New Material

13 May - 24 July 2016

Casemore Kirkeby is pleased to present New Material, an exhibition of eight acclaimed young artists from Japan engaged in new photographic approaches that combine the highly experimental with the deeply personal. Featured in the exhibition are works by Kenta Cobayashi, Motoyuki Daifu, Fumiko Imano, Yoshi Kametani, Momo Okabe, Hiroshi Takizawa, Naohiro Utagawa, and Daisuke Yokota.


Using a variety of formats, each of these photographers forego conventional photographic presentation in favor of restless experimentation with both subject matter, ranging from the intimately diaristic to the fully abstract, and process, employing nested imagery, tearing and cutting photo paper, digital smudging, chemical corrosion, and generational layering. By altering the materiality and visuality of the photographs, they become unbound from fixed moments in time, their context changed even as initial details remain. Referred to by Naohiro Utagawa as “present texture,” and by Kenta Cobayashi as “signatures,” the resulting images are freed from the concrete and allowed a looser existence in which memory ultimately supersedes reality.


Pictures in the exhibition include the black-and-white collaborations of Daisuke Yokota and Yoshi Kametani from their acclaimed photo book Classon, Momo Okabe’s color-saturated meditations on gender and love from her Huf award winning publications Dildo and Bible, Cobayashi’s digitally smudged, partially abstracted images of his social circle, Hiroshi Takizawa’s cut and layered images of concrete and stone building materials (base materials which themselves have been transformed from their original state), the sculptural images of Naohiro Utagawa, Fumiko Imano’s playfully spliced “twin” images, in which she skillfully inserts a second version of herself into a staged single moment, and Motoyuki Daifu’s intensely intimate diaristic images.

Carrying forward the historical importance of the photo book as an integral part of Japanese photographic practice, the artists in New Material regularly publish photo books as a central outcome of their own work, and many of the images in the exhibition come directly from these publications, freshly imagined on the gallery walls.


In conjunction with the exhibition, Casemore Kirkeby has produced a limited-edition box set of Yoshi Kametani and Daisuke Yokota’s collaborative project Classon. The box set includes a first edition of Classon, published by SUN Editions, and two signed photogravures housed in custom frames and folded inside a silk-wrapped box designed by John DeMerritt Bookbinding. The box is available for preorder with the gallery and will be on view on opening night.