It is neither exaggeration nor immodesty to say that Lesley Kehoe Galleries was a highlight of the revamped International Fine Art and Antiques show at the New York Armory this October. We joined longstanding colleagues San Francisco Japonesque and Seattle Kagedo in introducing a breath of sophisticated design and fresh perspectives to this regular feature of the New York arts calendar. Welcomed and praised by fellow gallerists and visitors to the show alike, our stand featured new works by celebrated screen artist Maio Motoko and introduced the works of established sculptor Tanabe Takeshi. Tanabe’s work will feature in our upcoming Melbourne exhibition ‘Presence’.
The booth curatorial was arranged to speak to the concept of ‘toriawase’, the poetics of an art medley, an underlying principle of our Melbourne shows this year as ‘story-telling’. Designed to demonstrate the joy of mixing art works, historical and contemporary, to create uniquely personal environments and collections, it created lively conversations and surprising experiences. As a significant principle of the Japanese formal practice of tea, it fitted beautifully with the tatami tea room and the hosting of formal tea on the booth during the show. Ueda Sōko Ryū tea master Australian Adam Wojcinski continued his New York debut with afternoon tea events on the booth at the Armory.
The contemporary tea room was inspired by works from LKG’s Collection : ‘windows’ of Shinichi Maruyama’s Nude series, the movement of the works symbolizing the outside world in contrast to the stillness of the tea room, and flower vessels of Nakano Kaoru’s washi (Japanese paper) sculptures – thought by the artist to replace the formal scroll, Adam innovatively used them as flower vessels and symbols of architectural pillars. Kishi Eiko’s revolutionary mizuzashi (water container) and ethereally beautiful tea bowl joined Kaneko Tōru’s silver tea bowls and Kidera Yuko’s sculptural works as part of the ‘toriawase’. New York-based tea master Sōheki Mori of the Japan Association of the Tea Ceremony collaborated with Adam as host and members of the NY Urasenke school joined in as guests – a ‘toriawase’ of people as well as objects.
Photography by Byron Bowman Kehoe. Copyright © 2015