Sydney Contemporary 2015
At Sydney Contemporary, Lesley Kehoe Galleries’ ‘rabbit hole’ is imagined by a group of internationally renowned artists exhibiting astonishing works in widely different fields, yet unified by their unfettered creativity and sophisticated global perspectives.
When Tomokazu Matsuyama left Japan for Orange County, went back to Japan, and left again, he discovered a unique creativity in the dissonance of his mixed cultural upbringing.
When Shinichi Maruyama left Japan for New York, he discovered how to transform his high school love of the camera and gadgets into technologically and artistically ground-breaking art.
When Maio Motoko broke traditional rules of form and material from within Japan she experienced the opprobrium of stagnant parochialism; the culturally ‘outside’ objectivity of the international art world saw her creativity explode.
‘Outside Looking In, Inside Looking Out’ implies in-groups and out-groups and the tinted perspective of each. Some artists leave Japan and its stifling conservatism for the perceived freedom of New York and Europe; others stay physically located in Japan yet identify with the global perspective of the contemporary art world in their creative endeavours. As each of these artists strives for creative freedom and recognition beyond physical and cultural geography, they nevertheless express, consciously and unconsciously, vestiges of their unique home culture. It is their roots in the venerable philosophical and artistic traditions of Japan that they discover their uniqueness.
As connoisseurs and collectors of art, each of us brings a set of ‘rabbit hole’ opinions and perspectives to the viewing of an artwork. In events such as Sydney Contemporary, we are presented with an opportunity to challenge and recreate these, to confront our parochialism.
There are benefits and costs in the trend to globalization. One of the greatest costs is the loss of identity in a sea of mundane homogeneity. It is in the stimulating melting pot of the international contemporary art world that artists and viewers alike are liberated.
So ‘local parochialism’? That of Japan, New York or Australia?