at Gallery Min Min
in the Shibuya area
This event has ended - (2007-05-18 - 2007-06-30)
at Radium von Roentgenwerke AG
in the Bakurocho area
This event has ended - (2007-06-01 - 2007-06-30)
It is only human nature to want to see and experience all that is out there. Only a few steps away from Roppongi’s famous “Almond” meeting spot, down a quiet side street is an understated building, known as the Complex, that houses half a dozen art galleries. Currently, Faris McReynolds is having a solo exhibition at Gallery Min Min, and Sakan Kanno is showing at weissfeld-Roentgenwerke AG.
On the way up to Gallery Min Min, the creaky stairs take me through a hallway decorated with tiny child-like drawings of phoenixes, elephants and random shapes – a fitting entrance to the Faris McReynolds exhibition. This artist’s style has a comic strip like aspect with his use of broad paint strokes, bright colors and the attention to detail in the main subject of his pieces and obscure backgrounds. Viewers must look from a distance to fully appreciate the action of the pieces. In Slacks, McReynolds’ uses his haphazard and uneven paint strokes, as well as an intense orange to contrast with the smoother and gentler strokes of the dull blue and green field to attract the viewer’s eye to the football equipment that he is carrying. The asymmetry of the orange area being pushed to one side of the canvas to give one the sense of imbalance the man must be feeling carrying this burden. Looking at McReynolds’ other pieces at the exhibit, one could say this exhibition mirrors the typical teenage American’s life often depicted on TV with paintings of sports meets, cheerleaders and young adults enjoying each other’s company in general. The overall feeling one gets is a sense of nostalgia for when we were younger.
This is not the case in Sakan Kanno’s “Trans.” Kanno’s style is more abstract, as there are no definite shapes that mark out a scenery to look at, rather an object made of delicate lines, shapes and colors trying to make its way off the canvas. Unlike McReynolds, Kanno’s use of asymmetry creates a gentle flow of movement rather than imbalance. And instead of taking a step back to see and understand the piece as a whole, one has to get up close to appreciate the complexity and the colorfulness of Kanno’s work.
The largest piece from the exhibit, eloquent in nature, is the epitome of Kanno’s style. From a distance, one would only see a delicate white object floating across the five black lacquer-like panels. It is only upon closer inspection, one realizes this white shape is in fact a combination of cream, gray, black, and white, and that the object is not made up of delicate lines, but an odd combination of bones and flowers.
Situated literally within a few meters of each other, these two exhibitions offer a sharp contrast between two artists who use similar techniques to create vastly different atmospheres. If you’re looking for some variety, you’ll find it at the Roppongi Complex.