The Reference Asia: Art Book Library 2019

『My Body, Your Body, Their Body』


19:00 - 21:00

July 12th (Friday), 2019

□Book Curators:

・CHINA/Xiaopeng Yuan, Yijun Wang (Samepaper)


・TAIWAN/Liang-Pin Tsao (Light Box)

・KOREA/Kay Jun (Aprilsnow Press)


□Plotting: unit circle

□Cooperation:  IANN/POETIC SCAPE/The Third Gallery Aya




4-7-6 Shirakawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0021 JAPAN

TEL: +81 3-5843-9128


July 12th (Friday), 2019 - August 10th (Saturday), 2019

Tuesdays through Fridays, 13:00 - 20:00

Saturdays, 12:00 - 19:00  (closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National Holidays)

​*Exhibition opens at 7 pm, on July 12th, 2019 
*Irregularly shortened hours: July 16th (Tuesday), 12:00-17:00


Ishiuchi Miyako, Ai Iwane, Hiroshi Nomura, Ahn Jun

Shinichiro Uchikura, Kuraya Takashi, Tomoaki Makino

※This exhibition is the official satellite program of TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR2019

Frida by Ishiuchi #42

2012 | crystal archive print | 31.5×47.2cm

 © Ishiuchi Miyako, courtesy The Third Gallery Aya

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to announce the opening of the group exhibition, My Body, Your Body, Their Body, as the traveling exhibition of The Reference Asia: Art Book Library 2019 (*1). This exhibition will introduce 125 artbooks that the five book curators from China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Japan have chosen, under the theme of body interpreted in its most broadened ways including portrait, family, gender, community, which will be exhibited together with the photographic works by seven artists whose books have been selected.


The Reference Asia: Art Book Library 2019 is a program organized by “The Reference Asia,” a platform consisted of a network by editors, curators, and publishers in Asia with the aim of further expanding the Asian art community.  

Asian art has been existing under the heavy influence of the Western manners in the past, but with the digitalized age and the internet, communication and connection between each Asian city have been rapidly becoming closer, allowing the younger generation of artists to develop a new scene in the art market by themselves. At this time of transition, The Reference Asia was launched in 2019, aiming to further accelerate the connections of communities within Asia. This year, we will organize an exhibition introducing Asian art books titled “The Reference Asia: Art Book Library 2019,” as well as an award aiming to discover new Asian talents through “The Reference Asia: Photo Prize 2019.” The Reference Asia will further create various activities both online and offline.

(extract from “The Reference Asia” statement)


Frida by Ishiuchi #40

2012 | crystal archive print | 31.5×47.2cm

 © Ishiuchi Miyako, courtesy The Third Gallery Aya

Ishiuchi Miyako was born in Kiryu, Gunma, Japan in 1947. 


Ishiuchi received The 4th Kimura Ihei Award in 1979, and exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennale Japan Pavilion in 2005. She received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2013, and The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2014. Retrospective exhibitions have been presented at major art museums around the world, including Grain and Image (Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan, 2017-2018), Postwar Shadows (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2015), and many others.

In this exhibition, Ishicuhi will be presenting the series Frida by Ishiuchi, where she photographed the belongings of the Mexican contemporary artist Frida Kahlo by the request of the artist’s foundation. Ishiuchi speaks that “the dresses and socks Frida amended herself felt as though they were her skin. The behavior of amending clothing is similar to accepting wounds, and continue fulfilling one’s life. The abundant clothing connoting the variety of memories by Frida is evidence that she strongly fulfilled her life.”(*2). Ishiuchi, who strongly felt the existence and atmosphere of Frida herself, mentioned that although Frida is a globally renowned artist, she took the belongings in the same way and attitude she had been taking in her ひろしま Hiroshima series, whose owners of objects had been ordinary people. 


Through her photographic work, Ishiuchi expresses why the belongings of the people who passed away are still being well cared and ascended to the next generation. 


Pahoa, Hawaii, Hawaii  from the series KIPUKA

(installation view)

2015 | archival pigment print  | 250 × 1910 mm

 © Ai Iwane, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Ai Iwane was born in Tokyo, in 1975. 


She relocated to the United States and enrolled in Petrolia High School in 1991, where she led to an off-grid and self-sufficient life. In 1996, she became an independent photographer after working as an assistant. Since 2006, Iwane has focused on the culture of the Japanese community in Hawaii, and settled her second base in Miharu, Fukushima in 2013. Until now, she has continuously examined the relevance between Hawaii and Fukushima from the aspect of immigration through extensive research and fieldwork. Publications include KIPUKA (Seigensha Art Publishing, 2018) and Kipuka e-no tabi (Journey Towards KIPUKA) (Ota Publishing, 2019). Iwane was awarded The 44th Kimura Ihei Photography Award in 2019.


In this exhibition, she will present three works from her KIPUKA series, including a panorama photograph taken with a vintage Kodak Cirkut Camera, where she photographed the tombs of the first generation Japanese Hawaiian immigrants scarcely standing within the black flow of volcano lava in a 360-degree view. Furthermore, she will be presenting a work capturing the FUKUSHIMA ONDO, a traditional bondance that the first generation immigrants brought in from Fukushima which now uniquely roots down into the Hawaiian community, as well as the original Futaba Bon-uta by the people from Fukushima playing in their unique Maki-daiko (Rolling Drum-stroke) method. 


Her works connote the condensed tradition that has transcended oversea through generations, which have been continuously flowing in the roots of each community.


Hiroshi Nomura was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1969.  


Nomura completed B.A. and M.F.A at Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Art, Oil Painting course. He has received awards including the Excellence Award of 1st and 2nd New Cosmos of Photography (1992, 1993). Nomura has created various works in which may appear scattered and varied at first sight, including approaches of even questioning the medium itself at times, while his works are penetrated with the consistent conceptual attitude of commenting on the vague borderline between reality and unreality. Nomura’s works have been presented in various exhibitions throughout the globe. 


In this exhibition, he will present the series Doppeleopment where he photographed his daughter named Hana two times at each location, and created a fictional sister, Nana. The title Doppeleopment was a word Nomura created himself, inspired by his background as being a non-identical twin (two-egg twin), and to "develop" the "doppelganger" as adoring documentation of the growth of his Nana and Hana. 


Although they may seem as ordinary snap photos of girls at first sight, by looking carefully, they exquisitely show a glimpse of an extraordinary dimension that could be overlapping with our everyday lives. 


Takashi Kuraya was born in 1984, in Yamagata, Japan. 


After graduating Nippon Photography Institute, Kuraya received the Grand Prize at Shiogama Photo Festival in 2011, and jury’s award at Tokyo Frontline Photo Award in 2013 and 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Your Camera is My Camara (Alt_Medium, 2017), and Photographic Violence (Hasu no hana, 2017). Group exhibitions include Futari to futari (Two and Two) (Kanzan Gallery, 2019), Shinsho fukei#2 (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 2017), Pets Friends Forever, 2017-2018 (Deutsches Hygiene-Museum) and others. He also actively showcases works as the unit, The Fan Club, together with photographer Yusaku Yamazaki, and has been acknowledged as a younger generation photographer who captures ordinary scenes and landscapes in aesthetic tones of light, yet with a conceptual and uniquely cynical perspective. 

In this exhibition, he will showcase works from the series A Glimmer of Light, which was publicized as a monograph after winning the Grand Prize at the Shiogama Photo Festival. In the work, Kuraya photographs the loss of father, who fulfilled his life with an injured leg and a physical disability certificate. The photographs capture the traces of the family with a distance that only a family member could approach, with his uniquely neutral and realistic perspectives and aesthetically delightful tones of light.


Shinichiro Uchikura was born in Miyazaki, Japan, in 1981. 


After graduating from the Japan Institution of Photography and Film (Osaka), Uchikura became an independent photographer, and currently lives and works in his hometown Miyazaki in southern Japan. Uchikura received the Excellence Award at the 41st and New Cosmos of Photography (selector: Tomoko Sawada, 2018),  and was selected as the Excellence Award finalist for the 33rd, 34th, 36th New Cosmos of Photography (selector: Minoru Shimizu, 2010; Katsumi Omori, 2011, and Noi Sawaragi, 2013), the Grand Prize for the 7th EMON AWARDS (2018), and many more. Through a variety of themes, his works could be described as connoting the core of anima, captivated by his straightforward personality. 


In this exhibition, he will present the series Star of November in which he photographed his own son during the short period as a newborn baby (between 0-3 months) full of instinctive energy. Through the photographs, he describes the intuitive outburst of instinctive energy of his son, where the baby starts his life by loudly crying out without tears, and making intuitive smiles by the cramp of the face muscles. Uchikura grasps the viewers with the instinctive moments of the condensed energy of life. 


Self-Portrait  ©Ahn Jun

2012 | HDR Ultra Chrome Archival Pigment Print | triptych (1524×1016mm each) 

Ahn Jun was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1981. 

Jun completed her B.A. at University of Southern California, Department of Art History in 2006, M.F.A at Parsons School of Design (New York), Photography Program in 2012, and Ph.D. at Hongik University Graduate School (Seoul), Photography Department in 2017. Her major solo exhibitions include On The Verge (Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, 2018), UnveiledScape (Keumsan Gallery, Seoul, 2017), and Self-Portrait (Christophe Guye Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland, 2014). Group exhibitions include Asia Woman Artists (Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Korea, 2017), Ich (Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, 2016), and Secret Garden (Seoul Museum, Seoul, 2016). Public collections include the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea).


In this exhibition, Jun will present works from her Self-Portrait series, which was released as a monograph by Akaaka Publishing in 2018. The body of work portrays herself looking down from high-rises in the cities of Seoul, New York, and Hong Kong. In her works, Jun queries that the actual landscape she sees in between the high-rises and the air could be a layer of imagination, and replaces the psychological boundaries between the photographic context and actual experiences with the photographic sensuous of the imaginary and the reality.


Tomoaki Makino was born in Saitama, Japan, in 1980. 


Makino completed B.A. at Tokyo Polytechnic University, Department of Photography. He was selected as a finalist of the 31st Kimura Ihei Photography Award, with his monograph Tokyo Soap Opera (2005, FOIL).  With the serial body of work of photographing middle-aged women staging within their homes taken in the cities of Tokyo, New York, and Taiwan, he has released monographs and solo exhibitions with the series Tokyo Soap Opera, Daydream, and Theater

In this exhibition, he will present his latest series Theater, where he photographed the middle-aged women in Taiwan in both their best formal outfits, and their most comfortable room wear. Although they may appear rather comical at first sight, various information such as customs, culture, style of living, and many other elements could be discovered in their sacred areas of the home, allowing the work to be even seen within the perspective of sociology.

The title of this exhibition was inspired from the culture that the word they/them/their are commonly used in the minority communities as third-person pronouns, instead of the stereotypical gender definitions with only the division of him/her. 


The perspectives towards our bodies seem as they continue to evolve based on various conceptions towards families, genders, communities, and other interpretations. We warmly welcome all to this occasion where the works by six Japanese and one Korean photographer, as well as 125 artbooks selected by five book curators across Asia, will all gather and be exhibited as one.