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Ground Zero Japan (Curator: Noi Sawaragi, art critic)
November 20 (Sat) to January 23 (Sun), 2000

Tadanori Yokoo
(space firefly)
Kenji Yanobe
Work for solo exhibition at Kirin Plaza Osaka, 1998

Ground Zero Japan
November 20 (Saturday), 1999, to January 23 (Sunday), 2000
Closed on Mondays (except January 10), December 27 (Mon) to January 3 (Mon), 2000, January 11 (Tue)
9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (no admission past 6:00 p.m.)
Organizer: Mito Arts Foundation
Grant from: The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences
Sponsor: Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Toyota Motor Corporation
Cooperation: Inoue Bros., Kutsuwa Co., Ltd., SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION, SOUM Corporation, Yukiharu Takematsu + E.P.A., Mitsuhira Ironworks Corporation, Morita Ironworks Corporation
¥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)
Free Students (through 9th grade), senior citizens (65 and older), and handicapped persons

After the collapse of the Cold War structure of the world, all sets of values have come to appear equally valid. Under such circumstances, how has contemporary art in Japan responded? That is the question that this exhibition attempts to answer. Eleven artists are introduced, including the late Taro Okamoto and the photographer Shomei Tomatsu -- both giants who pioneered their own individual artistic worlds in the postwar era -- and others such as Takashi Murakami and Kenji Yanobe, whose careers started to get going in the 1990s.

Artists: Makoto Aida, Norimizu Ameya, Shinro Ohtake, Taro Okamoto, Motohiko Odani, Yayoi Deki, Shomei Tomatsu, Tohl Narita, Takashi Murakami, Kenji Yanobe, Tadanori Yokoo


The 1st room
Taro Okamoto:
"Koushou" [Laughter] (1994, GIF Image) in his latest years. This work is made of plaster and forms an open tunnel. Also shown are three paintings: "Genshi" [Primordium] (1958), "Raijin" [Thunder Man] (unfinished), and "Myth of Cornucopia" (sketch).

Motohiko Odani:
Two new woodcarvings influenced by Japanese modern woodcrafts. From a height of more than three meters, a waterfall made of wood falls, beside a patterned figure.

The 2nd room
Tohl Narita:
Approximately 100 original drawings designing monsters for the TV special-effects programs; "Ultra-Q," "Ultra-Man," and "Ultra-7," which started broadcasting in 1960's. The original drawings of "Red King," "Alien Baltan," "Jamyra" and other monsters are shown for the first time in a public gallery.

The 3rd room
Shinro Ohtake:
This is an installation making a good use of the room with high ceilings. "Retina" (1991-93), which is covered all over by collected trashes, slowly turns around up in the room, and around it are arranged his new works. Outside, a neon sign of "Uwajima Station" (1997) produces bright light at night in front of the gallery building.
* GIF Image: "Ichiro to Futatsuno Taiyo (Ichiro and Two Suns / Beppu)" (1996)

The 4th room
Yayoi Deki:
The installation, which consists of cheerful pop miniatures painted very closely by fingerprints and fine brushes and papier-mache objects named "Mas-san," fills up the room.

The 5th room
Makoto Aida:
The whole picture of the series "War Picture Returns" is displayed with his new works added to the past five war pieces (1995-6), which are painted in different styles in folding screens.

Tadanori Yokoo:
Several thousand waterfall postcards from his collection are arranged to represent a waterfall coming from the ceiling, and it makes the space look very special. Along the corridor, which looks like a passageway behind a waterfall, are "digital technamation" works with waterfall motifs, "Star Kids" (1996) and "Cosmic Firefly" (1997) in his red-color painting series.

Workshop Room
Kenji Yanobe:
A large shelter "Bunker Bunker" (1998) is shown in its new version. The other exhibits include the last vending machine in history "Survival Gachapon" (1998), "Atom Car" attached with a Geiger counter (1998), and photographic works "Atom-suit Project" (1997-8).

The 6th room
Shomei Tomatsu:
About 60 works are displayed from the series "Character P: Long Home" (1996-98), in which characters of computer chips are placed on the beach and photographed. All are ink-jet prints, and present a photograph and sound collaboration, making use of a long corridor-like space.

The 7th room
Murakami Takashi:
In this installation, "Sea Breeze" (1992), in which visitors are dazzled by the light of the night game lighting when a shutter opens, is arranged in a new setting, with a new wall painting.

Inside and outside of the gallery
Norimizu Ameya:
His new works are to be exhibited.

"GROUND ZERO JAPAN" Exhibition Catalogue

Price: ¥2,290 (including 5% consumption tax)

Availability: Sold only at the "Contrepoint" Museum Shop inside ATM
Sorry, sold out.

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Related Projects:

Artist Talks:
Date: November 21 (Sunday), 1999
Place: Conference room, Art Tower Mito
Time: From 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Doors open at 12:30 p.m.)
Speakers: Shinro Ohtake: 1:00-2:00 p.m. / Shomei Tomatsu : 2:30-3:30 p.m. / Kenji Yanobe: 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Seating: 80 (on a first-come-first-served basis)
Admission: ¥500, H.T.P. ¥300
Reservation by phone: Booking starts on November 20. Please call 029-225-3555 for reservations.

Takashi Murakami & Hiropon Factory - Final Round: Gachinko Zero Nen -
Date: November 28 (Sunday), 1999
Place: Conference room, Art Tower Mito
Time: From 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
Speakers and performers:
Takashi Murakami (Hiropon Factory, here after H.F.), Mister (H.F.), Yoshiyuki Mashimo (H.F.), Yasuharu Motohashi (Nagoya Parco Gallery).
Seating: 80 (on a first-come-first-served basis)
Admission: ¥500, H.T.P. ¥300
Reservation by phone: Booking starts on November 20. Please call 029-225-3555 for reservations.

Lecture - Art and Life - :
Date: December 4 (Saturday), 1999
Place: Conference room, Art Tower Mito
Time: From 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
Lecturer: Tadanori Yokoo
Seating: 80 (on a first-come-first-served basis)
Admission: ¥1,000, free for ATM members (to be sold only on the day)

Title: - Japan-Contemporary-Art -
Date: January 16 (Sunday), 2000
Place: Conference room, Art Tower Mito
Time: From 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
Panelist: Yasushi Kurabayashi (critic), Masao Shirakawa (artist), Shigeo Chiba (art critic), Noi Sawaragi (art critic)
Moderator: Mitsuru Mizutani (curator, the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito)
Seating: 80 (on a first-come-first-served basis)
Admission: ¥500, H.T.P. ¥300
Reservation by phone: Booking starts on November 20. Please call 029-225-3555 for reservations.

Kenji Yanobe Survival Gachapon Project:
"Survival Gachapon" by Kenji Yanobe is a vending machine to sell survival goods for 200 yen. In this project, survival goods are collected from general public. There are two kinds of application; (a) Open presentation by applicants about goods made by themselves, and (b) Great ideas.

(a) Entry to the open presentation:
Applicants are required to bring survival goods made by themselves for their presentations. Then they discuss with other participants, and negotiate with Yanobe about pricing. When an agreement is made about the price, Yanobe buys the goods, which will be put into the vending machine "Survival Gachapon." Visitors can win the goods with capsules they buy.
Date and Time: December 11 (Saturday), 1999; 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Place: Foyer, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Number of participants: Approximately 15 (In case there are many applicants, screening will be conducted.)
Fee: Free of charge except for the admission to the exhibition
How to apply: Fill out an application form on the back of Gachapon Project flier, and return it by mail or fax. The application service is also available at the entrance hall of Art Tower Mito.
Deadline: November 28 (Sunday), no later than 5:00 p.m.
Notice: A notice of the result of screening will be sent on November 30 (Monday) to all the applicants who want to participate in the open presentation.
* All the visitors can attend the open presentation, should they pay the exhibition admission.

(b) Application for great ideas:
Great ideas are introduced at the open presentation, and displayed at the site of "Grand Zero Japan."
How to apply: Please refer to the application for open presentation.
Deadline: December 9 (Thursday)

Survival Goods:
The size must be small enough to be put into a globe-shaped capsule (6.5 cm in diameter), and accessible to the vending machine. The capsule to use is the same as Gashapon Capsule for 200-yen coins sold at a store. Capsules will be sold (10 yen each) at the ticket counter in the entrance hall of Art Tower Mito, from October 20 (Wednesday).

CRITERIUM 41 Hideo Kobayashi: November 20 (Sat) to December 19 (Sun)

CRITERIUM 42 Nobuyuki Takahashi: December 25 (Sat) to January 23 (Sun)

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