Motoi Yamamoto à Paris


Paris and Parisians seem to have a special link with Japan. Japanese culture is everywhere in Paris, as ubiquitous as the stylish Japanese tourists shopping in the chic left bank boutiques. It has the enormous Maison de la Culture du Japon on the river bank, that was bequeathed to the city as one of François Mitterand’s ‘grand projets’ after he visited Japan in 1982. It is by far the biggest market for manga and animé and Europe. It also has the biggest Japan expo of popular culture; Japanese restaurants, futon and Muji stores all over; and a constant flow of classic Japanese movies on screens around the city. So I’m quite surprised when Laetitia Delorme, director of the small L MD galerie in the ultra posh 7th arondissement, tells me that there hasn’t been much going on lately in Paris in terms of Japanese contemporary art. She is trying to change that by planning a number of shows of new or emerging Japanese artists that might take the appreciation of Japanese contemporary art locally beyond all things kawaii or pop.

The gallery is currently home to one of Motoi Yamamoto’s elaborate salt labyrinth installations, growing across the floor in the small gallery. The space gives you an intense feeling of fragility, as you try to step carefully around the work. Yamamoto, who lives and works in Kanazawa, has worked exclusively with salt as his material for fifteen years. Salt traditionally evokes death (funerals), purification and memory in Japan, but is also a sign of wealth and a basic natural element. Yamamoto’s painfully intensive work pushes him to physical limits as he bends on the floor composing the intricate, infinitely complicated labyrinth over a number of days. Yet the finished works are refined and harmonious, and fit well with the emerging Japanese aesthetic that I’ve noted in all kinds of younger and mid-career artists: to emphasise naturally made work, craft, physical labour, and sustainable materials in the art they do. Yamamoto has also written about this show in his ART-iT blog on 2009-11-17.

So why so few Japanese contemporary artists on show in Paris? Germany has been a much more receptive location, says Delorme, partly because of the influence of centres like Berlin and Köln, partly because so many young Japanese have followed the Yoshitomo Nara path and studied there on fellowships. L MD put on a show by Kengo Nakamura last year, and Delorme would like to put on a small group show next year. She will also take L MD to Tokyo Art Fair in the Spring, although she thinks it might be best for networking with gallerists more than directly for sales.

Delorme lived for four years in Japan, so it has not been difficult making contact with Japanese galleries. But she points to a typical problem that limits the internationalisation of Japanese artists: the unwillingness of Japanese gallerists to collaborate with western galleries by “sharing” their precious roster. Most demand an “exclusive” representation of their own artists, but without collaboration international networks and experience are hard to develop, and they then struggle to expose many works. It’s a self-defeating mechanism: failing to work with western galleries, mean that young Japanese artists get limited exposure outside of expensive art fairs, and their careers get stunted internationally.

In Paris, only the Cartier Foundation has shown regular interest in Japan, including a major Murakami show and curation in the early 2000s, and other big shows on popular artists such as Tadanori Yokoo or Tabaimo. They also look for younger artists, for example buying and showing works by Yamamoto Gendai’s Erina Matsui a couple of years ago. But apart from this, there hasn’t been much visibility.

Going round the city I also spotted another problem. Some French galleries might just pick up and show some random young Japanese artist – probably in the kawaii or manga style – who might have no recognisable credentials as an artist from Japanese art schools or institutions. Nobody in Paris knows what is really going on in Japan, and most are stuck in the idea that Japanese art is all about superflat, anime characters, and cute, childish things. This why Delorme’s attempt to really research the best in the new, upcoming generations is vitally important. I ask who has impressed her recently. She cites Kohei Nawa, whose studio she is hoping to visit, and Kumi Machida. Both of these artists though are in a sense already too expensive for the kind of introductory show establishing new sales that she would like to run in Paris.

Motoi Yamamoto is also selling some spin off works on the walls: salt on aluminium, and drawings on painting wood, all of labyrinths. I think he faces what I think of as the “Jim Lambie” problem: what can you sell to people when your art is primarily environmental, a temporary installation filling a room, and created for the space itself, such that any canvases or objects are at best derivative “souvenir” versions? There is, of course, the Yayoi Kusama solution, an artist with whom Yamamoto clearly shares some affinity. With Kusama the idea itself is branded in every possible way, but I can’t see Yamamoto taking his salt pots and mazes in this direction. Nor is his work only about labyrinths, as the catalogue on show makes clear. In the gallery here it works well – the salt looks like it is seeping in under the walls from the next door building - but he is most impressive in large spaces, as in the permanent installation at Kanazawa. He will also be seen at MOT in Tokyo in the Spring of 2010.

Motoi Yamamoto, Labrinth, L MD Galerie, Paris until Dec 23rd





louboutin outlet
Motoi Yamamoto à Paris
投稿元 : louboutin outlet / 2013年05月22日10:37





10月 < > 12月

      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    


17/02/26 20:29
Radicalism in the Wilderness
16/06/02 14:50
Kyun-Chome on a LTERNATE f UTURES
16/01/04 02:56
15/02/07 23:39
Raiji Kuroda on aLTERNATE fUTURES
14/09/15 16:37
100 More Momoshimas
14/08/04 03:27
Islands For Life
14/07/03 04:18
aLTERNATE fUTURES...... My New Blog
14/01/26 11:24
13/12/09 02:00
Yukinori Yanagi
13/09/25 21:28
Theory of Tempelhof


12/10/20 08:41
12/09/25 15:05
Mario A / 亜 真里男
Documenta 13
12/02/18 22:13
東京の10日 (1+2)
11/08/03 15:52
田中 敦子
11/03/19 19:48
10/09/15 11:07
Mario A / 亜 真里男
10/08/24 16:26
10/07/19 22:29
Motus Fort
Roppongi Crossing 2010
10/05/19 12:43
Beat Kitano à Paris
10/05/06 23:25
Asada Crossing


  • 本日: 120 hits
  • 累計: 4043 hits
  • ※過去30日の累計を