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We are honored to dedicate this exhibition to 9 Japanese artists from Yamanami’s workshop. Their works break free from standards, from their own as from ours. They tell us more than they appear. As if, looking at the moonlight, we were only to see the moon, forgetting the sun that hides behind the mountain chain (Yamanami in Japanese).

Studying a paradox provides exquisite food for thought. And Art Brut is not ungenerous in this respect. Or at least it is the diet to which the explorers of this field are accustomed. Dubuffet had begun, in 1949, by inscribing an exemption from artistic culture on the pediment of his Brut temple. Though he would admit, three decades later, “that there are still references to cultural conditioning.” Even adding that “the ways of distancing oneself from cultural art are infinite.”

Japanese Art Brut is a striking example of this. First because we can, as occidentals, observe it with our own cultural distance. And thus uncover – beyond the thin layer of exoticism – particular characteristics, while at the same time being touched by the element of universality that these works contain.

In 2017, the exhibit Komorebi, at the Lieu Unique in Nantes, had provided us with the most brilliant example of this harmonious heterogeneity. The nine artists that we have selected for the Yamanami Workshop in Konan – certain ones of which were presented at the Asia Center at Harvard University at the start of the year – give us a taste, once again, of this striking paradox.

This includes Kamae and Yoshigawa, who generates congregations and hieratic monoliths of clay ; Kawai, whose embroidered navels swallow us in their concentric rush; Miyashita, propagating words foreign to him like insects on the page; Morita, with figures dancing like lanky Giacomettis; Oji, drawing up completely psychedelic peninsular cartographies; Mori and his serial processions and molecular agitations; Nakagawa, going from the undulations of colored frequencies to the stamping of numbers in halos of coffee; and then, there is Ukai, a sort of Japanese Bosch of the 21st century who would have passed for a master in the proliferating uchronia.

Their works break free from standards, from their own as from ours. If we didn’t know anything about their authors, or about their creative process, we might even take them for the most contemporary art that there is. And it wouldn’t be an insult to them, it would simply be reductive. As if, looking at the moonlight, we were only to see the moon, forgetting the sun that hides behind the mountain chain (Yamanami in Japanese).

exhibition view of  *japan brut : the moon, the sun, yamanami*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2019. - © christian berst art brut, photo: elena groud, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of  *japan brut : the moon, the sun, yamanami*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2019. - © elena groud, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of  *japan brut : the moon, the sun, yamanami*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2019. - © christian berst art brut, photo: elena groud, christian berst — art brut
Artworks
Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
dot and line - © christian berst — art brut
Satoshi Morita dot and line, 2016
21.26 x 29.92 in
eye eye nose mouth - © christian berst — art brut
Hideaki Yoshikawa eye eye nose mouth, 2018
4.72 x 15.35 in
momoko - © christian berst — art brut
Momoko Nakagawa momoko, 2017
29.92 x 21.26 in
Sap - © christian berst — art brut
Masaki Mori Sap, 2005
14.17 x 9.84 in
Masato Walking the Streets With Me - © christian berst — art brut
Kazumi Kamae Masato Walking the Streets With Me, 2014
7.48 x 9.45 in
Lady Gaga - © christian berst — art brut
Hiroya Oji Lady Gaga, 2014
14.96 x 21.26 in
Circle - © christian berst — art brut
Yumiko Kawai Circle, 2015
18.11 x 18.11 in
Masaki Mori gig / kaoru abe solo # 2, 2016
21.26 x 14.96 in
English - © christian berst — art brut
Yukio Miyashita English, 2017
29.92 x 21.26 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
Yuichiro Ukaï untitled, 2012
29.92 x 21.26 in
Artists
kazumi kamae - © atelier yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Kazumi Kamae
yumiko kawai - © atelier yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Yumiko Kawai
yukio miyashita - © atelier yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Yukio Miyashita
masaki mori - © yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Masaki Mori
satoshi morita - © atelier yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Satoshi Morita
Momoko Nakagawa - © christian berst — art brut
Momoko Nakagawa
hiroya oji - © atelier yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Hiroya Oji
yuichiro ukai - © yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Yuichiro Ukaï
hideaki yoshikawa - © atelier yamanami, christian berst — art brut
Hideaki Yoshikawa
Catalog
Japan Brut the moon, the sun, yamanami
Catalogue published to mark the exhibition *Japan brut: the moon, the sun, yamanami*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2019. - © christian berst — art brut

Preface : Yukiko Koide & Raphaël Koenig
Forewords : Christian Berst.
Catalog published to mark the exhibition Japan Brut : the moon, the sun, yamanami, from August 31st to October 5th, 2019.

Press review
visitez les expositions virtuelles de la galerie christian berst
Cécile D., Sortir à Paris. April 3, 2020.
bon plan : 12 expos gratuites à voir de toute urgence à paris
La Rédaction, Télérama Sortir. September 24, 2019.
japan brut

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