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THE BAR Vol.10 Exhibition "Shaping Voices, Silent Skies"

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The Backers Foundation and AIT residence programme Vol.10
"Shaping Voices, Silent Skies"
New works by Miti Ruangkritya (Thailand) and Sarah Abu Abdallah (Saudi Arabia)

Saturday, July 1 - Monday (National Holiday), July 17, 2017
Hours: 11:00 - 20:00 *Free Admission / Open daily
8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery (Shibuya Hikarie 8F, Tokyo)
Opening Reception: 18:00 - 20:00 on Saturday, July 1

Artist Talk: 14:00 - 16:00 on Saturday, July 8 at 8/ COURT

*Booking Required/Consecutive translation available

Click here for more details

The BAR Vol.10

The BAR Vol. 10「Shaping Voices, Silent Skies」Exhibition Flyer, Designed by Yasutaka Fukuoka
[Top] Sarah Abu Abdallah / Still from the study for new video work, 2017, Courtesy of the artist
[Bottom] Miti Ruangkritya / "Imagining Flood", 2011, Giclée print on archival paper, Courtesy of the artist

Exhibition flyer Download(PDF / 680KB)

The Backers Foundation and AIT will co-present "Shaping Voices, Silent Skies", an exhibition held from July 1 (Sat) to July 17 (Mon, National holiday) at 8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery. This exhibition marks the 10th edition that the Backers Foundation and AIT have partnered on a joint residency programme that invites international artists to Tokyo, this year welcoming Miti Ruangkritya from Thailand, and Sarah Abu Abdallah from Saudi Arabia to present their works show for the first time in Japan, in addition to new works created during their stay in Tokyo.

Working mainly with photography and images from the Internet, Bangkok-based Miti Ruangkritya focuses on the environmental changes caused by rapid development that have occurred in urban areas of Thailand in recent years, in addition to the desires of city dwellers, and the tumult, silence and other shifting moods of the city itself.
In Imagining Flood (2011), one of the artist's representative works, Ruangkritya presents a disquieting night-time scene of Bangkok whose streets appear silent and deserted. Filmed on a day when the capital suffered damage from floods, it heightens the strangeness of the city and our fear of nature to an almost fantastical level.

In recent years Sarah Abu Abdallah, a young artist from Saudi Arabia who has gained attention in international exhibitions such as the Sharjah Biennale 11 (2013), has produced video works that incorporate thought processes particular to painting, a field in which she received training. In the video work SAUDI AUTOMOBILE (2012) the figure of Abu Abdallah, is filmed as she silently applies whitish-pink paint to an abandoned car. As reflected in the artist's comment, "This wishful gesture was the only way I could get myself a car," the work reveals the artist's focus of attention: the gender norms of a nation where women are prohibited to drive cars.

What the artist have in common is that, although they sense the illusions generated by globalized cities and societies, and the realities that lie behind them, their work expresses quiet criticism rather than conflict. While reflecting the social situation in which we find ourselves, their expressions reveal an attitude that consciously avoids integration into political and gender stereotypes.
In addition to works shown for the first time in Japan, in this exhibition Ruangkritya will superimpose images of urban development in Bangkok with those of Tokyo, and Shibuya in particular where development is visibly advancing, in order to suggest a hidden sense of anxiety toward environment pollution that such urbanization may cause, while Abu Abdallah has conceived dreamscapes inspired by Japanese anime and Manga.

We hope you will share in our anticipation to see how the artists respond to the city's whispers during their three-month residency.

Texts by Naoko Horiuchi [AIT] / Translated by Jaime Humphreys

The BAR (The Backers Foundation and AIT Residence Programme) Vol. 10
"Shaping Voices, Silent Skies"
New works by Miti Ruangkritya (Thailand) and Sarah Abu Abdallah (Saudi Arabia)

Saturday, July 1 - Monday/National holiday July 17, 2017
Hours: 11:00 - 20:00 *Free Admission / Open daily
8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery
Shibuya Hikarie 8F, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Organised by Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT)
Co-organized by The Backers Foundation
Supported by 8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Ponte Vecchio Hotta Corporation
Opening Reception: Friday, June 30, 18:00 - 20:00

Artist Talk: Saturday, July 8, 14:00 - 16:00 at 8/ COURT (Shibuya Hikarie 8F)
*Booking Required/Consecutive translation available (Click here for more details)

Please send us an email with following information
To: event@tomiokoyamagallery.com (Please input @ in normal-width)
Subject: "July 8, Artist Talk"
Body: Name, Contact number, A number of participant(s)
*Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

[ Artist Information ]

Miti Ruangkritya
(b.1981, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand)

Ruangkritya is a Thai based image maker. His work focuses on an issue or a topic surrounding his life. In particular, the city often surfaces as a dominant subject - from its environments and people and to its transformation and growth.
The series of his work entitled, Imagining Flood (2011) examines ideas surrounding fear, imagination and anticipation amongst city dwellers - tensions which were palpable when Bangkok was struck by severe flooding. The project explores and represents these themes through disquieting, otherworldly night-time landscapes. His most recent series of works, Dream Property (2014-ongoing) examines the nature of property development and its relationship with human ideals and aspirations. The series includes the images of land undergoing commercial development as well as images of newly built condos entering Bangkok's real estate market; whilst Excerpts from Bangkok Real Estate Advertising explores the use of texts within this context by focusing on the exuberant slogans that habitually accompany real estate advertising.

・ 2016-17 "LANDSCAPE: Hotel Asia Project" (Traveled from Gallery Soap, Fukuoka to China, Thailand and Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan)
・ 2016 "Omnivoyeur" - a visual and sound project with Christina Kubisch (Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, Thailand)
・ 2016 "Dream Property" (Bangkok CityCity Gallery, Thailand)
・ 2016 "The Archive as Conversation" (Singapore Photography Festival, Singapore)
・ 2016 "Urban and Reflections: Contemporary Thai Photography" (Otterbein University, Ohio, USA)

Sarah Abu Abdallah
(b.1990, lives and works in Qatif, Saudi Arabia)

Abu Abudallah lives and works in Qatif, Saudi Arabia and studied art in both Rhode Island school of design for her masters in digital media, and in the college of art and design in University of Sharjah. She is an artist and a puzzle-maker who works across a variety of media include video, installation, poetry and images.

・ 2017 "Screening: Selected 7" (Whitechapel Gallery London)
・ 2016 "Serpentine's Miracle Marathon" (Serpentine Gallery, London)
・ 2016 "LISTE" Performance Program with Keren Cytter (Basel, Switzerland)
・ 2016 "The Salad Zone and other videos" (Sarah Lawrence College, New York)
・ 2015 "CO-WORKERS" (Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris)

About Backers Foundation
The Backers Foundation is a private group of patrons from the business world who first joined together in 1994 to provide support for the Japan Animal Welfare Society. Since then, the 60 members have funded a variety of organisations. They also participate in self-organised committees set up for projects to which they volunteer their personal time under the motto of enjoying the good things. One of these efforts is a terakoya, or after-hours school for children, that the foundation has operated since 2005.
Through the BAR (Backers and AIT Residence Programme) series, 18 artists, 7 curators and 2 editors have been invited from countries including the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Brazil, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Argentina, India, Kenya, Morocco, Indonesia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Poland and Pakistan.

Further Information
Exhibition Enquiries
8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery
Tel: 03-6434-1493

Backers Foundation/Artist-in-Residence Enquiries
Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Tel: 03-5489-7277