April 20 - May 19, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, April 20, 6-8pm


Shiho Saito has been creating unique drawings based on the method of printmaking which she learned at school, without being confined to that specific category. Saito’s motifs are various images that she sees on a daily basis such as images on social networking service, movies, and snapshots on magazines. Saito says that she chose these images because “she liked them.” However, the facial expressions of people on her drawings are ambiguous, and the backgrounds provide the impression of fleetingness, as if they are in another dimension. Also, Saito often creates a drawing in a way where images are drawn on several papers, and they are combined to form one picture plane. She intentionally creates misalignment when joining them together to cause a distortion on recognition between the factual and the fictitious, or on a time axis, designed to provoke a slight feeling of strangeness. These feelings of ambiguity, fleetingness, and strangeness derive from the fact that, while transforming her image into an artwork, Saito focuses merely on drawing superficial details, resulting in stripping off its inherent meanings and values. Presented here is “something” in the state before its name is given.

Mari Tanimoto has been creating installation artwork in which clay, wood, daily use items, etc., are combined by use of “plays” and “rules” invented by herself. For Tanimoto, these “plays” are the action to liberate things as well as herself with the help of accidentalness which is beyond the reach of her control, sensation, and memory; and the “rules” are not invariable and are able to transform freely. Tanimoto says that “for me, clay was acceptable among many materials because the sensation when I touched it smoothly coincided with my daily experiences” and “it seems like procedures ahead of my intention are ongoing spontaneously that I find it interesting.” So, in recent years, she particularly chooses pottery clay as her material for production. Tanimoto positively incorporates deformations due to unintentional forces such as distortion and cracking during firing which are usually regarded as failures, and running down of glazes on the surface of pottery; she easily goes beyond the categorizations such as “sculpture” and “pottery” and presents the state of a thing as it is meant to be. In the pottery artwork “MFA” which will be shown in this exhibition, its human head-like form and pictures drawn on its surface appear not to have much association, causing a small degree of confusion. This confusion is exactly the “play” intended by Tanimoto.

We unknowingly define and share common meanings and unconsciously spend our daily lives according to a lot of rules. However, are these meanings and rules really unchangeable and universal?
The slight feeling of strangeness and confusion presented by the artwork of Shiho Saito and Mari Tanimoto liberates its viewer’s memories and sensations, and helps to recall fresh surprises and discoveries we would feel during the “play” times in our childhood days.

Shiho Saito was born in 1988 in Tokyo, Japan.
Graduated the master’s degree(Printmaking course), Department of Painting, Musashino Art University, 2014.
“winter show” at KAYOKOYUKI, Tokyo, 2017, “I was staring at it without blinking”at MANHOOD gallery, Tokyo, 2016, “M.F.N.S” at JINEN GALLERY, Tokyo, 2016, “at last” at JIKKA, Tokyo, 2014.
Lives and works in Tokyo.

Mari Tanimoto was born in 1986 in Hyogo, Japan.
Completed master's degree at Kyoto City University of Arts Sculpture Department, 2012.
She incorporates "play" and "unexpected" events into her works, and in recent years she has been making works using ceramic.
"Betrayed Scene" at clinic, Tokyo, 2018, "Momoko-san's Pot" at Hohoho-za, Kyoto, 2018, "Art Award IN THE CUBE 2017" at The Museum of Fine Arts Gifu , Gifu, 2017, "Under 35" at BankART Studio NYK, Kanagawa, 2014, "Shin Tou Sen Gen - Works in Ceramics" at Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, 2011.
Lives and works in Tokyo.