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MINAMI MIYAJIMA The challenge named "JITSUZAISEI".

Suddenly, a crowd of squares, the peculiar word “JITSUZAISEI,” and a clunky logo are all over social media. A gallery project started by an artist in her 20s is shaking up the Osaka art scene.

The atelier and gallery opened on April 4, 2021, at 4:44:44. The location will remain undisclosed until the end of June. Only those who supported the project through crowdfunding will be able to know the address. There were 40 artists who gathered for the opening group exhibition, and yet the location is a secret. Looking at the photos on social media, the design is quite aggressive. There’s even a bar counter surrounded by the artists’ art. What the heck is this? As a person who wants to support independent artists, I can’t miss this event. We interviewed MINAMI MIYAJIMA, the founder of this project and owner of JITSUZAISEI.

(Interviewed and photographed by Yoshihiro Taniguchi and Junko Sasanuki, photos courtesy of JITSUZAISEI)

 

MINAMI MIYAJIMA

Born in Osaka in 1997 and currently lives there. Likes figures and inorganic materials. Dropped out of Osaka University of Arts in three months. Since then she has been working in the fields of illustration, graphic design and contemporary art. In February 2020, she received 12,000 likes on twitter, which attracted a lot of attention, and she was also invited to speak at a marketing seminar event and received more media exposure. Her main concept is objectivity. She wants to express abstract visibility while always facing her creation with an avant-garde attitude. Her goal is to have her own brand. 4 April, 2021. Presides over “JITSUZAISEI”, an atelier and gallery in Osaka.

https://minamimiyajima.com/

 

The theme of my paintings is “objectivity”.

I’ve loved drawing since I was about 4 years old, and drawing was the only thing I got praised for. I went to an art high school and kept trying to draw, but I didn’t get much appreciation for it. Around the age of 17, I started having trouble with my relationships, and I found myself drawing only squares. I liked buildings and architecture to begin with, so I found it soothing to look at them. When I drew squares, I was able to look at my anxious feelings objectively and become calm. It was like I could become nothing, and at that time I didn’t think that what I was drawing was art. I thought I was just putting my painful feelings on paper. One day, there was an exhibition that only high school students could enter, and since it was the last time I was in high school, I entered a square, and to my surprise, I won an award. I thought, “There are people who see this as art. I felt that it was important to have a third party look at my work. I realized that my art and people who are not confident in themselves can also feel that “it’s not like that”, and I have been drawing squares ever since. I went to art school, but quit after three months because I didn’t fit in, and I had an unfounded confidence that I could go as an outsider. I think I got an earlier start than most people of my generation, and I have no regrets.

The theme is “objectivity. The endlessly repeated square motif.

I participated in the art fair “UNKNOWN ASIA” in 2018. It was my first time to compete with just a square, and I received a reviewer award from two people, Mr. Shirakawa of BEAMS and Mr. Okada of Kuroneko Cube. I was happy because it was the first time for me to have my work properly reviewed by adults. It was also great to be able to connect with so many artists.

Exhibited at “UNKNOWN ASIA” in 2018. Taniguchi’s review can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RIGkoM

Social networking and crowdfunding changed me.

After that, I had two solo exhibitions, and one day, I got a buzz on Twitter. I tweeted something like, “I’m an artist who draws endless squares, but I’m not a drug addict. For some reason, the tweets were popular, and I got tens of thousands of likes and thousands of followers at once.That gave me a lot of confidence.That led to people wanting to buy my pictures, and fans who would definitely buy my goods when they came out.

 

I was working at a company until 2020, but when I lost my job at Corona and had to quit, I started crowdfunding. The return was to make and sell merchandise.

I set a goal of 200,000 yen. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to raise even 50,000 yen, but in the end, I succeeded in raising almost 1 million yen (500%).

 

The reason I decided to create a gallery was largely due to the influence of Atelier Sangatsu (a contemporary art gallery in Nakazakicho, Osaka). I was introduced to the gallery by one of my senior students, and while participating in several exhibitions, I became close with the owner, Mr. Hara, and ended up working part-time at the gallery. I learned how the gallery worked by watching what Mr. Hara was doing, and asked him for advice on various matters.I didn’t have any confidence in my ability to curate at all, but I began to think that it would be nice to have a place that was both my atelier and gallery, and I looked at properties in Nakazaki-cho, but the rent was too expensive.

I was lucky enough to be able to rent this place as well, at first I was planning to use it as my atelier, but because of Corona, the rental fee for the gallery went up, and the studio at the university was locked down by Corona. For artists, that’s a loss of opportunity, isn’t it? It’s frustrating to lose a place to express themselves because they don’t have the money or space to create good works, so I came up with the idea to turn this place into a rental space.

This area (secret location) is also changing like Nakazakicho a few years ago, with more and more old houses being renovated and new cafes and beer stands being built. I hope my gallery will be a catalyst for the revival of this area.

I decided to try crowdfunding again, this time with the idea of creating a gallery. The goal is to raise funds, but more than anything, crowdfunding is a great way to build and gather a strong fan base, so I decided to give it a try. People tend to have a stereotypical image of crowdfunding as a way to beg for money, so I want to change that image.

I also wanted to make people aware of this space through crowdfunding. In order to do that, I thought it was important to have a mechanism, and I came up with the idea of making the location private. It’s impossible, isn’t it? Isn’t that too aggressive? lol. Because it was a Corona disaster and not many people could gather there, I thought that only selected people could go there, like a treasure hunt. The treasure is the works on exhibit, though. I thought it would be interesting to have people come like that. When we started with this idea, it became a hot topic, and we received a lot of press coverage.

A white cube suddenly appears in a residential area. At night, blue LEDs light up.

I told the designer all my crazy ideas for the interior and asked him to do it. At first, it was supposed to be just a plain white paint job, but I wanted the walls on the second floor to be my design, and I wanted the people who saw the place to not know what it was. I’m a big fan of Tadao Ando. lol. I’m a really fan of installations, so I wanted the space to feel like a museum, so I had the floor removed to create an atrium.

Interior view of JITSZAISEI, above) Looking up the pure white atrium, you can see the bar surrounded by squares. (Bottom) The gallery space looking down from the bar. The space looks attractive with installations.

The name “JITSUZAISEI” is written in Chinese characters and means “existence. The theme of my work is “objectivity,” so the word I came up with was ” existence. The kanji is heavy, so I changed it to English as “JITUZAISEI. I wanted to create a place where people could bring in and share various ideas and ideas of ” existence.

The bar on the second floor is a communication space. You can’t go out in Corona, and I wanted people to feel the importance of communication again. It’s good for collectors and artists to talk to each other, and for artists to talk to each other. This could be the start of a new exhibition. I thought it had a lot of potential. This is also similar to the style of Atelier Sangatsu.

A bar counter surrounded by self-created art.

The target amount of the crafan is 444,444 yen, the start date is set for April 4, and there are 40 artists for the opening exhibition. You are also very particular about the number “4”.

I call myself a “square artist”. The opening will take place at 4:44:44 on April 4th. and only people who participated in the crafan can come. The location will be announced 4 months after the opening. I thought that if I kept focusing on various things, there would be people who would be interested.

In the end, we ended up with about 1.3 million yen, because we were running for 44 days. lol. The supporters were also very enthusiastic and gave me 4444 yen. I’m glad to feel that everyone is excited about it.

 

 

JITSUZAISEI Crowdfunding reaches 1,364,444 yen with 221 supporters!

https://camp-fire.jp/projects/view/373174

The group exhibition of 40 artists was wonderfully curated, with a mix of famous and unknown artists, but each with their own unique presence. How did you gather them?

 

I was the one who approached them, and we planned it in two months. I had envisioned a group exhibition of about 10 people, and I thought I would get rejected anyway, but when I asked more of my favorite artists to exhibit, almost all of them accepted. The reason was because they wanted to support me, and I feel like I’ve come this far thanks to everyone’s kindness. I don’t have any of my works on display. This is my work.

 

It was 4:44 p.m. on April 4th. It was raining on the day of the opening. People lined up to count down, but we couldn’t make any noise because it was a private house, so we counted down in whispers. lol. There were people who came all the way from Tokyo.

40 artists participated in the openning exhibition. In the upper left corner of the picture is the work of the mentor,Mr Hara from Atelier Sangatsu.

It’s far beyond the imagination of what a 20-something artist can do. It’s so complete, and there’s no one who can curate something like this. Your activities themselves are interesting, and the energy you’re putting into this space is unbelievable. I think this is the birth of the gallery of our time, where people can respond to the play of multiple layers of mystery, spread it through social media, and support it through crafans.

 

I put out a call for members on social media, asking if they would like to join me in running the gallery, and a lot of people showed up. They are all in their twenties, the same age as me, and they are all working, but they really want to be involved. If someone wants to try curating, I’d like for them to try it as an experience, and for it to be a place where there are benefits for everyone. I’d be happy if all kinds of people came here, and if more and more people started to like art here. I hope it will also help revitalize this area.

Opening exhibition featuring famous, unknown, and talented young artists.

It’s hard enough to work hard for self-realization, but MIYAJIMA’s actions are always thinking about what’s good for her fellow artists who are engaged in expressive activities. I’m sure this attitude will attract the sympathy of many more people.

 

I think I still have to work hard as an artist, though, since I’m not successful yet. I want to do only honest and interesting things. I hope I can make money while having fun. If I want to do something, I can do it through crafan. I’ve suggested the idea of crafan to young artists who don’t have any money and succeeded twice, so I think I can give some advice to people of the same generation.

 

The opening group exhibition is over, and Noriko Miyake’s solo exhibition has started at JITSUZAISEI.

 

It’s beyond erotic. I found out about Miyake through Atelier Sangatsu, and I thought, “Wow, she’s cool! and became a big fan. I liked her so much that I made her an offer straight away, and she said yes, and now I can have a solo exhibition. It’s like a dream.

 

Noriko Miyake Exhibition -Life Long- 5/6→5/20 □JITSUZAISEI

Norko Myake’s facebook

The gallery is now manned with fluorescent female vagina objects. The cloud funding has ended, but those who purchase Miyake’s work online will be given the location of the space. The buzz around “JITSUZAISEI” seems to be continuing.

 

Click here to go to the sales page

https://bit.ly/3o9Vsrt

JITSUZAISEI HP

https://www.jitsuzaisei.com/

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