The Japanese scene

Curator: Anne-Laure Chamboissier

From February, 14th to May, 11th, 2019

LE 26BY – 26, Rue Saint Georges, 1050 Ixelles.

Yukio Fujimoto REVOLUTION & GRAVITY (A Flower & A Glass ball), 2017, mixed media.

The Felix Frachon Gallery gives a carte blanche, in its independent space, in the “26by”, to Anne-Laure Chamboissier, an art historian and a curator who has been conducting researches on sound art in Japan for the past4 years. This exhibition Voice and Sound Waves: the Japanese scene, gathers, from February 14 to May 11, 2019, the works of : Yukio Fujimoto, Mamoru, Lyota Yagi, Atsushi Nishijima, the Softpad collective (Takuya Minami, Hajime Takeuchi, Ichiro Awazu, Hiroshi Toyama) and Tsuyoshi Hisakado.

While the impact of John Cage and the Fluxus movement in Japan has engaged generations of artists to address the issue of sound, contemporary Japanese artists play a major role in the interpretation of the sound experience. The exhibition will present the works of three generations of artists whose pratices are emblematic of the contribution of the Japanese art scene to this reflection, as well as the diversity of

contemporary Japanese creation, which has yet to be shared with the European public. These artists share

a real knowledge of sound and music that inspires different artistic practices: sculpture, installation, video, graphic design, performance. They question and present a fundamental practice : the experience of listening.

This exhibition takes place in two spaces of the “26by”. The works of Yukio Fujimoto, Atsushi Nishijima, Yagi Lyota and the Softpad collective are presented on the ground floor.

Yukio Fujimoto (1950) is particularly interested in the “point of view” that can be given on things. The position and movements of the viewer (or listener) in relation to the work he presents is essential to the experience and understanding of the work. And this applies to our experience of both sound and visual phenomena. Through found objects (clock mechanisms, lenses, keyboards and stereoscopes) and kinetic assemblies, for his Philosophical Toys, the artist creates real listening devices and tools that come to life only through the manipulation made by the visitor.

Yagi Lyota (1980) also creates works based on mechanical systems and ready-to-use tools.

By bringing these elements together, he modifies the functions of these objects, allowing new meanings to emerge, such as Stupa (2018) or Music for Lazy Susan (2018). By diverting the “object” into “sound-object”, these works stimulate the senses such as the visual, sound, balance and time.

For Atsushi Nishijima (1965), sound can only exist in the relationship that is created between things and whose listening would be the interpretation of these relationships. Listening becomes in itself a creative act and he conceives his works, by analogy, to landscapes. Devices that are reflected in his work in the form of installations, as Sympathetic Wiretap op.6 (2012), two-dimensional works as Turner Curtain op.1 (2013), or performances.

The Softpad collective has the specificity of working from given elements, whether it is the existing works of a museum, as for Sensibilia exhibition or from certain materials or themes, as for the phono/graph- sound letters graphics exhibition. They will blend into the exhibition space with pieces, some being created specifically for this exhibition, which will be punctuated by sound and text with the works of other artists.

VOICE AND SOUND WAVES : TheJapanesescene


On the first floor, two separate areas will host the installations of Hisakado Tsuyoshi in a room and in an other room the work of Mamoru.

Hisakado Tsuyoshi (1981) cannot conceive a project in a specific place without being immersed in it, in order to study its smallest characteristics. Installations, combining sound, light and sculpture, take shape. No distinction is made between sound and sculpture, sound being for him the material of a whole. These spaces, built from accumulated fragments, trigger memories of shared experiences and connect to memory and individual experience.

Mamoru’s artistic practice (1977) combines sound, music and visual art. The installation A long listening journey of a Possible thiStory especially of Japanese & Dutch & something more (2018) unfolds in the form of a narrative in space, whose chapters are linked on different screens. Elements of the order of image, text and sound are mixed at the same time. When entering this space, the spectator has the impression of reading and listening to things that are understandable to him. But little by little, as we continue to read the texts on the screen, the meaning becomes blurred, enabling them to go beyond the meaning and sound heard to open up to an unexpected space, and to create new listening conditions.

At a time when personal listening devices and custom playlists have become omnipresent, shared sound spaces are becoming increasingly rare. These artists question our relationship to our environment, to our daily life. They evoke history, fragments of memory, time and space. This exhibition is an invitation to an immersive sensory and auditory experience. A single space for various works echoes with each other,