For this artist talk, the Director of APT Institute, Justin R. Merino described in detail the work of his organisation. The artist Kanako Sasaki, who is featured in the exhibition Acting Out of Nothingness, introduced her photography and explained the thoughts and processes that inform her work. London-based Japanese photographer Tomoko Yoneda, whose work addresses similar themes, lead a discussion on journalism, history and contemporary photography. The speakers also debated on the topic of Japanese photography today.
Coinciding with the 2013 Frieze London Art Fair in neighbouring Regent’s Park, the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and the APT Institute are pleased to present the group exhibition Acting Out of Nothingness featuring the contemporary Japanese artists Kanako Sasaki, Koki Tanaka, Zon Ito, Goro Murayama, Motohiro Tomii, Masahiro Wada and Lyota Yagi. The exhibition will display artworks lent by the APT Institute from the Artist Pension Trust (APT) collection, the largest contemporary lending library worldwide.
Acting Out of Nothingness unites individual views through the lens of a shared interest in the everyday. Driven by ideas resonant to Japanese culture, the artworks explore and unearth hidden codes, which are often overlooked, in an apparently systematic and homogenised society. Challenging traditional perceptions, the exhibition layers new rhythms of individuality over the measured cadence of the artists’ collective backgrounds.
About APT Institute
APT Institute is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 by the Artist Pension Trust® in response to the needs among contemporary artists for global exposure and recognition of their artwork. Designed for curators, museums and art organizations worldwide, Loans & Exhibitions facilitates loan requests and exhibition planning from the APT Collection; Art Concierge tailors art interactions between curators or other qualified art professionals and APT artists; and Global Connect arranges artist-in-residence programs, studios opportunities and artists networking exclusively for APT artists. For further details, please go to www.aptinstitute.org.
This event is supported by AOYAMA|MEGURO.
About the contributors
Justin R. Merino
Justin R. Merino is currently the Director of APT Institute, managing the artist and curator outreach initiatives for the non-profit organisation. Having drawn upon his years of project management in various fields Justin served as the Artist Relations Director for Artist Pension Trust (APT), directly overseeing the Los Angeles, New York City and London offices, while supporting Mexico City, Dubai, Berlin, Mumbai and Beijing regions, which allowed him to foster relationships with artists and curators globally. Justin has participated in Node’s Center for Curatorial Studies-Exhibition Design programme in Berlin and has studied Design and Visual Communications at the University of Pennsylvania and Film/Cinema/Video at the University of London. He is currently involved with the Art & Inquiry Museum Studies program at Museum of Modern Art, (MoMA) New York.
Kanako Sasaki was born in 1976 in Sendai, Japan. Her photography and cinematography are agents of performative suggestion. She uses the camera to interweave her imagination and the stories of others. The experience of living abroad as a child and studying journalism melded her interests in investigating and exploring historical events. Her work asserts the implicit uncertainties in narratives of the past. Facts are not the ossified debris of past, yet neither does she attempt to re-enact history. She instead seeks emotions which are attached to place, time and memory through interviews and recollections, allowing the telling of alternative possibilities. Her presence in the artwork is an additional ‘what if’ in a melancholic journey through purity and betrayal of ‘truth’. She received a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College in 2001 and completed her MA in Photo, Video and Related Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York. She attended the Royal College of Art in London from 2006-2007. She is currently represented by Dina Mitrani Gallery.
Tomoko Yoneda is one of the most prominent Japanese photographers based in Europe. Her practice seeks to extend the role of photography beyond its capacity for factual reportage, seeking nuances of the past within a quotidian present. Reviving memories and historical events, her practice undulates with historical connotation, at the same time inviting the viewer to question the essence of their perception. Her major solo shows include: We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo (2013); Japanese House, ShugoArts, Tokyo (2011); An End is a Beginning, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2008); A Decade After, Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Ashiya (2005). The recent notable group exhibitions are: Awakening, Aichi Triennale 2013, Aichi (2013); Unattained Landscape, Japan Foundation special exhibition, Venice (2013); Arsenale 2012: The First Kiev International Biennale, Kiev (2012); Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art, Japan Society Gallery, New York (2011); Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind; Art in the Present Tense, the 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice (2007). She is represented by ShugoArts.