Nanae Mitobe, Kazuhito Kawai Love Dream

  • 2024.06.14(Fri)–07.13(Sat)
  • Open Hours: Tue–Sat, 13:00-20:00
  • Closed: Sun, Mon
  • Opening: 06.14(Fri), 18:00-20:00

KEN NAKAHASHI is pleased to present Love Dream, a two-person exhibition by Nanae Mitobe and Kazuhito Kawai, for the first time at the gallery, begins Friday, June 14, through Saturday, July 13, 2024.

The relationship between color and form connects different elements and creates a complex visual experience.

The sense of dynamism is as if a glass of water is constantly being filled and overflowing, pushing the boundaries of the individual works.

The works of Mitobe and Kawai, both of whom use large quantities of pigments, maintain a state of equilibrium in the midst of change, and thus open up new possibilities.

This exhibition features new works by both artists.

The works resonate in a small space with abundant natural light.

Nanae Mitobe

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. 

Mitobe, who has been painting since childhood, currently works in Vienna and Japan.

She graduated from Nagoya Zokei University in 2011 and studied under painter Shigeru Hasegawa. From 2022, she studied as an exchange student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria, under Alastair Mackinven. Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2024, studied under painter Masato Kobayashi.

She has long depicted the presence of symbolic figures as the subject of her paintings, but a residency in the United States in 2014 led her to create the “DEPTH” series of extremely abstract, anonymous faces, which she presented in a solo exhibition at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in 2016.

Mitobe's works are filled with the power to linger in the viewer's memory and continue to fascinate, such as her technique of boldly grabbing oil paints in a one-dozen can and kneading it into the canvas in thick layers, her thin, smooth paintings of words and landscapes, works based on rock music and celebrities, and works that suggest the state of affairs in contemporary society. The works of Mitobe lead the viewer's awareness to the potential of painting in the modern age.

In 2021, she was recommended by Yoshimi Chinzei (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) for the VOCA Exhibition 2021 and received the VOCA Encouragement Award.

Major solo exhibitions include project N 85 Nanae MitobeI am not an Object (2022, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery), Rock is Dead (2021, biscuit gallery, Tokyo), APMoA, ARCH vol.18 DEPTH -Dynamite Pigment (2016, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan).

Some of the best-known works include the DEPTH series depicting anonymous faces, the Rock Is Dead series depicting rock stars, and the TIME series quoting the cover of TIME magazine.

In 2020, I am a yellow (2019) was selected for the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art's collection. The work is also in private collections including the Ryutaro Takahashi Collection, OKETA COLLECTION, and the Yusaku Maezawa Collection.

Kazuhito Kawai

Born in Ibaraki Prefecture. Currently based in Kasama City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Graduated from Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London, Fine Art Department in 2007.

In 2018, he graduated from Kasama College of Ceramic Art.

After studying contemporary art in London, he returned to Japan and worked in Tokyo, but turned his attention back to art when he was first exposed to ceramics at the Ibaraki Prefectural Industrial Technology Center, the predecessor of the College of Ceramic Art and Design. Kawai has created numerous unique ceramic works with strong and lively shapes and colors. Kawai's works are first formed by mixing many pigments into the clay, and then fired at a slightly lower temperature than the kiln temperature used for regular firing. This unique technique produces a moist and soft mass-like texture of color. Inspired by the materiality of clay and its relationship to color, as well as his own inner life and experiences, his work is multilayered.

Major solo exhibition includes Hold me close, a grain at a time (2022, KOTARO NUKAGA, Tokyo), Riding for a fall (2021, Sokyo Lisbon), The Kitsch (2019, t.gallery, Tokyo), Naughty Loneliness (2018, SOZO Salon, Tokyo), Freaks (2017, House in Kasama, Ibaraki). 

His works are in the collections of Loewe Collection, Ryutaro Takahashi Collection and OKETA COLLECTION.

Love Dream
Love Dream
Love Dream
Love Dream
Love Dream
展示風景 (撮影: 齋藤裕也) Installation View (Photo by Yuya Saito)