From the 9th to the 25th of December, the SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition was held at the GALLERY X BY PARCO, in Shibuya. With “Shibuya Street” as its theme, many up-and-coming female artists exhibited their original works. Let’s see how the metropolitan district of “Shibuya” is seen through these women’s perspectives.
This exhibition was planned by Parco. Mr. Fujii, who works in their media communications department, explained that Parco is a business which deals in three main areas: “information transmission”, “community building” and “incubation = talent discovery”. The SHIBUKARU Exhibition is an event they created in order to discover talent, and it has been running since 2011.
This year the Shibuya Parco building is being reformed, so in the meanwhile they have opened “GALLERY X BY PARCO” as a space in which to exhibit new talent. The event which first made use of this new venue was this “SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition”. For Parco, whose work has been constantly centered around the youth culture of Shibuya, this initiative could be seen as a new method for Parco to incubate upcoming talent.
GALLERY X BY PARCO
We continue our conversation with Mr. Fujii. “Shibuya is a neighborhood where many things are going on at once. You have the latest in fashion, as well as movie theaters, live houses, bars, etc. It’s all mixed together, so you could say it’s a very ‘chaotic’ district. That means there are many people who come here, and it’s easy for new ideas to be born in a place like this.”
“SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition”
This edition of the exhibition included the work of 7 artists who had collaborated with SHIBUKARU in the past, and we got the chance to speak to 5 of them. We will now present their work and introduce each one of these female artists.
“Shaking downwards” (Artist: Natsumi Aoyagi)
Ms. Natsumi Aoyagi’s work consists in two videos which are projected onto a wall. One of them is first-person video footage of the streets of Shibuya. The second one is an objective shot of the person whose perspective we saw above. On 3 acrylic plates which stand in front of the wall there are patterns which look like maps spreading over their entire surface, and these patterns represent the “flow of people in Shibuya”.
Ms. Aoyagi spoke to us earnestly about her work. “Shibuya is a district which functions thanks to our own conceptions of it. On the one hand it’s a ‘subjective district’, but in another sense it is also formed by the gaze of others, thus making it an ‘objective district’ too. Also, Shibuya is being developed underground, and there are more and more underground spaces in it. I wanted to express the many layers of people and information which travel across its surface, and build a three-dimensional representation of this district.”
To Ms. Aoyagi, Shibuya is a “layered” district.
Ms. Aoyagi and her work
Ms. Natsumi Aoyagi
“overwright save” (Artist: Ai☆Madonna)
In August of 2016, Ms. Ai☆Madonna created a large-scale wall painting in the old Shibuya Parco, before it began its reform. Ever since it became uninhabited, the Parco has been filled with people’s graffiti, painted on every inch of its walls. Ms. Ai☆Madonna’s wall painting was also, like all the others, a graffiti.
To Ms. Ai☆Madonna, graffiti is a way of having “a conversation through art”. This time, she took photos of all those graffitis, and then drew even more graffiti on top of the photos. “It’s my reply to those people who drew the previous graffiti,” she explains.
There are graffitis on every single section of Shibuya. To Ms. Ai☆Madonna, all of them are graffiti art.
To Ms. Ai☆Madonna, Shibuya is a town made of “drawings”.
■”New Year’s card”
“New Year’s card” (Artist: Kurumi Wakaki)
Ms. Kurumi Wakaki’s art is extremely unique. On the surface it’s a New Year’s card, but on the back there is a space in which one can take a selfie. The resulting photo can then be used as a New Year’s card, also. Ms. Wakaki explained to us that “I want to transmit a sense of fun to the people who visit Shibuya. I wanted to do something which could only be done in this time of the year, as it comes to a close, so I thought of making this New Year’s card.”
According to Ms. Wakaki, Shibuya is the town of “selfies”.
Ms. Kurumi Wakaki’s selfies
In the second half of this article we will be presenting the work of 2 more artists. We will use this exhibition to help us think more in-depth about the district of Shibuya.
“SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition”
>>Continuing onto the Second half
(Article by: Kenichi Nakamura)
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.