Ebosi Yuasa, Sealed Bottle, 2022 / Yuta Nakamura, Chick Jug, 2022

Photo: Keizo Kioku

Yuta Nakamura|Ebosi Yuasa

Object Lessons


Saturday, January 28 – Friday, March 31, 2023


Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National Holidays 

[Reception: January 28, 17:00–19:00 *The artists will be at the gallery]


Gallery Koyanagi is pleased to present "Object Lessons," a two-person exhibition by Yuta Nakamura and Ebosi Yuasa from January 28 to March 31, 2023.


Yuta Nakamura was born in Tokyo in 1983 and currently lives and works in Kyoto. He is interested in modern Japanese craft culture, and conducts academic research of ceramics and tiles from the perspective of ‘craft associated with the folk and architectural,’ and produces artworks deriving from this knowledge. Nakamura's exquisite installations consists of combination of primary source materials such as ceramic shards, old books, and postcards collected through meticulous research, and objects created by Nakamura's own hands to reflect the reinterpreted historical facts and the state of culture as seen through his own unique eyes.


Ebosi Yuasa was born in Chiba Prefecture in 1983. Influenced by Surrealism, which he learned about through the writings of a Surrealist Tatsuhiko Shibusawa (1928–1987), Yuasa mimics himself as "Yebosi Yuasa (1924–62)," a fictional painter born in the Taisho era (1912–26), and creates works that celebrate the atmosphere of the paintings of the past surrealistic creators such as Ichiro Fukuzawa and Kikuji Yamashita. The paintings thus created are applied to the fictional Yebosi Yuasa's painting career, disguising the artist's life as it might have existed at the time.


Nakamura and Yuasa have seemingly contrasting styles, but both are interested in the culture and customs of the Taisho, prewar, and postwar periods. The two artists, who are the same age, hit it off and began to visit antique bookstores and antique markets in search of a theme for their exhibition. At one antiquarian bookstore, they came across a reprint of "Tanki-manroku (records of salons to show obsessive curiosities, published in 1824-25)”, which Nakamura had been looking for. In the late Edo period (c.1790–1850), Bakin Kyokutei and other enthusiasts of the time brought curious old books, paintings, and other antiquities to the "Tanki-kai (salons to show obsessive curiosities)" to discuss and comment on them. Being intrigued by the "Tanki-manroku" that illustrated the “Tanki-kai”, Nakamura and Yuasa began to examine what “Tanki-narumono (something that is obsessively curious)” could be for each of them. 


For Nakamura, the "Tanki-narumono (abbreviated as ‘obsessive curiosities’)" is something to be admired, but it is also something to be examined objectively, taking a step back. Until now, Nakamura intentionally focused on things that are often overlooked in history, and has created works that unravel new aspects of history as a mediator, so to speak. In this exhibition, Nakamura will present ceramic works that reference aesthetic objects from various periods and cultures, using literature he has researched as a source material. Please come and see Yuta Nakamura's new ceramic creations, which cross ancient Inca bell jars, Meiji-era (1868–1912) utility staggered vases, and even illustrations from Uexküll and Kriszat’s "A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans" (1934).


Yuasa, on the other hand, felt an overwhelming sense of familiarity with the obsessive curiosities, and the same air of surrealism that the imaginary Yebosi Yuasa portrays. Yuasa, who presented still life paintings for the first time at the "still life" exhibition at Gallery Koyanagi the year before last, will be presenting all still life paintings in this exhibition as well. After encountering "Tanki-manroku," Yuasa continued to go to antique markets and collect curious objects. Yuasa has been working mainly from illustrations of objects from the period in which the fictional Yuasa lived, but this time, in addition to these works, Yuasa will present works that he drew while confronting actual objects.

“Tanki-manroku”, 1824-25, National Diet Library Digital Collections

Ebosi Yuasa (Left)、Yuta Nakamura (Right), On the Kanda book town street

press release
koyanagi_object lessons_pr_en.pdf
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