TABuzz #11 with Shai Ohayon

Our Guest Blogger gives their recommendations on what’s hot in our new regular column.

poster for Rebecca Horn

Rebecca Horn "Rebellion in Silence: Dialogue between Raven and Whale"

at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
in the Kiyosumi, Ryogoku area
This event has ended - (2009-10-31 - 2010-02-14)

poster for

"No Man’s Land" Exhibition

at French Embassy
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2009-11-26 - 2010-02-18)

poster for Isa Genzken

Isa Genzken "Oil"

at Rat Hole Gallery
in the Omotesando, Aoyama area
This event has ended - (2009-10-02 - 2009-12-27)

poster for Jeon Joonho

Jeon Joonho "Bless You"

at SCAI The Bathhouse
in the Ueno, Yanaka area
This event has ended - (2009-11-20 - 2009-12-25)

poster for Nobuhiko Terasawa + Monira Al Qadiri + Tomohisa Ishizuka Exhibition

Nobuhiko Terasawa + Monira Al Qadiri + Tomohisa Ishizuka Exhibition

at Tokyo Arts and Space Hongo
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2009-11-28 - 2009-12-20)

poster for Kazuna Taguchi

Kazuna Taguchi "Half in Grey"

at void +
in the Omotesando, Aoyama area
This event has ended - (2009-11-21 - 2009-12-18)

In Interviews by TABuzz 2009-12-12

This TABuzz sees international curator Shai Ohayon of RBR Gallery tell us his tips for Tokyo events.


Rebecca Horn “Rebellion in Silence: Dialogue between Raven and Whale” at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (October 31 to February 14)
I have always been interested in performance art – there is something very compelling about using your own body to make art. It shows real commitment.

Nobuhiko Terasawa + Monira Al Qadiri + Tomohisa Ishizuka Exhibition at Tokyo Wonder Site, Hongo (November 28 to December 20)
I don’t know any of the artists, but I always like to see new work by emerging artists, many times what they lack in experience they make up in enthusiasm and honesty. Also, on a professional level, since I moved here only recently and don’t know much about governmental art initiatives, it would be interesting to see what kind of artists the Tokyo Metropolitan government supports.

Jeon Joonho “Bless You” at SCAI The Bathhouse (November 20 to December 25)
I really like the way Joonho’s art is always very aware of western art aesthetic and trends but is also maintaining complete connection and integrity to his South Korean culture and heritage.

Isa Genzken “Oil” at Rat House Gallery (October 02 to December 27)
I saw these sculptures at the 2007 Venice Biennale and liked them so it would be nice to see them again in a different setting. In Venice it’s always difficult to get a real perspective of the art as I always end up seeing dozens of shows a day and feel completely overwhelmed.

Rebecca Horn, 'Light imprisoned in the belly of whale' (2002)


“No Man’s Land” at French Embassy (November 26 to January 31)
It is a fantastic show with many interesting artists. The setting is absolutely brilliant and the vision behind the show is imaginative and brave. I am just sad such a lovely building is going to be demolished.

Kazuna Taguchi “Half in Grey” at Void + (November 21 to December 18)
Taguchi’s process is quite interesting. I especially liked the large portrait as it reminded me a bit of the paintings of Gerhard Richter, who I adore.


Isaka ya ism restaurant in Shibuya [homepage]
It is such a lovely restaurant concealed behind second hand clothing shops. The food is divine and the staff is always so friendly and happy.

Daiso Harajuku in Takeshita Dori
I love these 100 yen shops, I can lose myself for hours there. I go most often to the one at Harajuku because it is close to my flat and I happen to gravitate towards it on my days off.
[Daiso homepage]

Sculpture in 'Oil' by Isa Genzken, at Rat Hole Gallery.


Dead Babies by Martin Amis
I love his clever writing, his massive vocabulary and the surreal and mad storyline. Also, it has a lot of debauchery.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
I read this book years ago and just saw it again in a library and had to pick it up again. Full of wit, humor and magic (but not in a magical sort of way).


It’s been a lifesaver since I moved here. Can’t imagine finding any place without it. Mind you, I still get lost – I am one of the only people in the world who still manages to get lost with GPS.

My fake Mohican
I made it from hair extensions I bought for 50 yen in a car boot sale in Sendagaya (and stitched onto stockings). I stick it to my head sometimes with hair extension glue when I go out. Highly recommended.

Jef Aérosol, part of 'No Man's Land' at the French Embassy

Always opened in the background. This is my main source of international news. I also like the colours.
I love the idea of writing my future self a letter. It is so interesting also to browse through other people’s letters. It is like reading someone else’s diary.


Changes in the contemporary art scene of Tokyo

From what I read and hear, it seems to me that Tokyo’s contemporary art scene is really changing. I think that it is time to create more social awareness in Japan to contemporary art and provide more support, there is also a great need for additional investment from the government. Even more importantly, artists here need more opportunities to exhibit and to engage in artistic dialogue, which is why I am starting the membership program at RBR.


Robert Waters
A Canadian artist who is based in Mexico City. His work is always imaginative and challenging. In the last few years much of his work explores either masculinity or Christianity, but in a completely fresh and exciting way. I hope to show him in Tokyo next year.


Let’s make a revolution!

Shai Ohayon

Shai is a project manager / curator at RBR, where he is developing a new program of membership which seeks to provide artists with new opportunities to exhibit and a platform to exchange ideas. The program is designed to offer an alternative to the rental gallery system and to assist developing a more coherent art scene in Tokyo. Before his relocation to Tokyo Shai was a curator and art consultant in London (UK) and Toronto. Apply to join the new membership at


TABuzz. Tokyo Art Beat invites movers and thinkers from the Tokyo art world to contribute to this column. Our guest bloggers give their recommendations and thoughts on who to watch and what to see. » See other writings


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