Meghan Watson-Donald 2017-11-30 21:20:51
An array of Asian galleries illuminate the Convention Center with pioneering new work from Japan and China. In this year’s Positions sector, in which galleries focus on a bold project by a single artist, the Tokyo gallery Taro Nasu, making its debut at Art Basel in Miami Beach, presents paintings by Koichi Enomoto, whose style has changed in recent years. “The new work felt more sincere,” says gallery curator Masako Hosoi. Enomoto’s abstract and increasingly chaotic compositions express the conflict between tradition and modernity, East and West, God and humanity. “He told me, ‘I want to represent my chaos as it is,’” says Hosoi. “Only through chaos can we share common feeling. We can be universal through our private, messy state.” In the Positions booth of the Shanghai-based gallery Antenna Space, artist Xu Qu also addresses the clash between East and West, examining through painting and sculpture how cultural interference has transformed aesthetics and ideology. His paintings reference the covers of various 20th-century editions of the I Ching (the ancient Chinese divination text), in Chinese and in translation. The works are “an allusion to mistranslation, the meanings missed,” says gallerist Simon Wang. Likewise, the artist’s whimsical ceramic sculptures suggest chamber pots in the image of Sir Harry Smith Parkes, a much-loathed British consul to China during the 19th-century Opium Wars. In the Nova sector, where dealers focus on work produced within the past three years, Tokyo’s Takuro Someya Contemporary Art (also a first-time participant in Art Basel in Miami Beach) showcases the large abstract acrylic paintings of Kenjiro Okazaki. “Science and literature are at the core of what he does,” says gallerist Takuro Someya. Okazaki approaches the medium with scientific precision, making his own paint from scratch to create unique colors and textures designed to evoke the location where the work will be exhibited. Each of his paintings is titled with a poem, which yields further layers of meaning. Koichi Enomoto, in the rain, 2016, presented by Taro Nasu in the Positions sector.
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