From the lift in the ink wash strokes and the serene abstract expressions of Japanese artist Ms Toko Shinoda (篠田桃紅), you can hardly tell she will be 100 years old next year. New gallery Nikei Fine Art brings her art works, and those of other prominent abstract artists from Asia, to the heart of Singapore city.
Kaomise is a term from traditional Japanese Kabuki dance-drama which “means “the first showing”. This exhibition marks the return of gallery founder and owner Mr Hiroshi Kato to his love of the arts. He studied Art History in university. And his thesis was “Greek Tragedy in Kabuki”. He felt that “time, place and harmony” are right to start this gallery in Singapore now. He even has the support of Mr Norman Tolman, who brought Japanese prints to the world and tried opening a gallery in Singapore with a similar objective in the 1990s.
The essence of each artist is described in a tag line. This is really useful in a group exhibition.
Ms Toko Shinoda’s art has been collected by the Imperial family of Japan and major museums in the world. There are many other fine Japanese artists such as Mr Kukoku Tamura (田村空谷) and Ms Nuit Sano. But relatively little is written about them in English. They have been using traditional Japanese art techniques and material in their abstract art. We have much to learn how we can keep traditions alive even through contemporary art.
By Ms Toko Shinoda. This photo does not do justice to her mastery.
By Mr Kukoku Tamura. The works look far better at the gallery.
By Ms Nuit Sano.
Abstract art by other Asian artists, such as Terence Teo of Singapore, are also exhibited at Nikei Fine Art. Explanations are available in English, Japanese and Mandarin. The gallery’s peaceful ambience reflects its tag line, Abstract in Tune.
I bumped into a Singapore artist, whose style is more associated with cool than classic. He was smiling as he described his experience at Nikei Fine Art a few days before. Some art just have a wide appeal.
Browse through our Nikei Fine Art soft launch and opening of Kaomise exhibition photo album. Read our 3 other related articles — The Heart of Abstraction Part 1 and Part 2 and Nikei Fine Art: Propelling Japanese Abstract Art to the World
Gallery: Nikei Fine Art, Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road #01-34, Singapore 188719
Opening hours: Sun to Wed 10:30am – 8pm, Thu to Sat 10:30am – 9pm
Text: By Imelda Tan. Top photo: By Suzzana Chew. Other soft launch photos: By John Foo.