Etsu Egami: In a Moment of Misunderstanding, All the Masks Fall

Curator: Tatehata Akira

12.18, 2021 - 1.15, 2022

Beijing 1st space

 
1/8
 

Tang Contemporary Art is proud to present the latest solo exhibition for Etsu Egami, entitled “In a Moment of Misunderstanding, All the Masks Fall,” which will open in the gallery’s first Beijing space at 4 p.m. on December 18, 2021 (Saturday). Curated by Tatehata Akira, with an important article by Jérôme Sans, the exhibition will showcase Etsu Egami’s latest series ”rainbow”.

 

One of the most notable artists of the third generation of Japanese postwar contemporary art scene, Etsu Egami investigates the barriers of communication, deploying a plural work spanning from sound and voice recordings, films and painting, bringing the art of portraiture into a completely new dimension. Born in 1994, in Chiba, Japan, and having spent part of her youth in the United States before studying at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, China and the University of Art and Design (HfG) in Karlsruhe, Germany, her experience of an eternal foreigner became the backbone of an artistic practice at the crossroads of several languages and cultures. From her transitory experiences, she realized that “language can only be felt, but not explained” and that “humans communicate with each other, not to get closer, but rather to evaluate their distances”. That fundamental gap has become her path to delve into the nature of the human condition. In the places where her mother tongue is neither spoken nor understood, she came up against the inability to communicate, but she also discovered infinite possibilities. Her anthropological investigation results in a gallery of portraits of individuals that she invites to feel the same state of confusion. In fact, sharing her own experience is a prerequisite to the act of painting.

I cherish the faces of people passing by. Although there are more misunderstandings and dislocations, they are (after all) an opportunity and a beginning to understand life and exchange information.

— Etsu Egami, August 2021

Her work This is not a Mis-hearing game (2016), still in progress, testifies to the obsession with portraiture that prevails today, and to the exacerbation of its social role to the point that it has become nothing more than a mask hiding one’s true identity in the era of selfies and social networks. Her work speaks of the “cryptogeneration” to which she belongs, haunted by the narcissism of its own image. Millennials have lived the transition from before to after the Internet. Between virtuality and reality, feelings of social distancing and uncertainty have emerged on both sides of the globe. Their lives are the object of a permanent documentation. There is continuity and rupture with this logic in the work of Etsu Egami which visualizes the process of communication itself, its relationship to the other, as the foundation of all social communication. Recently, in the wake of the pandemic, she started focusing on the way communication becomes more complex in view of the diversity of human exchanges, accentuated by social distancing. Through a serial practice of portraiture, she intends to reflect human diversity, and how to coexist in a socially, politically and culturally divided world.

Download Press Release

 
RAINBOW--2021-T-3

RAINBOW--2021-T-3

Oil On Canvas 200 x 290 cm 2021

RAINBOW--2021-T-10

RAINBOW--2021-T-10

Oil On Canvas 200 x 140 cm 2021

RAINBOW--2021-T-13

RAINBOW--2021-T-13

Oil On Canvas 200 x 140 cm 2021

RAINBOW--2021-T-15

RAINBOW--2021-T-15

Oil On Canvas 200 x 140 cm 2021

RAINBOW-2021-T-17

RAINBOW-2021-T-17

Oil On Canvas 140 x 200 cm 2021

RAINBOW--2021-T-19

RAINBOW--2021-T-19

Oil On Canvas 200 x 140 cm 2021

RAINBOW--2021-T-22

RAINBOW--2021-T-22

Oil On Canvas 115 x 200 cm 2021

RAINBOW-2021-T-25

RAINBOW-2021-T-25

Oil On Canvas 90 x 120 cm 2021

 
Artist
江上越.jpeg

EGAMI ETSU

 

Etsu Egami (b. 1994 in Tokyo, Japan), graduated with a B.F.A. from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) specializing in Oil Painting in 2016. She graduated with an M.F.A. at CAFA under the mentor of artist Liu Xiao Dong and studied in HFG in Germnay. She is now in New York dispatched as talented artist by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Government. Etsu Egami currently lives and works between Tokyo and New York.

 

Growing up in United States and Europe, and currently living and working in China, Etsu Egami experienced various communication barriers she encountered as a result. She felt that languages can “only be sensed, not explained”, thus becoming more interested in the discipline of language and communication. Etsu’s works comprise of various media forms, such as voice, video and drawings, through which she strives to question human’s instincts and the authenticity of communication. Curator of Pompidou art center Julie said about her , “I saw all these specificities as a source, not only of misunderstanding, but also of creation and richness in people’s relationships. ”. Chinese curator Feng Bo Yi also said “Etsu’s creation is about the concept and the significance of ‘communication’. Through the paintings and videos which embodies these mishearing games, as well as the evolution of times, the clashes between civilizations, we acquire a discourse on the barriers in language communications, and subsequently even trigger a crisis.”

 

Etsu Egami had her solo show in museum, Entrance gallery Vol.1 EGAMI Etsu in Chiba City Museum of Art,Japan (2020) and many countries. She also had many group shows in Asia, including: VOCA2020, Ueno-Royal museum, Japan (2020), Negotiating Space: I Never Thought You Were Like That – Third CAFAM Biennale, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China (2016); Neither Here nor There, Yuan Dian Art Museum, Beijing, China (2016). Between 2012 to now, Etsu won numerous awards. Most recently she is nominated as Forbes 30 UNDER 30 in 2020 and finalist of Asian Art Prize of Sovereign Art Foundation in 2019.

Curator
建畠晢 (多摩美术大学校长,草间弥生美术馆馆长).jpg

Tatehata Akira

 

Akira Tatehata (b. 1947, Kyoto, Japan) is the president of Tama Art University and the director of the Yayoi Kusama Museum. He graduated from the Literature Department at Waseda University. He previously served as the director of the National Museum of Art, Osaka, and the president of the Kyoto City University of Arts. In 1990 and 1993, he was the director of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and he is currently a jury member for the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.