Kansai Noguchi’s Inaugurates THE SHOPHOUSE’s otherthings space with ‘EX TERRA’

Also featuring various works from other artists such as Steve Harrison, Bobby Mills and Masaya Kushino.

On the last weekend of June, Hong Kong-based art gallery, THE SHOPHOUSE officially unveiled its otherthings space on Sun Chun Street. Refurbished from an 1890s Hakka-stye building, the new location inaugurated its first exhibition — a refreshing and intimate solo showcase by contemporary Japanese artist, Kansai Noguchi.

Entitled EX TERRA, the exhibit comprises Noguchi’s fairly recent series, “JOMON Yakishime” as well as a new body of ceramic works under the name of “APOLLO.” Both series were born from the artist’s fascination with ancient times. “APOLLO” started from Noguchi wanting to create pieces that remind him of rough lunar surfaces, walls with peeled-off paints as well as objects with signs of weathering.

The name of the series was not only borrowed from Apollo, the Greek god of the sun but specifically the lore where he was responsible for carrying the sun to earth riding on a golden chariot. “I wanted to get away from the clean and perfect aesthetics of machine manufacturing,” says Noguchi, adding “I made this new series using a manual pottery wheel as opposed to electric, just so I can attain a more rustic and handmade look-and-feel.”

“I wanted to get away from the clean and perfect aesthetics of machine manufacturing.”

Comparatively, the “JOMON Yakishime” series draws inspiration from ancient Jomon earthenwares found in Japan (c. 14,000 – 300 BC). Similarly, Noguchi was drawn to the potteries’ raw and expressive forms, in which he combined with his signature ink work — creating a distinct neo-classical aesthetic.

Noguchi’s love for rusticism isn’t only manifested in his ceramic works but extends to his home, which is currently under renovation. He explains that he had specifically hired construction workers who specializes in old Japanese-style housing to match his vision for his new home, which will include work and showcase space for his artworks.

In other words, the newly-unveiled otherthings space is perfect for Noguchi. From “JOMON Yakishime” to “APOLLO,” both bodies of work are in perfect harmony with its exhibition space. Original elements such as the front door, skylight and wooden staircase were kept as closely as possible to their original state. Now with subtle modern refurbishments, the historical address on Sun Chun Street exudes a sense of neo-classicism that echoes Noguchi Kansai’s work.

otherthings is touted by its organizers as an ever-evolving atelier that’s “guided by the enduring influence and collaborative spirit of its network of friends, designers, artists, and artisans” and this ethos pervades the newly-opened space. Throughout the site, various pieces of work from the likes of Steve Harrison, Bobby Mills, Joy BCDirty Teddy Gallery and Masaya Kushino can be spotted.

Kansai Noguchi’s EX TERRA is currently on view at otherthings by THE SHOPHOUSE until July 28, 2024. The pieces are available for inquiry and sale via the otherthings’ official webstore.

otherthings by the shophouse
31 Sun Chun St,
Tai Hang
Hong Kong

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