"Encounters",Tenri Japanese-German Institute, Cologne 2011

Exhibition concept:

Two artists (German – Japanese) in each case encounter one another in and through their works. Western and Eastern art traditions meet, the works revealing both what they share and what makes them different. Depending on the materials used, the forms and colours of the works and their aesthetic impact, the direct juxtaposition might evoke either an intriguing tension or a harmonious dialogue. It’s not always easy to tell here which artist comes from which cultural realm.

Excerpt from the foreword of the accompanying catalogue:

After a long preparation period and an exchange of ideas between all those involved, we now have the pleasure of presenting the results of the exhibition project "Encounters – Germany & Japan" in the form of an exhibition at the Tenri Japanisch-Deutsche Kulturwerkstatt and with this publication.

Encounters take place here on several levels: for one thing, the works by the participating artists are juxtaposed in pairs. They enter into a dialogue, complementing one another or at least displaying one or more points of aesthetic correspondence. Some similarities are obvious, while others are more subtle. By virtue of the unique aura they radiate, even some works in very disparate genres nonetheless seem to relate. This kinship transcends categories; nor does it end at the imaginary boundary between fine art and craftsmanship. It furthermore goes beyond cultural borders, a phenomenon we have tried to demonstrate with this exhibition. Ideally, the works begin to communicate with each other, and the viewer can stand by and watch this unfold, or even feel personally addressed by their dialogue.

On another level, many people have encountered one another in the course of this exhibition and its preparation – participating artists, visitors, supporters, helpers. The high degree of interpersonal and intercultural communication here would never have come about were it not for this project. Last but not least, the realization of the exhibition serves to promote better understanding between the cultures and their representatives. And with a little bit of luck, we can one day look forward to a continuation in Japan.

Cologne, April 2011

DeJa Group – organizational team for the "Encounters" exhibition
Andreas Hentrich
Tomoko Sato

left: Ursula Werner and Kiyonori Kado
right back: Daniel Hees and Mineo Kuroda
right front: Yuri Brodsky und Chiharu Koda

left: Thomas Kitzinger and Tami Ishida
middle and right: Ulla Ströhmann and Yuki Asano

left: Herbert Linden and Akihiro Isogai
middle: Andreas Hentrich and Ayuko Matsui
right: Heri Gahbler and Tomoko Sato

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