Haroshi, 2018, Vintage action figures with carved skateboard elements. Courtesy of the artist and NANZUKA.
NANZUKA is pleased to announce its participation as the international counterpart in the gallery share program CONDO NY—to be hosted by Petzel Gallery. This exhibition presents works by 3 Japanese artists, Haroshi, Makoto Taniguchi, and Masato Mori.
Since 2003, Haroshi has created unique sculpture and installation works made with parts taken from used skateboard decks. Haroshi, who has been a skater since childhood and has developed a deep attachment for his longstanding companion, is very much aware of the extensive training needed to master various skateboard techniques. The more seriously a person devotes him/herself to skateboarding, the more the skateboard becomes damaged and worn out, eventually to breaking point. Haroshi kept his worn-out deck in his room, and envisioned the idea of using it as a material to create work. This show presents small sculptures that combine his skateboard deck curvings, and recycled, mostly broken, soft vinyl toys. The toys, similar to the skateboard, have been Haroshi’s most beloved possessions since boyhood. These works depict the characters (both heroes and monsters) that appear on Japanese TV shows for kids, hence the works are a unique fusion of a Japanese sub-culture and a sport born of street culture.
Makoto Taniguchi was born in Tokyo in 1982 and completed his studies in Intermedia Art at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. He has participated in significant exhibitions such as "Bishojo: Young Pretty Girls in Art History" (Aomori Museum of Art which traveled to Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art and Iwami Art Museum, Japan, 2014). Taniguchi’s works may appear to be associated with female figures symbolically characterized in Japanese animations; however, these works are created to have a certain distance from the enthusiasm for "Japanese 2D animation". This distance can be seen in the fact that Taniguchi produces characters that resemble each other and never expose their emotions. Through his work, Taniguchi seeks the appropriate state of humanity and sensation against a backdrop of new technologies such as IT and AI. This show presents 4 new paintings using mirror and canvas.
Masato Mori was born in the Tokushima Prefecture in 1976, where he continues to reside and is the base for his artistic practice. Since graduating from Tama Art University, he has published original comic books, and in parallel he pursues his expressive activities in galleries and in the street art scene. Over the course of his career, Mori has produced numerous works referencing Japanese cartoons and video games in accordance to the methodologies of appropriation art, which in itself serves as an important context for the formation of pop art. For this show, Mori has produced paintings that depict his everyday life. These "self-portraits" look eccentric, but have a modern and comical aspect that reflects his notion of art and its pureness and innocence. This show presents 3 of his latest paintings on canvas.