Tokyo Gendai
Past Fair

7 Jul–9 Jul 2023

For Gallery COMMON’s booth at Tokyo Gendai’s inaugural edition, we are pleased present a two-person exhibition of works by Japanese artist Shohei Takasaki and Japanese-African-American artist Alex Anderson. Through this pairing, the presentation explore themes of identity– in particular, the complex and rapidly evolving definition of the Japanese identity within the globalized context. The platform of this international fair and it being in Tokyo provides an essential context for this presentation.

Shohei Takasaki’s practice revolves around the central theme of contrast and identity. A self-taught artist from Saitama, a suburb outside of Tokyo, Takasaki’s childhood memories of life in his conservative town, as well as his experiences as a Japanese living abroad, have served as the foundation and motivation for his relentless questioning of identity. Inspired by fashion and music from a young age, Takasaki encountered repeated instances of being defined as “different” or “other” due to his rebellious forms of self-expression and physical appearance and, later on in life when he moved abroad, due to language and culture. This is why Takasaki plays with dichotomies: to force us to rethink what it means for something to be “opposite” or “different”, to explore the “in-betweenness” of things, and to make us question whether these dichotomies are true or false. With this background as his basis, and with his own intuitive, emotional compass at the helm, Takasaki has grown to seek connections to art historical figures and movements in his journey to further understand his identity within our Westernized global context.