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Ryo Arai & ITARO - Essence of Edo-Tokyo Gallery display in London October to November 2011

Date: 2011 October 06 16:23

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Japanese art and culture enthusiasts in London will want to pay a visit to the ICN Gallery to catch the Ryo Arai & ITARO - Essence of Edo-Tokyo exhibit. It's set to run from Thursday 27th October to Monday 19th November 2011.

Ryo Arai is a hariko artist (that's traditional Japanese paper mache) and ITARO is a netsuke and wood engraving artist.

The gallery can be found on 96-98 Leonard Street; London EC2A 4RH

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Press release as follows:

For Immediate Release

ICN gallery Press Release
ICN gallery
96-98 Leonard Street; London EC2A 4RH
Hours: Mon - Sat, 12:00-7:00pm

Ryo Arai & ITARO - Essence of Edo-Tokyo
27 October - 19 November 2011
Opening from 7:00pm on 27 October

From 27 Oct - 19 Nov 2011, ICN gallery presents "Ryo Arai & ITARO - Essence of Edo - Tokyo" exhibition featuring hariko (traditional Japanese paper mâché) artist Ryo Arai and netsuke (traditional miniature carving) and wood engraving artist ITARO. Making their London debut, these masters of their craft present a contemporary twist to techniques dating back to Edo period (over 400 years ago) giving new life to a craftsmanship where few remain. This an exhibition of Japanese sculpture and printmaking work few in the West have ever seen.

Ryo Arai 'Nozarashi' 2011 papier mache, Paris white, colour paint 91×30×10cm

Ryo Arai 'Nozarashi' 2011 papier mache, Paris white, colour paint 91×30×10cm

Ryo Arai's surreal and technique-filled ‘Yokai Hariko' series works which draw on Japanese ghost tales. He creates mysterious, vulgar, possessed, goblin-like creatures from another world which are believed to bring disaster to human society. Utilizing techniques from Edo karakuri, transom sculpture, netsuke and noh theatre mask making, his transcendent techniques makes it hard for the viewer to believe that his work is actually made out of paper.

ITARO 'Nejisikii I' 2011 Japanese boxwood, Cervus horn, Japan 12.5×12.5×5.0cm

ITARO 'Nejisikii I' 2011 Japanese boxwood, Cervus horn, Japan 12.5×12.5×5.0cm

ITARO's remarkable talent as a contemporary sculptor is recognized from the result of works, which unites his techniques, effort and talent in the design full of ingenuity, structure and form. His exhibited sculptural works ‘the baby' and ‘the aged' both have screws on their backs. Based on the ‘tin toys' that Japan produced for exportation to gain foreign currency after World War 2, they are an ironic symbol of modern Japan's speedy economic rise. For the 2D artworks, all the engraved images have been printed onto partially transparent acrylic sheets that lets light come through like Japanese lanterns.

Both artists' attitude towards creation is to discover new things the through scrutiny of the past.

A talk by the artist Ryo Arai will be held on 29 October from 14:00–15:00. Learn more the world of hariko and Arai's works at this free event.

About the artists:
Ryo Arai (b.1958; Tokyo, Japan)
Arai is a rare figurative artist in Japan specializing in traditional Japanese papier-mâché, an artisan craft inherited from the traditional papier-mâché toys originally from the Edo period. Such disciplines are now under threat of extinction. As an artist he has positioned himself to extend the possibilities of paper and continues to create and express everything with this humble medium.

ITARO (b.1961; Chiba, Japan)
While mainly creating detailed carving work using netsuke carving techniques, ITARO also makes two-dimensional works under his name Itaru Yamamoto. He is creating works that utilizes the techniques of both wood engraving and netsuke carving. Collection: Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum

About ICN gallery:
ICN gallery presents works from the contemporary Japanese and Asian art scenes – from Pop Art to traditional craft with many never before shown in the UK. Reflecting the creative culture of Asia, and in particular Japan, the gallery with its adjoining café specializing in Japanese tea, delivers a new style of art space in London.

Source: ICN Gallery
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