E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 2022



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

E-05++
Fall/Winter 2022-23


Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023 
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
TYO
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX



E-Issue 04 –– IST 
Spring 2022

March 15th, 2022



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO


E-04++ 
Spring/Summer 2022


Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
HK 
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
UAE
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
DXB 
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
IST
 Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

E-Issue 03 –– TYO 
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo 
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

E-03++
Fall/Winter 2021-22


Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 5th, 2021
DXB
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

E-Issue 02 –– NYC 
Spring 2021

February 21st, 2021



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City 
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

E-02++
Spring/Summer 2021


Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020 

August 1st, 2020



  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

E-01++
Fall/Winter 2020-21


Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020


AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
DXB
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React


Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Map August 16th, 2020
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka


By Sophie Arni, in conversation with Rintaro Fuse

Published on June 30th, 2021

        I had the chance to meet Japanese artist Rintaro Fuse (b.1994, Tokyo) for an interview in 2018. I asked him about his views on the state of painting and social media – specifically on his series of Retina Paintings (2017-present) which have since become his signature work. Using camera obscura techniques, he paints live models, through projected images on canvas, which he then later traces with spray-can paint. The results are monochromatic, perfectly airbrushed portraits materializing blurred images, symbolizing the distance we face against blurry screen renderings of human representation. “My concept is that I don’t paint a picture by directly touching a canvas,” he explained, “I want to maintain a certain distance.”

1. Rintaro Fuse, Contingency of Naming, or Licked Retina, 2021. Spray paint on wood panel. 80.3 x 100 cm. Photo: Naoki Takehisa

Currently enrolled in a PhD in Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts, Fuse is an artist who was groomed for conceptual art from an early age. He began his artistic journey at Tokyo University of the Arts famed Oil Painting department, known to be incredibly hard to get into. He then transitioned seamlessly to Film and New Media for his Master’s and is currently at the same department for his doctorate.


At the time, Fuse referred to his painting technique as being formally and conceptually connected to the act of taking a selfie.



At the time, Fuse referred to his painting technique as being formally and conceptually connected to the act of taking a selfie. On a physical level, a well-balanced distance is necessary when photographing oneself through a front-view camera, and on the metaphysical level, the photographer, object, and viewer becomes one in a selfie. As Fuse explained, painting with a distance “expresses the distance between subject and object.” He links this distance with prehistoric caves, which for him represents the ultimate white cube gallery, devoid of any human interference and immune to decay, yet holding artworks on walls like database storage, not unlike the concept of freeports in the contemporary art world. “Cave paintings are said to be the original start of animation,” Fuse says, linking early Lascaux cave paintings to GIF images. In addition, cave paintings represent some sort of pre-Internet timeline, where people painted over each other’s drawings without knowing how many authors drew in the same space beforehand. “It is very close to Twitter and the way information is synchronized,” he adds, “[on a social network like Twitter] my principal message becomes unimportant, it goes on a timeline with the interventions of others.”

2. Installation process of Silent Category, March 2021, Namura Shipyard, Osaka, Japan. Photo: Naoki Takehisa

These references become key for us to analyze Silent Category, Fuse latest curatorial project which took place from March 14th to 29th, 2021 at Creative Center Osaka. The exhibition was held at the site of the Namura Shipyard by Osaka’s bay, a 1,200 square meters space designated as a Modernized Industrial Heritage site by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

3. Installation process of Silent Category, March 2021, Namura Shipyard, Osaka, Japan. Photo: Naoki Takehisa

While I did not have the chance to physically visit the exhibition, I nevertheless feel that looking at the exhibition photographs and videos, reading the wall labels, and exchanging thoughts with the curator gave me the fullest possible overview of this exhibition in our new “phygital” world. Can online exhibition spaces replace physical exhibition spaces? Not necessarily, but I personally feel that increasingly, the physical experience is only one part of the exhibition, working in tandem with the video archive and catalogue text for posteriority.

4. Poster for Silent Category, group exhibition curated by Rintaro Fuse, Creative Center Osaka, March 2021. Design by Heijiro Yagi. Photo: Naoki Takehisa


Can online exhibition spaces replace physical exhibition spaces? Not necessarily, but I personally feel that increasingly, the physical experience is only one part of the exhibition.



Silent Category shows the work of seven young Japanese artists, all working across a range of different media: Kazuchimi Komatsu (b.1992, Kochi, JP), Yudai Suzuki  (b. 1993, Aichi, JP), Shunsuke Takamizawa (b. 1993, Yamanashi, JP), Takuma Tsuzuki (b.1991, Aichi, JP), Aoi Nakamura (b.1994, Fukushima, JP), Ai Mieda (b.1991, Saitama, JP), and Naoki Miyasaka (b.1985, Chiba, JP), as well as graphic designer Heijiro Yagi (b.1999, Tokyo, JP), web designer Issei Yamagata (b.1989, Tokyo, JP), and poet Nao Mizusawa (b.1995, Shizuoka, JP), all listed on the exhibition documentation and catalogue as equal counterparts to the artists, alongside essay contributors and others involved in the organization and archive of the exhibition.

For Silent Category, all the participating artists were commissioned new work. “It’s very important that the artists produce new works for the exhibition: if they only bring their previous work, the curator keeps authority and there is less opportunity for exchange”: Fuse explains that through collaborations and communication, the curator’s preconceived notions are slowly broken – a progression which he welcomes, as it creates more freedom and fluidity in the exhibition-making.


“It’s very important that the artists produce new works for the exhibition: if they only bring their previous work, the curator keeps authority and there is less opportunity for exchange.”


- Rintaro Fuse

In an essay entitled “Note for Art in the Age of Isolation”, accompanying his ITCCC - Isolated Type of Close Contact Chamber (2020) website work, Fuse defines an exhibition as “a place separated from everyday life, where the individuality of the body is exposed.” Finding silent solace in the midst of noise is at the core of his curatorial exploration. In the title “Silent Category”, the word “category” does not refer to the concept of categories proposed by Kant or Foucault but is rather synonymous with a moment in time and space that floats above reality, much like the concept of the Cloud. Back in Tokyo, the curator explains to me his new line of thinking about the body and its relationship to networks: when the human mind meets online networks, “noise is produced,” whereas when the body is placed in front of online networks, “a state of silent meditation is achieved.” The middle space between digital noise and silence is explored in this exhibition through collaboration and a sense of anonymity.


“When the human mind meets online networks, noise is produced, whereas when the body is placed in front of online networks, a state of silent meditation is achieved.”

- Rintaro Fuse



5. Above: Design for Silent Category by Heijiro Yagi. Below: Blueprint, ed. Rintaro Fuse, exhibition catalogue. “Silent Category”, Creative Center Osaka, March 14th-29th, 2021. Photo: Naoki Takehisa

The first artwork of the exhibition comes through the form of the poster visual, designed by young prodigy Heijiro Yagi, an undergraduate student at the School of Advanced Art Expressions at Tokyo University of the Arts. Fuse gave Yagi creative freedom to interpret the concept of meditative, silent exhibition space in 2D graphic design, and the result is striking. In his graphic design practice, inspired by pre-modern Japanese calligraphy, Yagi aims to break from the traditional mold of grid box design that is pervasive throughout flyer and poster designs in Japan. Detaching himself from the flat constraints of rectangular two-dimensionality, Yagi explores depth and three-dimensionality with the Silent Category poster, with shapes, forms, and colors evoking a sense of movement, fluidity, lightness of being. His original background design was exhibited at the venue on a flat screen, next to the exhibition reception desk area. In addition, he designed the exhibition catalogue to look like bricks of concrete, a 600-pages A5 volume with a rectangular thick format.


Yagi aims to break from the traditional mold of grid box design that is pervasive throughout flyer and poster designs in Japan.




6. Yudai Sukuzi, Streaming Planet, 2021. Computer simulation, game pad, PC, audio. Photo: Naoki Takehisa. This work uses a game engine called “Unreal Engine” for production, and can be played using a controller. Similar to the games such as open worlds, sandboxes, and miniature gardens, the field of the game is set in the wilderness with a connected road. Multiple objects are arranged, and the player can move by walking or running using the controller, and can view these from different viewpoints.


The game’s main character has unique faculties to move, dance, and replicate the artist’s recorded movements – a new direction for the artistic practices of video games, which I believe could be representative of the next wave of digital art.



The exhibition starts on the third floor with a striking video game projected on a double-sided large flat screen. A work by Yudai Suzuki welcomes visitors to this floor dedicated to the Body. On one side of the projection is Window of the Horizon (2021), a video recording of the video game, and on the other is Streaming Planet (2021) with the actual live-simulated game, with its gamepad, consoles, ready to be played. Similar to games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and World of Warcraft, the game is set in the wilderness of open worlds with miniature subworlds and gardens connected on a large map. Multiple objects are arranged and viewers are invited to move within Suzuki’s world by walking or running, viewing the landscape from different viewpoints.

7. Yudai Sukuzi, Streaming Planet, 2021. Computer simulation, game pad, PC, audio. Photo: Naoki Takehisa

8. Yudai Suzuki, Window of the Horizon, 2021. 4K video, audio. Photo: Naoki Takehisa. “Window of a Horizon” is a video work in which “Streaming Planet” was shot and recorded in advance from a different perspective than the player.

For the work, Suzuki took motion capture as well as 4K video footage of movements of his entire body. The game’s main character has thus unique faculties to move, dance, and replicate the artist’s recorded movements – a new direction for the artistic practices of video games, which I believe could be representative of the next wave of digital art. The audience is indeed manipulating Suzuki’s movement, creating themselves the final work of art which they get to immediately experience on the screen. I’m fascinated by the fact that the artist injected his own body into an interactive artwork. Fuse tells me that Suzuki is a “heavy gamer” and that he was heavily inspired by actual games and platforms for professional gamers to create this work.

9. Installation views, 3F. Naoki Miyasaka, Standard applying Modulor Ver.1, a Japanese Woman, 2021. Mixed media. Naoki Miyasaka, who stayed in Paris from 2019 to 2020 as a Fellow of Le Corbusier Foundation, conducted research on “Modulor,” a coined term deriving from the French words “module” (standard size) and “Section d’Or” (golden section), a standard devised by Le Corbusier by combining body size, golden ratio, and Fibonacci number. The “Modulor” devised by Le Corbusier was based on the ideal body size. However, this work was created based on a sequence deriving from the body dimensions of a Japanese woman. It undertakes multiple body movements (sitting, leaning, touching) that Le Corbusier envisions. Photo: Naoki Takehisa. Caption text by Rintaro Fuse. “Silent Category”, Creative Center Osaka, March 14th-29th, 2021.

On the floor above, dedicated to Network, Fuse exhibited a unique installation work by Shunsuke Takamizawa entitled Geobserver (2021). This work’s label reads that is made of a computer, copper, wood, plastic, polyethylene, water, electricity, and a candle: these make “ingredients” for an artwork-machine. In technical terms, Geobserver is an internet server, producing an electric conduit by a self-made power generation mechanism which uses the temperature difference between two types of metals sparked by a lit candle. Once the electricity is functioning, this bricolage computer connects a pre-designed website to the Internet. The audience can only access the work’s URL, written in chalk on the floor in front of the work, once the candle is lit. As an elaborate yet rudimentary electric system, this work makes us painfully aware of the energy needed to fuel our Internet reality, an enabling experience that Fuse refers to as the “Internet architecture itself.”


In laymen’s terms, Geobserver is an internet server. The audience can only access the work’s URL, written in chalk on the floor in front of the work, once the candle is lit.




10. Shunsuke Takamizawa, Geoobserver, 2021. Computer, copper, wood, plastic, polyethylene, hose, candle, water, electricity. Dimensions variable. Photo: Naoki Takehisa. This work is an internet server. Electricity is provided by a self-made power generation mechanism. It uses the Seebeck effect, in which electrons move to generate voltage with the temperature difference between two types of metals.

Finally, the exhibition ends on the ground floor with a sound installation by artist and DJ Kazumichi Komatsu, who uses sound recorded from Japanese urban mazes and turns into a psychedelic soundtrack to the exhibition. Also built especially for the exhibition is Y-1 “silent” (2021), a website by designer and artist Issei Yamagata that directly reflects the loneliness and lack of emotional chat rooms.

11. Kazumichi Komatsu, MOB WORLD MIXTAPE ft. Dove & Le Makeup, Young Celeb Naruto, Yumea Hokiike, Ruca Avril & Deathrowers, 2021. Audio file, 2ch speaker. Photo: Naoki Takehisa. This work was inspired by the architectural characteristics of Creative Center Osaka as a former shipyard. The audio file, which was produced with multiple collaborators, can also be listened to on SoundCloud.

Silent Category
is some sort of material manifestation of the web experience, with artworks directly touching on bodily experiences of the World Wide Web. Zach Blas, in Omar Kholeif’s edited Art After The Internet, coined a term for artists working in “contra-internet” as opposed to “post-internet”, which Blas finds to be a “blanket term.” Fuse is not contra-internet, as this exhibition proves: he embraces the Internet and tries to add a piece of quiet – or Silent Category – in the sphere of non-stop timelines. By creating a physical experience that is deeply linked to digital interconnectivity, Fuse proposes a true hybrid model of a physical-meets-digital exhibition.


Fuse embraces the Internet and tries to add a piece of quiet – or Silent Category – in the sphere of non-stop timelines.



12. Silent Category, exhibition installation views. Photo: Naoki Takehisa




Silent Category” was held at Creative Center Osaka from March 14th to 29th, 2021.
Visit the exhibition‘s commissioned website, built by Issei Yamagata.
Follow Rintaro Fuse on Instagram.
Watch the exhibition installation views footage.



Rintaro Fuse is a multimedia artist based in Tokyo, whose work oscillates between digital dissonance and social anthropology. Concerned with cave painting, selfies, the birth of the Iphone, and the fabric of postmodern society, Fuse graduated with a BFA in Oil Painting, an MFA in Film and New Media, and is currently pursuing a PhD in the Graduate School of Film and New Media Studies, all from Tokyo University of the Arts. His solo shows include iphone mural (iPhone's cave wall painting) at BLOCK HOUSE Tokyo (2016), The Walking Eye at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse (2019), Marginalia (2020) and When To Kiss Names (2021) at SNOW Contemporary. Fuse also has a curatorial practice based upon the concept of “new loneliness” of the post-internet age. He curated Mapping Loneliness, a group exhibition at Yotsuya Unidentified Studios (2018), and most recently, Silent Category at the Chishima Foundation for Creative Osaka (2021) with seven artists of his generation. He participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout Japan, including In the air, 3331 Arts Chiyoda (2015), Anzai Prize Scholarship Recipient Exhibition, Tokyo University of the Arts Yuga Gallery (2015), Room with a good view at Turner Gallery (2016), LANDSCAPE: detour for White Base at Bambinart Gallery (2017) and New Loneliness at Honkbooks (2017).