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Ken Kagajo

"Positive Taboo"

3 March 2009 - 21 March 2009

Closing day: Every Sunday and Monday

Opening Reception:  14:00 on 28th February

YOD Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition by Ken Kagajo "Positive Taboo" that will be held from March 3 to March 21 2009.

Ken Kagajo, who studied the traditional paste resist dyeing technique in Osaka University of Arts, tries to open up a new vista of the future in both Japanese Crafts and Contemporary Art with his traditional craft technique. He executes his works with a technique which has been seen as “taboo” in the traditional dyeing craft world by giving inquiries into the relationship between artistic self-expression and Crafts.

There seem to be more artists who have developed their background of traditional craft’s techniques in the contemporary art world in Japan. It could be a movement to break the border between Arts and Crafts again with the recent suitable themes, such as, to recover the value of traditional hand-made works against the advanced technology in its powerful digital era and to review our identity and history as Japanese in the excessive globalization. However, we should closely inspect each and carefully verify its movement. 

In Kagajo’s challenge, he expresses himself in his unique and large pieces with a lot of use of techniques of blots, graduation and discharges from the traditional paste resist dyeing techniques. On the other hand, a dyeing work is required for the equality in the quality of size, colour and designs, which is meant to be a representation in Crafts. The technique that he uses has been seen as a failure because his work cannot be duplicated. However, he fearlessly executes his powerful abstract form with visible records of a lot of physical movements in the procedure for finding a new identity in the convention of paste resist dyeing with the omitted technique as “taboo” in the tradition, in which the old dyeing technique seems to be betrayed by him at a glance.

Kagajo thinks that the tradition can be changed by its sense of value and needs from each period and should not be inherited from the force of habit where traditional Crafts are crystallised by continuously taking over hand-made techniques from the past that predecessors made so many efforts. He is not only creating a new possibility in the paste resist dyeing by turning over the old sense of value, but also “positive” to ask for the present state in the dyeing craft and even for what Crafts should be. It also can be a warning against the mentioned-above trend where more craft artists casually participate in the contemporary art world in Japan. We believe that Kagajo’s works should be represented as contemporary art on our mission to find a new sense of value and philosophy in this exhibition where his works ask us how the next generation of Crafts should be by neutralising various values cultivated in the tradition.

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