Young Japanese Artists

Japanese art, either traditional or contemporary one, stands out for its specific range of art styles and media as well as philosophical concepts and aesthetics different from the well-known Western heritage. For centuries, Japanese artists have been honing their skills in pottery, sculpture in wood and bronze, magnificent ink painting on silk and paper, along with calligraphy, ceramics and architecture. The arts in Japan were sustained by many influential courts and aristocrats, until urbanization and industrialization became prevalent forces and transformed once elitist art into something more available and hence more popular. It is interesting to note that both religious and secular artistic traditions were equally developed in Japan, but even secular art was influenced by certain Zen Buddhism concepts, such as the idea that every aspect of our material world is a part of an all-encompassing spiritual universe. When it comes to contemporary Japanese art, it still takes many forms, ranging from painting to famous anime and video games, but all of them, in one way or another, depict the life in urban Japan and strive to give meaning to busy daily existence. Spiritual contemplation and reconnection with nature in the midst of the urban metropolis such as Tokyo are among the main topics that contemporary Japanese artists feature in their works and showcase around the world.

Did you know: In Japan, even secular art has been continuously influenced by various Zen principles

Japanese Art versus Western School of Thought

The arrival of foreign merchants was the initial factor that inspired Japanese artists to start integrating both Oriental and Western traditions into their artworks. Some of the early foreign elements found in Japanese painting were horizontal picture planes and usage of synthetic pigments, such as the famous Berlin blue, officially known as Prussian blue. The introduction of this pigment was the most fundamental change in the Japanese art at the time and it also has a symbolic value, because it represents the very beginning of collaboration between Japanese artists and their European counterparts. Ever since the mid-19th century, Japanese art was welcoming of foreign influence and this became even more prominent in Japanese animation inspired by Disney cartoons. Anime became increasingly popular during the 1980s and 1990s and they even got their adaptations for Western audience, which speakes about their universal value and appeal. Anime and manga turned so powerful that they influenced even a postmodern Japanese art movement called Superflat, which aims at representing the emptiness of Japanese (but also worldwide) consumer culture. Even though the development and history of Japanese and Western art took different courses, they share common points, which is evident nowadays due to the hyperconnectedness of the world we’re living in. More than even before, both famous and aspiring Japanese artists are willing to travel to art fairs and galleries throughout Europe and the United States to exhibit their works which rely on universal topics and visions of beauty. During our 2016 Berliner Liste art fair, more than 100 refreshingly innovative works of Japanese artists will be shown at a separate section designated specifically for Japanese art.

Did you know: Anime and manga turned so popular that they influenced even the postmodern Japanese art movement called Superflat

Japanese Painters at 2016 Berliner Liste

During 2016 Berliner Liste, the largest contemporary art fair in the capital of Germany, Japanese Young Artist Group also known as JYAG will proudly present more than 150 new artworks crafted by 113 contemporary Japanese artists. Visitors and art collectors at 2016 Berliner Liste will have a unique opportunity to explore and purchase numerous and versatile artworks of these talented artists from Japan. The main goal of this exhibition curated by the famous Japanese artist Rin Terada is to present the unknown, exotic Asian works to curious European art connoisseurs. These works come from all the regions of Japan and they are crafted by aspiring artists. However, some of these artists have already become popular in Japan and their magnificent pieces are expected to reach a worldwide recognition in near future. Besides the artworks of fledgling Japanese artists, this exhibition will also include the works of renowned Japanese artists. To sum up, all of these diverse pieces have one thing in common – they want to spread the unique Japanese vision of beauty beyond the borders of Far East. The spectrum of Japanese artworks which will be presented at the Berliner Liste ranges from classical paintings and photography to popular manga drawings and paintings.

Did you know: Visitors and art collectors at 2016 Berliner Liste will have a unique opportunity to explore and purchase artworks of 113 participating Japanese artists

Building Bridges between Traditional and New Japanese Art

Japanese art isn’t valued only for its simplicity, but also for its luscious colors and authentic compositions which influenced nineteenth-century Western cubists and impressionists. An artistic movement called Japonism was the most prominent result of this influence and it was based on Japanese aesthetic principles. Furthermore, Japanese architecture has influenced Western one with its straightforwardness and flexible usage of space and even Japanese filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi won international fame. All these facts emphasize the skillfulness of Japanese artists, their original techniques and their unparalleled attention to detail. In Japan, tradition and modernity keep colliding even nowadays, which is evident in the works of contemporary artists, just like the members of Japanese Young Artist Group, which will exhibit at 2016 Berliner Liste. For this group of artists, it is a great novelty and challenge to show their work outside of their motherland and they feel happy to take part in the large international art fair such as the Berliner Liste, which will surely contribute to popularity of their pieces. The members of Japanese Young Artist Group want to build bridges between urban and traditional art and they are looking forward to openness and support of the Berliner Liste organizers and fellow participants.

Did you know: The members of Japanese Young Artist Group want to build bridges between urban and traditional art

Rin Terada · Japanese Section Curator and Famous Painter

We are pleased to announce that Rin Terada, the curator and initiator of the special Japanese show, will select the winners of the Japanese Young Artist Group together with the curators of the Berliner Liste – Dr. Peter Funken, Stefan Maria Rother and Guillaume Trotin. The award ceremony will take place on Friday, September 16 at 6:00pm. Rin Terada is also an artist himself. He was born in Aomori while his main residence is in Shimane, Japan, but he also owns a studio in Brandenburg, Germany. He often travels between Japan and Germany and in 2010 he started organizing projects with young Japanese artists abroad. As this wasn’t practiced in Japan before, it is safe to say that Rin Terada is one of the pioneers when it comes to artistic cooperation between Japan and Germany.

Mr. Terada’s abstract contemporary paintings can be seen in Terada Museum of Art in Deidesheim.