7.4(Sat) 〜 7.24(Sun)
※ Open on Wednesday 〜 Saturday,Last Sunday
*Please wear a mask, take your temperature and disinfect yourself when you visit the venue.
*Please note that admission may be restricted depending on the congestion of the venue. Thank you for understanding in advance that you may be required to stand in line.
*Please note that the exhibition period and opening hours may be subject to change depending on the situation. Any changes will be announced on the gallery website and Instagram.
Born in Tokyo in 1977, Akagi spent his childhood in Saudi Arabia and Singapore. After graduating from Nihon University College of Art’s Department of Photography, he moved to the United Kingdom. In 2008, he returned to Japan. In 2013, he became the first foreigner to join Czulosc, a photography collective based in Warsaw, Poland. In recent years he has also taken up painting.
His unique upbringing––spending many of his formative years abroad––has had a tremendous impact on his sensibilities, aesthetics, and ideas. As a constant stranger, he also felt distant from his home country, where his roots lie, and its culture. If culture is a collection of manners, actions, objects, and symbols based on countless common beliefs, what would it be like to live with and through various objects and events that unfold before one’s eye without that common grounding? Whether it’s sound, color, shapes, scent, air, or somebody’s expression, one might sharpen their senses to capture everything perceivable. Akagi once said, “Japanese people use their hands before they think. If they see something unfamiliar, instead of considering it first, they will just pick it up.” Rather than offering a theory of what it means to be Japanese, it sounded like he was, in fact, talking about himself.
Akagi’s photographic works often connote a sense of coincidence that is different from snapshots. He repeatedly uses the same images, showing their evolution across multiple works. His aesthetic captures light, colors, simple and symbolic forms, repetition, and concise powerful words, which all seem to organically connect with his background mentioned above. His paintings may appear similar in compositional elements, yet some express Akagi’s thoughts more intensely and directly than his photography. That is, his idea that “beauty exists precisely in chaos.”
Takayama was born in Kyoto in 1980. A punk in his adolescent years, he moved to Tokyo at 18 and worked at a world-renowned skate shop and legendary cafes and clubs. As part of Tokyo’s subcultural scene in the 2000s, he also worked on music as a form of self-expression. Takayama, who, since childhood, loved to depict his interiority through drawing and painting, majored in fine art in high school. However, as a rebellious young teenager, he never got used to the classroom and dropped out.
However, Takayama continued to create works for himself on and off without presenting them. Then, he met Akagi. Takayama happened to move near Akagi’s neighborhood, and the two of them started to work together.
From Akagi’s photography perspective, Takayama exuded a mysterious atmosphere as a subject––somebody who also saw the beauty in chaos. Working with Akagi, Takayama began exploring different methods of self-expression. In their collaborative work, they simply take turns adding elements to the support. Akagi’s abstract colors and symbols mixed with Takayama’s text and drawings show us that there’s a thin line between dizzying bewilderment and confusion, brilliance and vulgarity––it is a record of endless creation by two people, who, as long as they live, will attempt to find and create a sense of beauty in their dizziness.