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'Re: Recover; Don't make angels dream of' by Yamamoto Shohei at Ritsuki Fujisaki Gallery, Tokyo

Rise of Elegance and Brutality
Yamamoto has been working mainly paintings, focusing on abstract concepts such as symbols, images, representations, and repetition of history. However, from this exhibition, along with his first sculpture works, he engages more specific and social activity such as cultural imperialism, masochistic and self-pitiful view of local history (Jigyakushikan) and post-war Japanese culture..

Born in 1994, almost 50 years after the end of the war, and raised in Japan, Yamamoto is of a generation that has lost its sense of ownership of the war. Yamamoto, who grew up in a situation where postwar oppression became more normalized and invisible, and a sense of crisis itself was lost, seems to be responding to past art history by expressing the present day in a straightforward manner, in contrast to the sensationalist excesses and history-exposing approaches of past contemporary art and there is a more urgent atmosphere.

Ultraman, the symbol of superhumanity, is stuck in what appears to be self-bondaged which depresses sign of the negative aspects of the history of denim as a sex symbol in modern America, such as the massacre of American Indians during and the Chinese Exclusion Act which happened during the California Gold Rush, all wrapped up.

On the floor, where many dolls of unknown nationality are lying around in a haphazard manner, dreaming of becoming superhuman while wearing head-bags and vacantly imitating Ultraman’s fighting poses. And the walls are covered with paintings referencing the most important artists in contemporary art in United States.

This juxtaposition seems to accentuate Yamamoto’s cold sense towards the snobbish realm of contemporary art, which is prolonged and historicized by the arbitrariness of its own nature.

While he is sympathizing himself to Ultraman rolling on the floor.

11.2.23 — 12.3.23

Ritsuki Fujisaki Gallery


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