Hotel Booking
Japanese Contemporary Art Exhibition
Embodying aesthetic 'conflicts' between Modernity and Tradition, contemporary Japanese art possesses a specific charisma: 'skill' and 'attention to detail' of the craftsman (the artist) fills up a void that most European and American 'Contemporary Art' holds. In a way, contemporary Japanese and Asian art holds philosophical depths unique to its origin. And in particular, that spirit of the artisan and craftsman of the Japanese is what makes Contemporary Japanese Art stand out from amongst competitors.
This is Macao's first contemporary Japanese art exhibition in 2024 running between 1st of February until 30th of March at Sands Gallery. Presenting never-before-seen artworks by Japan's gallery UG's exclusive artists: Kunihiko Nohara, Takaoki Tajima, Nami Okada, Hiroya Yoshikawa, Keitoku Toizumi, and Ryosuke Kawahira, we feature large and small scale sculptures, traditional-styled mediums and special cloth-based pieces. This exhibition explores the intimate relationship between light, colours and Japanese art.
This exhibition is co-curated by CONTEMPO and gallery UG. This exhibition is managed by Jennessa Liu - creative consultant CONTEMPO.
  • Overview
  • About Curator
  • About Artists
Date: 1 February – 30 March
Time: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Location: Sands Gallery, Level 6, The Grand Suites at Four Seasons
Admission: Free
About Curator
About Curator:

gallery UG has grown as a gallery together with artists by discovering and nurturing individual artists. Today, about 30 young artists work for us exclusively  focusing on both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. Since the establishment of the gallery in Ginza in 2001, we actively hold group and individual exhibitions at overseas art fairs and affiliated galleries and brand our exclusive artists to the world.

In fall of 2020, we opened a new flagship gallery on the second floor of TERRADA ART COMPLEX II in Tennozu. In winter of the same year, we opened an art studio. In 2023, a showroom in New York. In February 2024, we are preparing for a grand opening of a new gallery in Osaka, Japan. Furthering this, there are plans to open a permanent space in Macau to further promote Japanese art in Asia.

"We aim to further enrich and expand contemporary art by sustaining the role of the 'gallery',  which is to support artists' creative processes, fostering and interacting with young artists, and creating many opportunities for promotion, just like the former Paris Marg Gallery." 
About Artists
About Artists:

Kunihiko Nohara
Nohara is an artist who has been working with gallery UG for 15 years. Although his main focus is on wood sculpture, he does not limit himself to wood carving, but also collaborates extensively with other traditional crafts such as paintings, bronzes, and prints. While his works have a strong presence, they also give form to unformed "fleeting moments" of everyday life that are difficult to remember. 
The characters in his works all wear underwater goggles. In today's information society, we are overwhelmingly unable to recognize faces and images of people, and their images are often blurred. However, like the Buddhist statues of 1,500 years ago, they have the potential to reach out to many people and unify them while building a relationship with the viewer. 
And Nohara believes that this is what art is all about, showing a new relationship between art and society with a wide range of possibilities for development. 
His solo show was held at the Ueno Royal Museum in 2017, the Ginza Tsutaya Books  in 2018, and the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle in 2021. In 2023, a special exhibition "Floating moment" was held at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.

Takaoki Tajima
His sense of colour and spatial composition has been an enormous supporting structure to his wooden sculptures. And it could also be seen in his two-dimensional works.

The characters portrayed in backgrounds illustrate their mysterious expressions and movements through very simple, yet bold composition which highlights the relationship between the colours next to each other.

His popularity is growing nonstop and does not know where to take a break. And it expands not only in Japan but also abroad, as he held a solo exhibition in New York in 2020. In 2022, his rock'n'roll spirit as an artist who has been continuing to produce against the world's trends, had sparked, and he introduced his first series of lithographs, "LIFE," which comically tells about half of his life.

"The Tajima Revolution" is finally tying the knot as one of his era. His highly sophisticated sense of expressing cynical subjects in a comical manner has been receiving highly commented reputations.

Nami Okada
Nami Okada started her career as a gallery UG exclusive artist in 2019. 

Okada creates "One view" using places she has visited as a motif, and the relevance of "landscapes that do not yet have a meaning" as the axis of her works. Even within the same landscape, several different images are created depending on each person's experiences, memories, and recollections.

"I believe that a landscape takes on "meaning" only when people's thoughts and feelings overlap. By using layers of colour to depict multiple layers of "image-laden landscapes"

Okada has exhibited at numerous art fairs in Japan and abroad, including New York in 2020, Basel in 2021, and Art Fair Tokyo in 2022. In the same year, her solo exhibition was held as part of "Nanjo Selection", curated by Fumio Nanjo, former director of the Mori Art Museum.
She also participated in an exhibition at Arts Maebashi and her work was collected by the museum.

Her works are currently exhibited at the gallery UG Showroom in NY, which opened in 2023. 

Keitoku Toizumi
Keitoku Toizumi has gained popularity with his Pink Army series, which iconizes the gap between reality and fiction.

Toizumi's thoughts and feelings differ depending on the time of production, he always painted with an emphasis on the radiance coming from his motifs.
In recent years, Tozumi has developed an "imaginary world" incorporating not only the many toy motifs in his collection, but also natural objects.

The symbolic depiction of the Pink Army, which acts as a storyteller connecting the stories scattered across the screen, has been popular.

Past exhibitions have been held at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Hamada Children's Museum of Art. Shimane, Tomioka City Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art, and Fukui Fine Arts Museum. In 2023, he exhibited his works at Art Fair Tokyo, and he caught the attention of many art collectors. 

Ryosuke Kawahira
「As a child I used to wet the bed. 
I was attacked in my dreams by monsters and ghosts from films and cartoons. 
When I woke up in the middle of the night,
I felt as if something was still lurking in the dark corner of the room, and I was too scared to go to the toilet. In the morning, 
when I was washing my wet underpant, I once 
apologized to my underpant, saying 'I'm sorry' 
because I felt guilty for some reason. 
I wonder what bed-wetting underpants think when they are being washed. 
If underpants had a will, 
they would be very angry at being soiled by bed-wetting. 
If underpants appeared in my dreams,
 they might come to my side when I am frightened and ask me what the cause is. 
If underpants beat the bed-wetting monster, 
I might be able to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. 」 (Ryosuke Kawahira)

Hiroya Yoshikawa
Yoshikawa entered the family dyeing business at the age of 18, eventually becoming the 4th generation of Yoshikawa Sensyo.  
Kyo-yuzen is one of Japan's leading traditional crafts, beautifying women since the Azuchi-Momoyama period (late 16th century). Yuzen patterns are characterized by curves and auspicious designs. He finds a similarity between this tradition and women in the beauty of curves. In the kimonos worn by women, the women themselves are never depicted, but in this experiment Yoshikawa depicts a mixture of the women themselves and the patterns, creating a world of glamor and beauty. In yuzen, the pattern is dyed into the fabric. Lines are drawn, colors inserted, steamed, and washed away with water. This process is repeated many times, and the thickness of the layers of color created by dyeing on pure silk and the world created is very transparent yet profound.   

Hiroya Yoshikawa is a master dyer inheriting 140 years worth of craftsman techniques and spirit.    

Yuzen patterns are characterized by curves and auspicious designs. He finds a similarity between this tradition and women in the beauty of curves. In the kimonos worn by women, the women themselves are never depicted, but in this experiment Yoshikawa depicts a mixture of the women themselves and the patterns, creating a world of glamor and beauty.Yoshikawa challenged himself to express the "beauty" and "glamor" of women not as kimonos but as works of art, using traditional techniques as they are.  

About Art Gallery

Nestled on the 6th floor of the Grand Suites at Four Seasons, the permanent art space Sands Gallery provides an opportunity for guests to explore an ever-changing variety of art exhibitions. Officially launched in February 2022, Sands Gallery was born out of Sands China's desire to help cultivate an environment that nurtures creativity and art appreciation in Macao. As a long-time supporter of art and cultural development in Macao, the company hopes the gallery will assist Macao in its positioning as a multi-cultural exchange and cooperation base with an emphasis on Chinese culture.

See Details >