January 14, 2011 – February 12, 2011

*Every Saturday, we will have a special “snack hour” at the gallery.
From 15:00 – 16:00, the artist will serve a “mystery fondue”.
Is it cheese? Custard? Whipped Cream?
To find out, you‘ll have to stop by.
We’ll see you there.

ob (pronounced “oh-be”) is just eighteen years old.

One of the art movements in Japan that became a phenomenon in 2010 was a transmutation of communication techniques among artists utilizing social networking tools.

Situations whereby on-line communication led to real life in-depth interaction at exhibition sites simultaneously arose.
Chaos*Lounge” in Tokyo and “0000” based in Kyoto are two such representative examples.

At both, ob exhibited works and was a force to be reckoned with.

For 3 years, ob studied at Kyoto Art Senior High School, learning art history and painting techniques.
She cites Klimt, Degas, Redon, Henry Darger and Yoshitomo Nara as influences.
In September 2010, she voluntarily left art university.

Currently, she produces work as a professional artist 24-7.

A current issue resonating at the core of Japan’s art world is its association with the otaku culture. The younger generation is becoming unrelated to the subcultural context.
In fact, it appears to be searching for a way to break away from otaku.
The art of the 0 generation has completely put otaku culture on the back-burner.
However, from a paradoxical point of view, perhaps this was a hyperconscious environment unto itself.

The otaku context permeates 18-year old ob’s work, given that her work takes large-eyed characters as her main subject matter.
However, she does not appear to be conscious of this fact.
Rather, a dividing distance from otaku is felt. But, spectral glimpses of Duchamp and abstract expressionism—rampant in Japan’s contemporary art world up until the early 1980s—are also gone. Without western art historical context, the foundations for expression are the worlds of Nara and Takashi Murakami and the otaku-esque cultural environment.

A severance from history clearly exists but she herself believes that she is aligned with history; perhaps it is this unique situation that assures her originality.

In 2010, ob’s main activities centered on the curation of group shows called wassyoi, with Kyoto’s 0000 Gallery serving as a base, and using social networking tools to bring artists together.

We wish to share with you the artist’s strong desire to have a solo exhibition before she turns nineteen and the joys that come from decoding a context that is harmonized with the surrounding social environment.

We believe that ob’s painting show will allow you to discover a very thrilling “now” in your own words and images, an angle that is entirely different from the viewing methods of contemporary art up until now.

Takashi Murakami

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