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Shisuko Tohmoto / Yoichiro Nonaka / Hebime

"Self-Taught Artists" Get to the issue of Outsider Art

13 February 2010 - 20 March, 2010

Hours: 11:00-19:00, closed Sunday, Monday

Opening Reception Party: 17:00 on 13th February

YOD Gallery is pleased to announce the group exhibition, "Self-taught Artists, get to the issue of Outsider Art" that will be held from 13th February to 20th March 2010.

The word of "Outsider Art" has been gradually recognised in Japan. It seems to be an antithesis to the state in Japan where many exhibitions under this theme have been held by museums and a specialising gallery in this field has been newly opened, in which a widening gap between people has become conspicuous in the society. The definition of "Outsider Art" in the West is a genre of art made by untrained makers who were never institutionalised and have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. However, "Japanese Outsider Art" seems to be only seen as an act or work by mainly handicapped persons. It considerably helps to support handicapped persons for social welfare, but heir works themselves haven't been evaluated as works of art yet. There are many approaches to bring their works into the Arts in Japan.

In this exhibition, "Self-taught Art" is defined as work by artists who never took academic studies at art schools or institutions and voluntarily started executing works of art as it is clearly defined as one of the genres in "Outsider Art" in the West. Earnest approach to Art in their works is strongly seen as their characters in a way that they suddenly started painting by an unexpected occurrence or experience in their life, encountering the works of Art in which they have never been interested. They execute works of art under their complex in which they have to keep painting otherwise they can not find a reason to exist themselves. We can see a fresh and lively expression without fixed ideas in their works where a strong relation between works and artists is established.

Our aim is to inspect the essence of Outsider Art and to touch the issue of Japanese Outsider Art to open up a new horizon with the keyword of "Self-taught Artists" with 3 artists in the exhibition. Shizuko Tohmoto is known as a representative artist in Japanese primitivism and a symbolic artist in "Self-taught Art". Although Hebime and Yoichiro Nonaka are still young, all of their independent style in expression is shocking us to forget the major premise of Outsider Art and a possibility to evolve into Arts that we wanted. There is also a talk event by a curator, Mr Tadashi Hattori, from Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, who is known as one of the outstanding researchers in Outsider Art, speaking on issues of "Outsider Art" from a point of view of "Self-taught Art".

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