"The Door into Summer: The Age of Micropop" Exhibition
This event has ended.
Midori Matsui* has spent the last decade or so, from 1995 to 2006, tracking the emergence of so-called "Micropop*" expressions in the art scene and the actual venues in which it is practiced. She has employed literary analytical methods -- her field of specialty -- to arrive at the concept of "Micropop" through the process of thinking reflectively about the new styles of expression created by artists (authors), and their confrontation with art critics, discovering a new genre of works that hitherto had not existed (or recognized as such).
The upcoming group exhibition at Art Tower Mito (ATM) presents the works of artists who have played a central role in Matsui's development of the concept of "Micropop." It also features the works of those young artists whose works suggest that they will be responsible for the further development of the genre, when the future is viewed from Micropop's perspective.
ATM's exhibition has gathered together more than 250 works, old and new, by 15 Japanese artists on the Micropop scene: tableaux and drawings by Nara Yoshitomo, Sugito Hiroshi, Ochiai Tam, Arima Kaoru, Aoki Ryoko, Aya Takano, Mori Chihiro, Mahomi Kunikata; photographs by Shimabuku and Noguchi Rika; installations by Handa Masanori and K.K.; and video works by Tanaka Koki, Oki Hiroyuki, and Izumi Taro. The exhibition highlights their artistic creativity, with each artist producing a unique style of creative work while sharing something in common with the others. It also attempts to demonstrate the points of similarity between their artistic expressions and the lifestyles and sensibilities of young people in general, also considering their possible influence on future generations.
Micropop can be defined as a "small-scale, avant-garde" approach or attitude that attempts to create a new aesthetic consciousness and norms of behavior through the combination of fragments of information gleaned through one's own experience, in an age where history has come to be viewed in relative terms, and in which those spiritual statements that once served as the source or stronghold of various values have lost their authority. That approach can be described as a "small-scale attempt at survival" that aims to acquire a solid sense of being "alive" in the turbulent global era of today, in which people, information and things move around the world at an unprecedented speed and scale, and where faraway events can impact the basic foundations of one's own lifestyle, forcing each person to form the basis for his or her own judgment in response to a situation that is always changing fluidly.
By bringing together all these works -- each a "small-scale attempts at survival" -- and presenting them under one roof, "The Door into Summer: The Age of Micropop" exhibition at ATM allows viewers to personally experience, in a visual sense, the trends of the current era's aspects. At the same time, it provides an opportunity and venue for the broad recognition and discussion of the new values and view of art represented by a type of expression that has tended to be seen as peripheral heretofore.
I found myself coming up with a new proverb: the ghosts of sad cheap souls live on in sad, cheap furniture.
Roger McDonald in The Tactical Museum:
Micropop is a fifteen person group exhibition which attempts to mould a particular reading onto a younger generation of Japanese artists working mainly since the 1990s...