Yui Usui at XYZ collective 2016.9.18~10.16

Artist : Yui Usui

Venue : XYZ collective, Tokyo

Exhibition Title : sugar

Date : 2016.9.18(Sun) ~ 10.16(Sun)


Yui Usui was born in 1980 and is currently based in Saitama. She graduated

from Tama Art University in 2004 and completed the master’s program at Kyoto

City University of Arts Graduate School in 2006. Using everyday materials such

as stickers, candy wrappers and strips of cloth, she creates handmade

sculptures and installations that are both delicate and humble. In recent years,

she has been weaving complex historical, cultural and social critiques into her

work. Her two-month solo exhibition “Shadow Work” (Kurumaya Museum of Art,

2016) presented works that track labor that has been pushed to the social and

economic periphery.

Usui has participated in group exhibitions including “XYZcollective at

Brennan&Griffin - Man & Play -” (Brennan & Griffin, 2014) and “Japanese

Nightingale Doesn’t Sing at Night” (XYZ collective, 2015). This is her first solo

exhibition at the gallery.


Is your mother tongue spoken around the world? How many languages can you

read and speak? Do you use the language of someone who is mentally and

physically sound?

Although we cannot live without language, the notable gaps between different

languages may significantly affect one’s life. By inverting the words that

represent the first person point of view in several languages, I hope that the

viewer can experience the shift from misunderstanding a language to simply

looking at it (without recognizing individual words). Through this process, I hope

that the works will make the viewer realize that the eyes are mirrors that reflect

the world around them.

The title is taken from the 1973 film by Ingmar Bergman.

[scenes from a marriage #1,#2]

The work began with my own question: What is marriage? In Japan today,

marriage is an institution, industry, lifestyle and illusion. It may represent

multiple ideas, but one thing I know is that it is wrong to think of marriage as

some kind of goal. It is something that is forever incomplete, a distorted

repetition of mediocrity, quarrels, boredom and sensual pleasures. It may go

well or it may not. Nobody knows.


Exhibition Title : NEW INTIMACIES

Venue : XYZ collective (Tokyo)

Date : AUG 7 - SEP 4, 2016  (14:00 - 19:00)    open on Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sun


Artist :

Ei Arakawa (artist) + Sergei Tcherepnin (artist)

Fumio Inoue (CAMP) + Ayako Nagata (Picniic)

Lisa Jo (artist) + Nikolas Gambaroff (artist)

Kaoru Kan (artist) + Kazuhito Tanaka (artist)

COBRA (artist) + Yui Yaegashi (artist)

Katsuyuki Saiki (artist) + Emi Nisiwaki (artist)

Mizuki Takagi (olive) + Kazuyuki Takezaki (artist)

Puppies Puppies (artist) + Forrest Olivo (Contemporary Art Daily)

Jeffrey Rosen (gallerist) + Misako Rosen (gallerist)


Curated by Kaoru Kan and Kazuhito Tanaka

Hosted by Abstract Committee 2016 + XYZ collective

Graphic design by Kazumasa Tachibana and Miwa Komatsubara

Supported by Taka Ishii gallery / MISAKO & ROSEN / Maki Fine Arts / XYZ collective


Institutions, exhibitions, publications, and art criticism – the various mechanisms of the art world - all revolve around the individual style of the singular artist. The relationships between the artist and his/her peers seems to remain in the background. Questions arise. How could we know if two artists sharing a studio influence each other? How could their ideas emerge out of discussions at the dinner table? Or how could their perceptions be shaped by the mutual experience of traveling together?


 This exhibition invites nine couples. They are artists, gallerists, and curators. Many of the couples don’t collaborate regularly. Yes, they love each other, but they sometimes criticize each other too. In some occasions, they must compromise their wills for one another. They might even break up in the future. There’s so much complexity to a love relationship - what kind of particular “intimacy” could we locate between them?


 Today, we know what is happening, and what is being discussed around the world because of internet and smart phones. We can participate in the highly personal event of a friend who is far away as if it is happening right in front of our eyes. The relationships between people occur on a global scale, but “intimacy” is still a primal currency.


 The “intimacy” of two which is developed by spending everyday together. The “intimacy” of two as a result of emotional quarrel. The “intimacy” of communication behind the technological advancement. The “intimacy” of the struggle to understand your partner’s thought and art practice. This exhibition focuses on such exchanges between couples. The exhibition asks each couple to make artwork as a collaboration.


 A couple is a small unit, but its complexities exist in the history and emotional landscape of the relationship. Their artwork could claim a new standard in today’s highly speed information society. The couples will present unexpected values in this exhibition, and make them available toward the public. The possibilities of “new intimacies” are coming. It’s embarrassing to call this “love”, but this exhibition will discover it at last.