Nakamura Keith Haring Collection—is the only museum in the world dedicated to the collection of Keith Haring’s artworks. The museum celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017. The exhibition focuses on the footprints Haring left in Japan.
In his first visit to Japan, Haring makes drawings on mediums that are unique to Japan such as folding screens, scrolls, kites and fans with Sumi ink. He had not only been influenced by his early introduction to Zen but he had also been inspired by Eastern philosophy; this includes both cultural and literary elements.
He was experiencing the height of Tokyo’s economic boom of the 80’s. A dichotomy of ultra modern and the traditional were both a source of fascination and inspiration for him.
After the success of his revolutionary art project: Pop Shop which inherited the concept of his break out graffiti project, Subway Drawings, in 1988, Haring opens Pop Shop Tokyo in Aoyama, Tokyo. The shop was a sensation and many people waited in line just to get a glimpse of Haring’s Pop-style. In this exhibition, we explore his liberating and diverse point of view by showing works expressing Japanese aesthetics.
The exhibition also includes the important mural made with 500 children in 1987 at Parthenon Tama, Tokyo. This work is the culmination of an art that communicates beyond language.
The concept of what I produce is based on “Pop” so I think it can be received in the same way in both Tokyo and New York. I think the Japanese are looking to the Western World a bit much right now—the desire to be more American or to be more Western. I believe that if you turn the traditional Japanese culture into Pop, something amazing can be born, rather than copying American things.
-Keith Haring 1988
<Patricia Field Art Collection: The World of Patricia Field>
2017.7.1 – 11.19
The Patricia Field boutique, where Madonna, Debbie Harry, and Jean-Michel Basquiat were regulars, existed as a melting pot of cultures where musicians, their fans, artists, celebrities, downtown personalities, and fashionistas from around the world met and mingled.
In 1983, the Patricia Field’s East Village shop sold T-shirts created by Keith Haring – a perfect collaboration between Field’s philosophy of “fashion as wearable art” and Haring’s philosophy of “art is for everyone.”
Another alluring factor about the boutique, which neighbored the now closed CBGB’s and the legendary Bowery Poetry Club, was its expansive art collection. Artworks ranging from paintings, photography, posters, sculptures, to prints adorned the walls of the shop. Most of the works were created by unknown and undiscovered artists, all of which exhibited immense artistry and technique, interacting and displayed with the same revere as the glamorous garments of the boutique.
Including the works in her boutique, office, home, and storage, Field was a proud owner of over 300 pieces of art that she collected herself. The collection also includes pieces created by artists, designers, and fans who were inspired by Patricia Field and the House of Field. Each artwork has a significance and special story, and, as Field explains, “…the art collection is my memories of 50 years of my career. They’re treasures of the House of Field.”
As the boutique closed its doors in the spring of 2016 after leaving its mark in New York City for over half a century, the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection continues its legacy by preserving 190 of the main pieces in its collection.
The Patricia Field Art Collection reflects the styles of the East Village underground culture, which include the downtown club, music, and street art scene.
The exhibition will not only focus on Patricia Field’s unique vision and the origin of her immense influence on the fashion world, but will also focus on her art collection. The works were created outside of the boundaries, mode, and style of that time, and were created with unconventional approach, without aspirations of fame, evoking the art brut* movement.
The Nakamura Keith Haring Collection presents the dynamic and compelling works alongside and in dialogue with Keith Haring in the exhibition Patricia Field Art Collection: ART AND FASHION.
*Art Brut translates as “raw art” coined by Jean Dubuffet in 1945 and can be described as Outsider Art)
<WordPlay | Wosene Works Kosrof >
2017.11.23 – 2018.1.31
Wosene Worke Kosrof is one of the world’s leading figures in contemporary art. He is known for his use of the script forms of Amharic (language of Ethiopia), for his vibrant colors and rhythmic lines, and he incorporates themes relating to pan-African arts. He is the first Ethiopian-born artist to use the Ethiopian language as a core element in contemporary art. Since the 1970s, his works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world, including in Japan.
The composition of colors Wosene uses in his works draws inspiration from jazz musicians, such as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few, as well as from modern and traditional Ethiopian music. The unique ‘scenes’ in his paintings are open to many different interpretations, and the colors of sounds generate energy and movement in his works.
This exhibition not only presents the possibilities of visual art, but it is also an exploration of the world of Wosene that integrates components of language, music, color, and form that speak to international viewers and that transcend cultural boundaries, to become a visual poetry for the global stage.