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IRO IRO - Japan, in Colour



4 July - 12 August 2011
Embassy of Japan | 101-104 Piccadilly | London W1J 7JT

tel: 020 7465 6500 | email: info@ld.mofa.go.jp
Admission free | Monday - Friday | 09:30 - 17:30

Visitors must present a form of photographic identification when entering the Embassy.


IRO IRO - Japan, in Colour, with KAWADA Daisaku and OSUGA Jiro, presents the varied works of two artists, both born in Japan, who have studied and now live in the UK. Iro iro means 'variety' in Japanese and iro is the word for 'colour'. In this show, in their own distinctive ways, both artists look at various perceptions of Japan, in colour.


Daisaku graduated from Tokyo's Meiji University and the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art. Although strikingly contemporary and very much of the here and now, his bold and vivid works explore colour and pattern, often with a nod to the rich heritage of Japan. At the same time they are complex and simple, chaotic and ordered: their energy lies in these dichotomies.


Although born in Tokyo, Jiro has spent most of his life in the UK. He graduated from the Chelsea School of Art and also the Royal College of Art. This dislocation from the country of his birth is behind a lot of Jiro's work, as he challenges cliches and stereotypes. His varied installations in this exhibition encourage the visitor to interact and participate in this playful look at Japan.

LE BALLON ROUGE; 2011, acrylic on MDF: Daisaku KAWADA

Jiro says,"My large painting was conceived as a riposte to a superficial take on a culture and stereotyping in general. On the face of it, it might look as if I am endorsing such a view: every Western stereotype of Japan, from a geisha girl to the bullet train, origami and the tea ceremony - you name it - are all crammed into the canvas, depicted in lurid colours. But my objective is precisely the opposite. By condensing into a single painting the entirety of the extremely limited range of things for which Japan is known in the West, I am highlighting the sheer absurdity of understanding a nation on such a narrow basis... Japan remains a misunderstood nation. Having lived in Britain since childhood for over 30 years, I have been at the receiving end of such misapprehensions for most of my life."


MASKS; 2010, acrylic on paper: Jiro OSUGA