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Group exhibition

【22nd Nov – 22nd Dec 2016】
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 24 November 2016, 6:00-8:00PM

SWAY GALLERY is proud to present a three-person exhibition, ‘HEI/ SAY POP’ featuring Keita Miyazaki, Shigetoshi Furutani and Toru Ishii.
HEI / SAY POP examines the inspirational power of Japanese culture and capitalism. In this exhibition, the three contemporary artists of the same generation, with a shared interest in the capitalism society after high economic growth and Japanese popular culture in the Heisei period (current era in Japan, started in 1989), cut through the reality and fantasy of contemporary society phenomena keenly with their art, and express discernment calmly. They also delve into alluring worlds created by the power of Heisei period and contemporary popular culture.

Keita Miyazaki was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1983. He has studied at Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan (2003-2009) and in 2007 he won the Government of Tokyo Prize for his BA Show at Tokyo University of the Arts. Following this award, his work was selected for the public collection of Ogi Kankou Ltd and his work was displayed as a public artwork on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. He has also won the Haruji Naitou Prize and Ataka Prize from Tokyo University of Arts, Japan.
He currently lives and works in Tokyo and London. He has an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art (2013) and a PhD from Tokyo University of the Arts (2015). He has exhibited in various solo and group shows including ‘Layer’, B – gallery, Tokyo (2009), ‘ Post-apocalypse’, Daiwa Foundation, London (2015), ‘sound and vision’, Rosenfeld Porcini gallery, London (2014), ‘Art International By the Waterside’, Istanbul (2014) ‘Sculpture in the City London – Civic Trust Award project – ‘, Bury Court,  London (2015) ‘Across the Divide’, Rosenfeld Porcini gallery, London (2016) ‘NEO NIPPONICA’, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2016)and many more.
Keita Miyazaki works on creating sculpture series and installations which evoke a sense of the post-apocalyptic. He is an artist exploring the supposedly polar notions of orderliness and fantasy. His installations select materials for their capacity to suggest ambiguity: traditional like metal, light and fragile like paper, invisible like sound. These juxtaposing techniques avoid concrete description, instead suspending forms in a state of uncertainty.

Shigetoshi Furutani was born in 1980 in Mie, Japan and currently lives in London and studies at the Royal College of Art (MA in Printmaking). He also graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts with a BA in Design and went on to complete a Master’s degree in Environmental Design. He worked as a TV set designer for Nippon Television in Japan before focusing on his artwork. In 2011 he won the Asia Digital Art Award Finalist Prize in Fukuoka, Japan, for his work entitled “Tokyo Dizzily Land”, and in 2007, he was short-listed in the Campus Genius Award sponsored by the Computer Graphic Art Society in Tokyo. His work entitled “Tokyo Dizzily Land -p1-” has been displayed on the Saatchi Screen at Saatchi Gallery in 2013. He has taken part in the Young Masters Fund-Raising Auction at Rupert Cavendish Antiques, London, in 2012 and exhibited at group shows at the University Art Museum, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music from 2006-2008.
His practice engages with the formation of a language of visuals, exploring methods for visualising social and personal phenomena, which do not have a conventionally recognised form. His work attempts to develop responses to limitations of language and expand the expression of two-dimensional form in an age of social media, and engages with the limits of chaos and order, generativeness and restriction.
When the sign was invented in Japan, it was just a character on a cloth hung from a timber like a flag. Since then, the density of the population has increased, necessitating the signs becoming more noticeable to passengers; this required vivid colours or an electrical fluorescence to attract the people. Tokyo is now full of electrical signs. Therefore, from the street, signs appear as a mosaic, yet, we can’t tell the differences between each sign. It means they have lost the purpose of being signs, but at the same time, he realised that this phenomenon has made an individual image of the city. He was drawn by the point that a new entity has been born unexpectedly when many disparate components were unintentionally combined.

Toru Ishii was born in Shizuoka, Japan, and received his Ph.D. in Textile Arts in 2014 from the Tokyo University of the Arts. He has exhibited extensively both in solo and group shows in and outside of Japan, including ’Metropolitan Moment’, Mizuma Action, Tokyo (2010), ‘Toru Ishii ‘, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo (2011)’Delirious Metropolis’ Daiwa Foundation Gallery, London (2014) ‘Edo Pop’ Japan Society Gallery (2013) ‘Look East! 2 ‘, Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2013) and ‘IMAYO’: Honolulu Museum, The Art Gallery of Hawaii University, Hawaii (2016), ‘NEO NIPPONICA’, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2016) and many more. He has been awarded the Mitsubishi Corporation Art Gate Program (2011), a Yoshino Gypsum Art Foundation Grant (2013), an Asahi Shimbun Foundation Grant (2014), a Doctoral Program Final Exhibition Nomura Art Prize (2014), and The Japanese Government Grant (2015).
Toru Ishii utilises the Itome Yuzen dyeing method to depict the iconography of contemporary society, extending the potential of this traditional art to reflect on contemporary subjects. Just like the Japanese print maker Katsushika Hokusai, who portrayed the mundane customs of everyday life in Edo era, Ishii reflects on the current events and manifestation of society today, and adds an innovative value to the traditional technique of Itome Yuzen.