Be there: Akira the Hustler, Kiri Dalena, Yoshiko Shimada, Nobuaki Takekawa, Yuken Teruya


Ota Fine Arts is delighted to announce "Be there", a group exhibition featuring artworks that connote socio-political messages. "Be there" is a slogan used to encourage people to participate in demonstrations and other political and social activities. This exhibition title aims to showcase how each artist reaches out to the audience through artworks possessing the same issues of contemporaneity which exist today.

Since the World Revolution in 1968, protests against regimes have made a great impact on artists everywhere. Even after fifty years since the revolution, there are numerous artworks that reflect protests and criticisms against political and social issues. In this exhibition, five artists with different styles and backgrounds deal with their close problems and raise their voices to share that 'the problems exist here'.

The artists seek to raise awareness on a variety of issues. Kiri Dalena focuses on political activities in the Philippines. Yuken Teruya deals with geopolitical problems in Okinawa - the artist's native land. Akira the Hustler raises his voice on discrimination against minorities, while Yoshiko Shimada brings the problem of Japanese comfort women to light, criticizing Japanese society for refusing to recognize the crimes. By visualizing into various media and forms of artworks, Nobuaki Takekawa inspires the audience to recognize recent problems of Japanese politics.

Both the topics and the artist's chosen methods of expression are varied while still being socio-politically focused. Shimada pierces through the issue directly by verbalizing in her video work, while Teruya encourages audiences to commit their interest to problems which are closely related to the artist. This exhibition covers more than the prevailing relationship between contemporary art and politics. It challenges viewers to reconsider the meaning of art as an instrument to elucidate the problems of gender, discrimination and ordinary life which lie around the artists of contemporary times.

Installation Views