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Beautiful Life?
Jan. 26 (Sat), to Mar. 31 (Sun), 2002

ATM's "Beautiful Life?" exhibition introduces ten artists, whose works either awaken feelings and memories that most of us fail to evoke in our daily life, or present fresh viewpoints about the trivial things surrounding us.

In creating their works -- which include paintings, photographs, films and installations -- the participating artists apply their respective viewpointts to various fragments of daily life, such as cityscapes, the family and home, and our relationships with others.

Although people in modern society may be materially satisfied with the conveniences of modern life, they also feel a vague sense of anxiety about their social situation. What, then, does "beautiful life" represent to each individual? That question is a universal theme shared by everybody. Contemporary art reviews it from the angle of our "daily lives."

Exhibition Details:
Title: "Beautiful Life?"
Period: Jan. 26 (Sat), to Mar. 31 (Sun), 2002
* Closed on Mondays, except for Feb. 11 (a national holiday). Feb. 12 is also closed.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (No admittance after 6:00 p.m.)
Tazro Niscino's work is shown outdoors from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Admission: ¥800 General
¥600 Advance-purchase tickets, groups (20 or more)
¥1,000 H.T.P. (one-year Pass for 15- to 19-year-olds, available at ATM and JR East)
¥2,000 Pass for Adults (one-year pass for persons aged 20 and above)
Free Students (through 9th grade), senior citizens (65 and older), and handicapped persons
Curator: Kenji Kubota, Curator of Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
Organizer: Mito Arts Foundation
Sponsors: EPSON Corporation, Asahi Breweries, Ltd., Hinomaru Petroleum Company
Cooperation: Moderne Museet, Stockholm, AOI construction Company, Takeo Co., Ltd., SOUM Corporation, Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, Yokomizo Co., Ltd

Participating Artists (alphabetical order)

Heike Kati Barath (Germany)
Nobuaki Date (Japan)
Hiroshi Fuji (Japan)
Maria Hedlund (Sweden)
Zon Ito (Japan)
Youngjin Kim (South Korea)
Toru Koyamada (Japan)
Julia Loktev (USA)
Tazro Niscino (Japan)
Saki Satom (Japan)


New photographs taken by Takashi Honma
Design: A4-sized (210x297mm), 127 pp.
Price: ¥2,200 yen (including consumption tax)

Artists and works presented

Julia Loktev (b. 1969, USA)

With a graduate degree in film from New York University, Loktev has produced several films. Her documentary, "Moment of Impact," which records her father's life after he suffered a traffic accident in 1998, has won prizes at many film festivals worldwide, including the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In ATM's exhibition, she presents a video installation about subway passengers.

Image: "Said in Passing" (2001)

Maria Hedlund (b. 1961, Sweden)

After graduating in photography from Gothenburg University in Sweden, Hedlund exhibited her photographic works in museums and galleries around the world.

Image: "At My Home" (1997)

Zon Ito (b. 1971, Japan)

A graduate of the Kyoto City University of Arts, Ito has a unique way of painting: using embroidery on canvas. In his collaboration with Ryoko Aoki -- the animated films "Nensha (psychic photography)" and "Waku Kabe (Wall of Spring)"-- he presents a mysterious scene combining the ordinary with the mysterious.

Image: "Neko kuraino Ookisano Mono" (2000)

Hiroshi Fuji (b. 1960, Japan)

After receiving a graduate degree from the Kyoto City University of Arts, Fuji traveled to Papua New Guinea to teach at that country's National Art University as a member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV). Based in Fukuoka Prefecture after returning to Japan, he has concentrated on expressing the themes of regions, appropriate techniques, and cooperation. For ATM's exhibition, he has put together a showroom called "Vinyl/Plastic/Connection," presenting furniture and accessories made with recycled PET bottles and other materials.

Image: "Vinyl Plastic Connection" (2001)

Tazro Niscino (b. 1960, Japan)

After graduating from Musashino Art University, Niscino studied at Munster Art University in Germany. He currently resides in Cologne, Germany. In his art works, he creates room-like spaces around public objects such as streetlight poles and monuments, treating them as part of the work.

Image: "Obdach" (1997)

Toru Koyamada (b. 1961, Japan)

As a student at the Kyoto City University of Arts, Koyamada became a member of the performance group "Dumb Type," and was active in it until 2000. Still based in Kyoto, he founded the community center, "Art-Scape," launched a community cafe, "Bazaar Cafe," and currently manages the "Weekend Cafe." He focuses on the relationship between the community (especially Kyoto) and art, as well as other activities revolving around communications.

Image: "Karasu Banya (Crow Board)" (2001)

Nobuaki Date (b. 1964, Japan)

After graduating from the Kyoto City University of Arts, Date traveled to England where he studied at Goldsmith College in London. In 2000, he initiated the "Building Conservation Project by Ukulelizing," making ukuleles out of materials saved from razed buildings, such as houses, schools, temples, and bridges. The former building owners get to keep those ukuleles as their memorabilia. The tone quality of Date's ukuleles is guaranteed by professional ukulele craftsmen in Hawaii.

Image: "Building Conservation Project by Ukulelizing" (2000)

Heike Kati Barath (b. 1966, Germany)

After graduating from the Academy of Arts in Ghent, Belgium, Barath studied at the Munster Art University in Germany. Her controversial large-scale paintings utilize caulking materials originally used in buildings. The overwhelmingly large and colorful figures in her paintings evoke a multitude of feelings in viewers.

Image: Untitled (2000)

Saki Satom (b. 1969, Japan)

After participating in the Contemporary Art Summer School in Kitakyushu, Japan, Satom went to the U.K. to study fine art at Goldsmith College in London. Her works -- inspired by ordinary urban scenes such as train stations and fast-food restaurants -- have been shown both nationally and internationally. With Masato Wakabayashi, she organize a video-art show "Break in Theatre" to introduce emerging international artists.

Image: "One Day at Lunch Time" (1999)

Youngjin Kim (b. 1961, South Korea)

After getting a degree from Hongik University in Korea, Kim entered the PS-1 program in New York. His films, focusing on memory and time, have been shown internationally. Now an artist-in-residence at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Kim has produced a work called "Swing-Mother's Mirror" for the ATM exhibition, in which he displays a video installation full of poetic sentiment depicting 200 local women. He also participated in Istanbul Biennale in 2001.

Image: "Swing-Mother's Mirror" (2000)

Related Projects

1) Zon Ito and Ryoko Aoki; Promotional Video for "Beautiful Life?" Exhibition
Date: Everyday, Jan. 26 to Mar. 26.
Time: 6 minutes and 36 minutes past the hour, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (subject to change).
Venue: Large screen installed at the Super Laiza, located at the north entrance of Mito Station.
Description: Two different animated films (each 15 seconds long).

2) Saki Satom and Masato Wakabayashi; "Break in Theatre 2"
Date: Every Sunday from Jan. 27 to Mar. 31.
Time: Every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Workshop Room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito.
Description: 40-minute videos produced by ten emerging artists (International).
Participating artist by screening order: Masato Wakabayashi (Japan), Kenny Macleod (U.K.), Andrew Olssen (U.K.), Eline McGeorge (Norway), Johannes Maier (Germany), Monika Oechsler (Germany), Yasu Ichige (Japan), Beata Veszely (Hungary), Caroline McCarthy (Ireland), Saki Satom (Japan)

3) Nobuaki Date; "The Building Conservation Project by Ukulelizing"
Date: Feb. 16 (Sat) and Mar. 16 (Sat)
Time: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Venue: Workshop Room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito.
Seating: 80 (first-come, first-served).
Event: A Mito-based Hawaiian band, the "Aloha Kamaainas," performs on ukuleles made from materials gleaned from razed buildings.

4) Johnny Against Gravity: "BUTT!!!! ATTACK EARTHIAN"
"Johnny Against Gravity" is an extraordinary rock band -- all the players perform hanging upside-down. Their live show aims to make everyday affairs "explode."
Date: Mar. 21 (Thu)
Time: 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (seating begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Place: Workshop Room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito.
Capacity: Approx. 50 (first-come, first-served)
Fee (incl. free drink): ¥1,000, and ¥500 for students (high school and younger)

5) K5 Art Workshop "Barter Bazaar"
Date: Mar. 23 (Sat)
Venue: Plaza, Art Tower Mito.
Description: The Mito-based K5 gives a workshop for children about Hiroshi Fuji's barter system.

6) Toru Koyamada; "Karasu Banya (Crow Board)"
Date: Mar. 30 (Sat) and Mar. 31 (Sun).
Time: Noon to sunset.
Venue: Starts at Plaza, Art Tower Mito.
Fee: ¥500
Description: Participants collect rubbish ("treasures") along the road as they take a walk, and recycle them into art objects.

7) Art Tower Talking Tour:
As a Mito and Vicinity Cooperative Learning Project, a second study tour is conducted for each course, on Feb. 5 (Tue), 14 (Thu), and 17 (Sun).
Registration and inquiries: Call the Lifelong Leaning Section, Mito Board of Education, at (029) 224-1111.
* Note: Voluntary childcare is available for preschoolers at the Goken Community Center.

8) Gallery Talk by CAC Gallery Docent
On weekends throughout the exhibition period, CAC Gallery Docents will give gallery talks. Attendees are requested to appear at the entrance of the gallery.
Dates: Feb. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, and Mar. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 30, 31.
Time: 2:30-3:20 p.m. (approximately)
Capacity: 30
(Gallery Talks may be canceled without prior warning owing to circumstances.)

9) Senior High School Students' Week (Feb. 23 to Mar. 24)
During this special period, which actually lasts more than a month, all senior high school students and anybody aged 15 to 18 can enter the gallery for free. Please show an ID card proving your age at the ticket window.

10) Citizens' Lecture 3; "Tokyo Cafe Story":
Date: Mar. 2 (Sat), 2002
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. (seating begins at 1:30 p.m.)
Venue: Conference Room, Art Tower Mito
Speaker: Suzuki Tei (Representative of C&S Corporation, Space producer)
Organizer: Mito Arts Foundation / ATM Members Club
Admission: ¥500 (free for ATM members)
Seating: 80
* Reservations: Booking starts on Jan. 12. Please call (029) 225-3555.

1. Members of the ATM Club receive free admission.
2. People aged 15-18 are not charged during High School Student Week (Feb. 23 - Mar. 24.
3. We kindly request that everyone -- including ATM members and high school students -- register by phone.

ATM Contemporary Art Gallery's
Pass for Adults
© Hiroko Ichihara
A pass has been designed for adults aged 20 and older, letting the holder make an unlimited number of visits to the Contemporary Art Gallery's exhibitions for one year from the date of purchase.
The price is ¥2,000. The artwork on the pass has been designed by Hiroko Ichihara, an artist who incorporates words in her works. The logo on the pass reads: "Contemporary art -- as easy as pie." The pass is on sale at the ticket counter in Art Tower Mito.

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