a walk by the sea and suddenly I have a picture in my head that I want to create. Sometimes I make a sketch to be able to remember, but most often I just work from the idea that I see in front of me. Lines and movements are very important to me.’
While Carol Carpenter’s paintings often tackle familiar subject matter such as landscapes and floral elaborations, her rich colours set her depictions apart, approaching a Modern Expressionistic style. She utilizes her intuition and experimental processes mixed with a saturated palette to create vivid and energetic works. Oil, acrylic, watercolour and ink are her preferred mediums, with which she produces nonfigurative layers of paint beneath the final image which provides a new perspective, inspiration and vision in creating a unique way to view the outside world. She is “inspired by the ever-changing elements and beauty in nature” and says, “I use colour as my primary focus to transmit energy, meaning and emotion in my art.”
Sumio Inoue has spent the past recent years carefully developing a series called Silenzioso: images printed on handmade rice paper, a process that takes several months. Due to the labourious process of his technique, each work is one of a kind and only a few are produced each year. The subjects, church interiors, important monuments, town and cityscapes are printed with intensified focus and in infinitely monochromatic shades and shadows. Inoue reveals something where nothing can be seen, and uncovers and evokes unknown spaces with an antique pathos to stimulate the viewer’s imagination. About his work, Inoue states, ‘Shadows are fascinating to me. They exist where light exists. They always follow people, sometimes enormous, sometimes small, sometimes lighter or darker. Shadows are always with us, close by, touching. They grow as people grow and disappear when the person they followed passes away. From their creation to the moment of their destruction, objects also have their private shadows…’
Carolina’s paintings are usually self-portrait and she usually uses herself in other kinds of art projects, such as video installations. Most noticeable was the photo exhibition of the surgery where her silicone implants were taken out and sold at auction to support a charity that works with war victims in Rwanda, photographed by well-known Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin. About her work, she states “I never know in advance how a painting will look like, but when I walk into the studio to paint it’s as if I walk into myself and attach my feelings to the screen. But what is emerging is both me and my past as a contribution to the social debate. ”
According to the art critic Eduardo Serrano “Chacín is an artist who was trained in Cuba and Italy and it is possible that the particularity of his work in the Colombian medium is due, in part, to the fact that here he can achieve a glimpse the universal artistic conception of the Caribbean that is identified with the Havana National Art School, Museums and Biennials in Europe. But, also in this context, his work is starkly particular, firstly because it is closely related to his physical and social, political and economic environment, i.e., with Colombia and with Santa Marta in particular, his birthplace and home.”
Various styles have marked the artistic career of David Harry, from early neo-expressionism to a project called Anti-Action painting. His current body of work consists of relatively large-scale abstract paintings. In his artistic statement, David states that “fine art is a form of expression that works as a visual metaphor for a shared experience. My latest work is about a process not unlike jazz composition, action initiated over a familiar structure. The paintings also respond to place. […] Each painting is allowed to feel its own way. There is a charge that builds with time that brings with it presence which is also a goal of my work…”
Combining his love of photography with his passion for high-tech design, David has launched a series of limited edition prints he describes as Photographic Constructs exposing the viewer to new ways of seeing technology, architecture, nature and many other subjects through a unique and creative lens.
About his work, David says, “I’ve spent most of my life observing the aesthetic – people, nature, products, fashion, architecture… everything. It is the critical function of a designer and artist. Both a subconscious and conscious research tool, as well as a critical method of measurement – for style, performance, quality and desire. It’s this life-long demand for the elegant aesthetic that has trained me to look – and to see – detail and pattern in objects that might otherwise go unnoticed or hidden by the combination (or concert) of their surroundings.”
Totally infused by her work, Sager’s photography is unique and relates to the reverence of the vanities – the signature of the mysterious person that is this artist. She is inspired by life, as she believes it will always continue to amaze us. She is in love with life and its challenges. Her deep roots are those of a citizen of the polyglot world. For her, fear is not a vision of the world. In her bohemian soul, happiness is an ideal, not of passion, but of imagination. She knows that whatever her talent, it has no power over eternity. Being the author and the creator of her own work, she may amend or pass it on in the infinity. Where from her dreamlike and hard-hitting compositions to show us the vanity of things. Her work says with eloquence that we wanted a world where everything can be bought and sold. She enters so, bravely, freely, in the most fascinating wings of the world, those of the human beings that we crown alive Gods to hide better our fear, even when in fact they are only simple mortals.
John Nieman’s work is characterised by striking composition, crisp colours, and strong shadows. He favours the high contrast media of pastels or a combination of pastels and watercolours. Given his background in the mass communication world, from which he draws pop references (movies, famous actors or food, for example), as Hamilton and Warhol did, he creates immediate and straight images.
John Nieman has been exhibited in 16 different venues over the past two years and has been featured in national and international juried competitions. Last spring, a collection of his paintings and poems was published in a book called Art of Lists. He is represented by Agora Gallery in New York City.
Each Griffith abstract is characterised by its own colour palette, rhythms, and textures. She paints with oil paint, wet-into-wet. Palette knives are employed to skilfully manipulate the paint. The result is masterful abstract expressionism. Griffith’s abstracts speak personally to each viewer, often evoking intense emotion, lively discussion and passionate reactions and one cannot expect her abstracts to evoke the same emotion in all viewers. Interpretations are always illusive and her abstracts know no cultural or geographic boundaries; they connect to commonality deep within us. The work has been described as complex, haunting, and exhilarating. Not wanting to direct the interaction between viewer and art, Griffith seldom names a painting beyond an identifying number. She insists that the viewer’s interaction with the paintings is far more important than her relationship to the art.
MARCO AURELIO REY
Marco Aurélio Rey was born and lives in São Paulo, Brazil. He started painting with oils when he was a child and in the 1980’s he specialized in Industrial Design and Visual Communications. At this stage of his life he stopped painting to work in the world of fashion. In the 1990’s, he took it up again to paint using gouache on paper and his most recent series ‘Ar livre’ shows the relationship between memories and emotions.
The world that emerges from the artist’s vision is dynamic and full of fascination and his artworks are a proud and elegant eulogies to nature and its intrinsic beauty.
Although Marybel Gallegos uses different techniques such as watercolour, charcoal, pencil, and acrylics to create her work, but oil is her preferred technique because it gives her the most freedom to develop her innermost feelings. Through the use of colour and suggestive strokes of a paintbrush, a mysterious and exciting universe emerges on canvas. The explainable no longer has meaning and the inexplicable becomes the great work of an artist who shares her emotions with the world. Marybel’s work shows a fantastic background of experience in colour placement. Rich colours become tender and soft, for a sensitive alchemy of feelings.
Max Werner seems to love the challenge of an unusual composition, and the capturing of the diversity of light in the various places he travels to. Werner generally paints in his studio a few weeks after having seen his subject matter, using sketches and photos, but never relying on recorded reality. The end result is an image which evokes a mood, and which conveys what the artist felt at the time, rather than a faithful representation of the place described. Perhaps to get a deeper understanding of his work, it helps to know that Magritte is one of Werner’s favourite artists, “ There is something about Magritte’s surrealism especially, which I find very interesting. This one step away from reality, a juxtaposition of things which sometimes also occurs in real life. When it does and you pay attention to it, it creates a situation that can be in turn funny quirky, or absurd. For me this is a constant source of inspiration.”
Nam Hong makes no distinction or hierarchy between the different art forms but uses all means of expression: paint, design, performance: she believes that her canvas or performances are the only true theater of existence, while life seems just a dream. Her current ink and acrylic paintings from 2013 onwards have a spontaneous, lyrical gesture to them and are inspired by the majesty of Asian calligraphy. Acrylic allows for a certain velocity of execution. Then she adds glue and burned pieces of paper on the canvas. The images of butterflies, candlelight and paper fragments reduced to ashes such as in Le printemps, reveal the mysterious cycle of life and death, the origins of existence that eventually lead to extinction.
The work of Rieko Karrer is without ornament, it presents simplicity and authenticity and with an economic manner she uses symbols, lines and circles together with calligraphy and automatic drawing. Rieko Karrer says that she strives to communicate a “natural luminosity,” and because of that the color white is fundamental to her images. However, her ability to manipulate a range of greys and earth tones, while punctuating those tones with short, exactly placed bursts of reds and yellows, gives a dynamic flow to each painting, adding drama and depth to their peaceful tone. As a result, her paintings exude what she calls a “quiet energy,” one that places the viewer in a meditative state while also creating a constant sense of active visual interest.
Sara Palleria’s large-scale oils on canvas stagger the viewer for their intrinsic beauty, use of colour and nuances of texture and energy. She loves to paint all that “the eye thinks it sees”. In her use of light and colour, she just hints at a background and foreground, yet it is undecipherable with its subtle boundaries of nature and imagination. The art critic Alberto Toni says this about Palleria’s work, “In the last pictorial production of Sara Palleria, that is to say from 2000 onwards, search in abstract expressionist expression becomes more accomplished. The symbol crosses the space of the canvas by referring to man and his inner journeys, and at the same time defining allusions and Shadows, to draw a timeless, yet vividly concrete reality…”
Moved by simple and common objects, Sinae is currently experimenting with acrylics in the form of abstraction. Ethereal landscapes of forest and palins, abundant flower fields, crystalline lakes and mountain stream comprise the masterful portfolio of watercolor artist Sinae Lee.
Her romantic landscapes convey feelings of warmth and a vibrant sense of life. Delicate hues and sensitive touch suggest the scent of flowers and the gentle caress of a passing breeze. Where others see with their eyes, Sinae sees with her heart. She says, ‘after 25 years in painting what’s on the outside world, I’ve come to realize I have more to paint within.’ In some ways, she is trying to recreate the dreams of her childhood days and spiritual world.
TROND ARE BERGE
Trond Are Berge brings careful sensibility to his fine art, most recently in a series with a technique he describes as “photo of photo on photo” without using photoshop with its layers. The artist’s relationship as a Norwegian to natural elements such as wood, fire and water shapes and constructs the narratives and compositions of his works. Light is always central in his photographs, breathing vibrant nuance and character into stoic, classical perspectives of land and coast. His compositions move line and form into expressions that compel the viewer to pause, to summon feelings of emotions, uniting structure and color to elicit introspection, to appreciate those who have learned to live under open skies.
Born in Sweden, Susanne Sjogren has worked in the interior design sector for over 25 years, always with an exuberant love for art and artisanship. In her own works, she seeks to unite her profession as master upholsterer with her own unique creativity and passion for art. Her days always begin with a walk on the seashore, and nature is her prime source of inspiration. When possible, she employs natural materials that she can work with by hand. About her work, she says “The shapes are found within me and nature is my source of inspiration. The way from a feeling in the body to the creative work of the hand is my utter passion – and endlessly fascinating. In my art you find extreme contrast as well as balance and harmony.”
Born in Florida, Veronica Stewart is a contemporary painter, writer and designer. She reinterprets the American traditional figurative painting in a post-modern way by making use of simplified lines and acid and psychedelic colours, along the lines of Keith Haring and Basquiat. She is inspired by music, poetry and literature and often uses the female or equine figure at the heart of her work. About her art, she says “each piece is launched by an idea or emotion that I work tirelessly on until the vision is completed […] While I’m painting, I am seduced by my subjects with a tunnel vision that is unbreakable, causing time to stand still. Once I decided to make art my life’s work, everything fell into place. Art is a labour of love for me and involves complete focus, attention to detail, and nuance that requires energy and complex thought.”
In Kensuke’s creative works, words play an important part often appearing like a design. Other major leitmotiv in his artworks include bicycles, shoes and shoelaces, hats and ballet dancers creating dreamy, Chagall’like worlds with thoughts, music and poems also running through the images and collages. Human characters appear as characters of stories in these dreamy atmospheres whether they be ballet dancers or musicians. Shoes and shoelaces in his art are a symbol of communication and bicycles are seen as a nature-friendly ecological vehicle, expressing the relationship between human beings and the natural environment.
George Oommen was born in Kerala, a state on India’s south-western coast. From an early age, heloved to draw, and expressed an interest in pursuing art as a career. His parents suggested he study architecture as a way to channel his artistic skills, so Oommen enrolled at the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture, where his confidence as an artist grew, under the influence of friends and mentors. His sketches reveal his talent as a draftsman and artist; his fellow students often approached him for help with their designs.
Throughout his career as an architect, Oommen never abandoned his passion for art. He painted regularly in classes at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts school, and at night in his studio at home in Arlington. He held his first solo exhibition in 1985, and by the late 90s, began to be invited to participate in art shows in India, France, Spain and Russia. His paintings are part of the collections of art lovers in several countries.
William Braemer’s artwork is the result of an amazing life experience and a personality that hungers for rich, character-defining adventures. As a young man, William was educated in New York and upon graduation, apprenticed in Europe during the 1980’s. While living in Florence, Italy, he was inspired by the city’s rich artistic history and its deep-rooted culture. It was this moment in time of William’s life which inspired him to pursue his passion for art; thus, beginning a life-long journey steeped in a love for self-expression. William’s art can be defined as abstract expressionist, notably accentuated with valiant colours, rich strokes and provocative themes. From the Caribbean enhanced abstract paintings inspired by his Cuban heritage, to the ornately crafted sculptures, William’s artwork appeals to a wide cross-section of collectors. In Braemer’s hands, classical sculptures are given a new skin made of coins and other unorthodox materials, thereby depriving them of sacredness, with irony, typical of postmodern art.