Friday, March 30, 2012
Mandala Flea Market Mutants: Pop Protocol and the Seven Transformations of Good-luck National Defense Cats

Solo exhibition of artist Yoko Inoue: "Mandala Flea Market Mutants: Pop Protocol and the Seven Transformations of Good-luck National Defense Cats"

I attempt to poetically elucidate the relationships between objects and humans in the context of the intricately interdependent, contemporary, multi-cultural environment. I consider the confluence of different cultures in the market place, paying attention to such aspect as product routes, specific cultural derivations of products, and the influence of globalization and free trade on traditional culture. In my installation art, I use the ceramic medium, because of its cultural universality, to seek ways of linking contemporary objects to their history, lost cultural origins and displaced meanings. 
Mandala Flea Market Mutants: Pop Protocol and the Seven Transformations of Good-luck National Defense Cats takes the form of a multi-disciplinary installation that affects and aestheticize the appearances and mechanics of a marketplace, materially consisting of excessive accumulations of banal objects, commoditized sacred figures or good luck icons that I individually hand cast in porcelain and stoneware and manipulate. 
This project is derived from my research on the historical and cultural implications of the ubiquitous flea markets in the compound of To-ji temple and Kitano shrine in Kyoto, that are held on specific days for receiving blessings or special divine favors from particular deities. Here, within the confluence of the sacred and profane, people practice the rituals of commerce and barter with deities. I explore the hidden commonality, whether a mystic belief, supernatural power or a superstition, that exists between traditional cultural iconography and that of pop and subculture in Japan. I question what remains within an object that makes it possible for us to recognize ourselves in it and reclaim it as part of our own identity or in a broader sense, our cultural identity. 

Inoue is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the commoditization of cultural values and assimilation and identity issues in the form of installation and public intervention performance art. Originally from Kyoto, Japan, Inoue earned an MFA from Hunter College. Her work has been shown at Brooklyn Museum, Sculpture Center, Rubin Museum, Momenta Art and Art in General in New York and at other international and national venues. She has received Guggenheim Fellowship, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, NYFA Fellowship in Sculpture and Cross Disciplinary/Performative Work, Tides Foundation Lambent Fellowship, Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, Franklin Furnace Fund, GAPS 9-11 Fund from LMCC and other grants. Most recently she received the Anonymous Was A Woman Award. Residencies include Skowhegan, LMCC Workspace, Smack Mellon, .ekwc in The Netherlands, Civitella Ranieri in Italy and Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. Inoue is awarded the LMCC Paris Residency at Cité Internationale des Arts from May to October, 2012.

To to Smack Mellon Gallery for more information
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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Contemporary Japanese Art: Finding its Voice in Japan & Abroad

Panel Discussion: “Contemporary Japanese Art: Finding its Voice in Japan and Abroad”

A panel discussion will focus on Japanese Contemporary Art through a conversation with a top art critic, museum curator, artist and art dealer, all specializing in Japanese art today. The panel will address how recent historical events, a pervasive pop culture and a volatile economy, along with other aspects of the current social and economic landscape, may influence how fine art is made and marketed in Japan today. 

Panelists: Richard Vine (Art in America), Allison Tolman (Tolman Collection), Nao Matsumoto(Artist), Miwako Tezuka (Asia Society) 
Moderator: Susan Eisner Eley (Susan Eley Fine Art) 

Free to participate 
Seats are limited, so please RSVP at

For more information go to
Kentaro Hiramatsu
Fumiko Toda

Ayakoh Furukawa

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