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鯰 [Namazu]  Solo Exhibition

“Real-Life Escape Room”





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

Friday, September 25th, 2020 - Saturday, November 7th, 2020

*extended until December 26 by appointment only

Wednesdays through Saturdays, 13:00 - 19:00

(closed on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and National Holidays)

3D web archive is on view! 

(presented by ARCHI HATCH)

© 鯰 [Namazu]


KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to announce the opening of Namazu’s solo exhibition, Real-life Escape Room, from Friday, September 25th, 2020.


鯰 [Namazu] is an art team consisting of three members, Yoshiki Omote, Shoma Fujimura, and Taichi Moriyama. The three individuals, who are also active as artists, have their bases in Toride City, Ibaraki Prefecture, and while focusing on daily drinking parties, they sublimate their everyday life into performances and works that incorporate interactive elements. The city of Toride in Ibaraki Prefecture is in the “suburbs,” and the areas where each member was born and raised were also in the “suburbs.” While many artists exhibit in the metropolitan area, many of them have their production bases in the suburbs, and the activities of 鯰 [Namazu] show the reality of these many artists. The team deliberately collides with each members’ unique perspectives and areas of specialty to enable the dynamism of the suburbs to be expressed in their work, which could not be established in the metropolitan area. 


For example, in the performance “Loading” showcased by 鯰 [Namazu] in Tennozu, Tokyo, in November 2018, the members brought materials, waste, or even the work itself from their studios, and continuously stuck them up on a truck as a performance. 


While many other art collectives define the roles of each member, 鯰 [Namazu] does not build such a social structure within them. They try to re-question the relationship between “seeing” and “being seen” between the artist and the viewer by intentionally incorporating the miscommunication and conflict that occur among them. For example, in the performance "Loading," all kinds of materials and substances were piled up on a truck one after another for several days without any fixed rules, which occasionally caused quarrels among the members, and the accumulation of the different experiences and unique grooves resulted in leaving the viewers behind from time to time.


2018 | truck, materials from the artists’ studio, artworks

© 鯰 [Namazu], courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

In addition, at the Iron Island Festival held in November 2019, 鯰 [Namazu] presented a work titled Chill House, where they created a “room” and held a drinking party inside it. The “room” was made from items collected at a thrift shop or garbage generated in daily life, and the room dynamically shook back and forth, or had water flowing over itself, and all kinds of every day and non-daily events occurred. Even under such circumstances, the viewers could see how the people inside enjoy the “drinking party” held inside from a bird-eye view, which could be seen as a projection of ourselves who continue to live in the islands of Japan where earthquakes and flooding occur almost every year. 

Chill House

2019 |  rodeo machine, single pipe, wood, scrap material, pump, others

© 鯰 [Namazu], courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

At the first solo exhibition held at KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, 鯰 [Namazu] will present a large installation work that will guide viewers to an unprecedented chaotic world that will navigate all to find an exit through observation. 


In addition, during the exhibition period, the three members will hold an event titled “Real-Life Escape Room de CHILL” and will live broadcast how they would “CHILL” at the exhibition venue together with the invited guests. 


We cordially hope that all would enjoy this exhibition that "finds an exit" during this global pandemic, and will enable a presentation that is only possible at this time in which we all are forced to make drastic changes together in our lives and work.

image sketch of the 鯰 [Namazu] solo exhibition “Real-Life Escape Room”

© 鯰 [Namazu], courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Artist Statement

Around April, when the number of jobs was decreasing, 

our senior introduced us to a job and we started to commute to a renovation site of a building. 

Early in the morning, the three of us drove from Toride to the site in Tokyo, and then came back to Toride every day. 


Even after we finished that job, the three of us often worked together, 

such as installing an exhibition, renovating a house, assistant work of another artist, and so on. 

When we noticed, most of the time we were together was when we were working together. 


When we drove back from work, we often talked about art or our works. 

Gradually, "labor" and "life" became something important when we would think of our "expressions.”


Can labor be art?

Can life be art?

Can art be a job?


The world gradually began to restart. 

Omote resumed his work at college and began living in Toride with his son, who was newly born in Hyogo in June.

Fujimura started to get orders on his metalworking, while he left Toride in August to start living with his girlfriend. 

Moriyama had a recurrence of his chronic illness and was admitted to the hospital.


Meanwhile, 鯰 [Namazu] slowly began to move toward the exhibition. 

“Can we make an artwork that mixes our work, life, creation, and all that sort of thing?”
All the problems should be connected here.


鯰 [Namazu]

(Yoshiki Omote, Shoma Fujimura, Taichi Moriyama)

Artist Profile

鯰 [Namazu]

A team formed in 2018 by Yoshiki Omote, Shoma Fujimura, and Taichi Moriyama. The three artists who usually work as individual artists are based in Toride City, Ibaraki Prefecture, and occasionally work around daily drinking parties. Inspired by the ordinary reality in everyday life, they create works with dynamic installations and physical expressions. Past exhibitions include 景観 (Scenery) (2019, plat, Tokyo), Iron Island Fes (2018 and 2019, Keihin-Jima, Tokyo), and TOKYO CANAL LINKS #10 (2018, B&C HALL, Tokyo).

Member Profiles

Yoshiki Omote was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1992. Omote completed his B.A. at Kyoto University of Art and Design, Faculty of Art and Design, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Mixed Media Course, and M.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Intermedia Art in 2016. His major solo exhibitions include Life-Size Landscapes (2019, KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY). Group exhibitions include Gunma Biennale for Young Artists 2019 (2019, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan) and Rokko Meets Art 2018 (2018, Rokkosan Country House and others, Hyogo, Japan). Omote was awarded the Grand Prize at “The 3rd CAF Art Award” (2016), and Eriko Kimura Prize at “ART AWARD TOKYO MARUNOUCHI 2016.”

Shoma Fujimura was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1991. After  receiving his B.A. at Meisei University, School of Art, Fujimura completed his M.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Intermedia Art in 2016. Using metal and everyday objects as materials, he creates kinetic sculptures. Major exhibitions he has participated in include MORPH (2016, former Rissei Elementary School, Kyoto), The 18th Taro Okamoto Memorial Award for Contemporary Art (2015, Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki, Kanagawa), and ATLAS (2014, Tokyo University of the Arts, Ibaraki). Fujimura received a Special Award at the 18th Taro Okamoto Memorial Award for Contemporary Art (2015).

Taichi Moriyama was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1988. He completed his B.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Fine Arts, Intermedia Art, and M.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts,  the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Sculpture. Major solo exhibitions include SonkeiChisui (2016, BLOCK HOUSE, Tokyo). Group exhibitions include PLAY OUTSIDE!—From Picnic to Skateboarding (2018, Ichihara Lakeside Museum, Chiba, Japan), and SIDE CORE—STREET MATTERS— (2017, BLOCK HOUSE, Tokyo).

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