NYCoo gallery held an evening of music and fine art to accompany their silent auction on 19 March. There was a bustling mixture of artists and aficionados and I met/hassled a lot of interesting people. Again, I deplored my 日本語 deficiency and there were so many questions I wish I could have asked. じゃおない, as I believe they say in Osaka.
All forms were available for bidding, from large oil paintings to tiny sculptures. Among the teapots, lanterns, and ceramics, exquisite antiques mingled seamlessly with modern Japanese craftsmanship. My sister and I went on an imaginary shopping spree where we could casually outbid anyone for one-of-a-kind ceramic dishes or paintings of cigar-smoking rabbits (more on that in a moment).
I recognised some familiar pieces by Toshiko Tochihara (whose solo exhibition I covered last month), and managed to snap a better photo of my favourite diptych (right).
From past to future, I also spoke to an impeccably dressed artist who I believe will be exhibiting in June – unfortunately my lack of Japanese meant that I don’t have better details.
She showed me two pieces of her own jewellery: a ring and pair of earrings, both crafted in a feminine, almost Victorian style. She also gave props to her hometown of Tokyo and it’s cultural heritage to the nation of Japan, and clearly has a lot of love for the great city.
By far one of the most intriguing artists on display was young Mikiko Kanno. The Kobe native and Kyoto University-trained painter bases her work on curious dreams involving a cast of rabbits, often engaging in some mischief. She was very eloquent about her work and how the rabbits were so inexplicable yet amusing to her. The vivid and colourful images are plucked exactly as they appear during her sleep, and therefore depict such surreal detail only possible in the dream world.
One piece that you can see better here on her site is the smoking rabbit mentioned above, and one that my sister absolutely fell in love with. I grabbed this shot of Mikiko in front of it; check out her site to experience more of her work.
The musical part of the evening began with accomplished flutist and composer Nobuko Miyazaki, who played as the bidders made their final selections.
She switched to piano, accompanying singer Francesca Drecker in a selection of romantic songs. Medical student Francesca made a standout performance, with my personal favourite being her cover of Des’ree’s Kissing You.
I would highly recommend checking out Nobuko’s site and Myspace for the extensive and varied projects she is involved in. I am waiting to hear if Francesca has any of her singing available online as well.
The evening was fun from beginning to end, and it was a real privilege to view such exquisite pieces up close – especially the Edo period antiques. It was also particularly great to meet other young women working hard to live and be creative in the city, no mean feat for those who have lived here.
All makes me wish my own artsy skills were up to the challenge for their OpenArt 2010 competition!