Ninjin Art film reveals new visions of beauty in Japanese art
Ninjin Art film still showing work by Hinano Niimi
Tokyo Park's Onna No Ko exhibition of the female form in Japanese modern art the subject of a new music-driven film by award-winning animator Ignatius Rake.

St Austell, 6 December, 2023: To mark Tokyo Park’s first exhibition of Japanese modern art outside the UK, Ninjin Art Productions has unleashed a new music-driven film that details Tokyo Park’s Onna No Ko exhibition at the Old Street Gallery in London’s Shoreditch this past June. Entitled ‘Onna No Ko: New Visions of Beauty’, the music-video-esque short film has a run time of 5 minutes 10 seconds and features an electro house soundtrack produced by the film’s director and award-winning animator Ignatius Rake.

“The Onna No Ko exhibition was excellent,” Ignatius says. “Japanese modern art is without doubt the most vibrant, uplifting and accessible around. The nine artists shown exemplified this perfectly, marrying together a diverse range of styles, media and influences, including elements of manga, anime and Showa kitsch, using acrylic, oils and watercolours on canvas, paper and wood.”

Film still showing work by Japanese painter Kaori Miyano
Love and lemons: A film still showing work by Japanese painter Kaori Miyano.

Beauty and colour

While the art shown ranged from the stylistically simplistic to the highly intricate and ultrarealistic, the result was a unified whole of beauty and colour all linked by the common theme of the female form in modern Japanese art. “To be able to film the Onna No Ko exhibition was a sublime delight,” Ignatius continues. “There is simply no other curatorial team like Tokyo Park when it comes to the levels of skill, taste and discernment shown in choosing and presenting the finest modern art coming out of Japan right now.”

Amazingly, the whole show nearly didn’t happen at all due to the sudden and highly unscheduled closure of the original venue on the very afternoon that Onna No Ko was set to open. Fortunately, the Old Street Gallery was able to step in at the last minute and disaster was averted. “It would have been awful if Onna No Ko had been cancelled through no fault on the part of Tokyo Park nor the artists,” Ignatius say. “Not only would it have been a huge waste of everybody’s energy and efforts, it would have robbed those who enjoy the very finest in Japanese modern art the chance of doing just that.”

Film still showing work by Japanese painter Syuka
Deft watercolours: A film still showing work by Japanese painter Syuka.

New show in Lisbon

And to that end, art lovers can savour more cutting-edge Japanese modern art right now at Tokyo Park’s new exhibition at Casual Lounge in Lisbon, Portugal. Entitled Tokyo Vibes, the show will run until December 23 and feature the work of numerous Japanese modern artists, including various painters featured in the Onna No Ko show, such as Hinano Niimi, Kaori Miyano and Syuka.

“Tokyo Vibes is a brief and concise presentation of Japan’s newest artistic generation as well as the most established,” says Tokyo Park founder and show curator Martim Barroso. “Our intent is to promote these artists for the very first time in Portugal. Everybody is welcome to come to Casual Lounge and see our wonderful collection of paintings.”

Tokyo Vibes will run from 4pm to 2am every day except Sundays until Saturday, December 23 at Casual Lounge, Rua Bartolomeu Dias, 148 B 1400-031 Belém, Lisbon. Meanwhile, the ‘Onna No Ko’ film can be watched online at the Ninjin Art website (https://www.ninjinart.com/latest-work/) and on YouTube (https://youtu.be/XTsLe4sSfWQ).

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Notes to Editors

1) Taking its name from the Japanese word for girl (女の子), the Onna No Ko exhibition featured the work of nine cutting-edge Japanese painters, viz Isayamax; Hajime Sakurai; Kaori Miyano; Yutanpo Shirane; Sekiya Kayoko; Someta; Syuka; Mayumi Konno; and Hinano Niimi.

2) Ninjin Art director Ignatius Rake is the only foreign artist to win two awards at the annual Unco Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan. Specialising in the production of music-driven films, videos and animations, he has worked with artists, bands and musicians in and from the UK, Poland and Japan, including SaiakuNana, Hinano Niimi, Sony Suzuki and members of Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners among others. His music-driven video for Tokyo Park’s first exhibition, entitled ‘Tokyo Colours: A New Wave of Colour and Beauty’, can also be viewed online at the Ninjin Art website (https://www.ninjinart.com/shorts/) and on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDA66a2SrDw).

3) Martim Barroso is the founder of Tokyo Park Gallery (https://www.tokyoparkgallery.com), which specialises in bringing cutting-edge Japanese art to a wider international audience. Born in 1997 and originally from Portugal, he gained an academic background in History, Art History, Art Curation and Museological Practices at the University of Lisbon before moving to London in 2019 to pursue an MA in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Following a lecture on Asian Emerging Markets, he became increasingly focussed on Japanese contemporary art. Onna No Ko was his second curated exhibition and follows his previous show, Tokyo Colours, which was similarly staged in Shoreditch in October 2022.

Press Contact: Ignatius Rake

Top picture: A film still showing work by Japanese painter Hinano Niimi.

Picture credits: Ignatius Rake/Ninjin Art.

Interviews and high-resolution photographs available on request.

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