East-East Vol.4: The Curio Shop



Bien, Daisak, Rintaro Fuse, Tomoki Kurokawa, Koiichiro Tada, Heijiro Yagi et al.
The exhibition “East-East vol.4 / The Curio Shop” curated by Sophie Arni is the first in a series of exhibitions she has curated since her 2016 exhibition at the Art Gallery Project Space, New York University Abu Dhabi.

The series is intended to decentralize the Eurocentric approach to art history by presenting the work of a new generation of artists engaged in intercultural dialogue in the Gulf Arab states and East Asia. In an age of digital interconnectedness, the idea of a “center” of cultural production is becoming increasingly irrelevant as Asia gains momentum as the epicenter of a new culture. In this environment, this exhibition aims to explore the layers of cultural exchange between the Middle East and East Asia towards the spirit of the 21st century. Whether in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or Tokyo, today’s youth are influenced by complex cultural spheres that lie outside the East-West paradigm.

The title of this vol. 4 is “The Curio Shop. Inspired by the title of a photograph by Felice Beato taken in Yokohama in 1868, the exhibition aims to replace today’s concept of Curio “antiques / rare art” in Tokyo. Curios,” a 19th-century abbreviation for “curiosity,” was used to describe the fine works of craftsmanship sold to early Western arrivals in Japan after the arrival of Perry’s Black Ships and the opening of the country. Curio hunting” was one of their favorite pastimes, and the most popular product categories were porcelain, lacquerware, bronze work, bamboo work, silk embroidery, and woodblock prints.

Two centuries later, instead of lacquerware and porcelain vases, manga and anime emerged as the Japanese antiques/curio of today. Thanks to broadband technology, voice-overs, and digital connections, those images have traveled the world. They have reached beyond what we usually call “the West” and have reached millions of households throughout South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

What does the “Japanese dream” mean to artists based in Arab countries? And how do young Japanese artists view their cultural exports? The works presented in this exhibition also aim to redefine today’s concept of the “exotic.


Jun 18 (Fri) 2021-Jul 2 (Fri) 2021 

Opening Hours Information

Depends on each event.
Exhibition Hours 12:00-18:00
Location2-6-12 Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110−0008
Access5 minute walk from exit 2 at Nezu Station on the Chiyoda line, 13 minute walk from exit 1 at Todaimae Station on the Namboku line.