Asami Kiyokawa, , 2016. Book, embroidery thread, 14.8 × 21 cm. Courtesy of the artist. ©AsamiKiyokawa



21 November 2018—15 January 2019
Al Hamriyah Studios, Al Hamriyah, Sharjah

Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) presents Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Running from Wednesday, 21 November 2018 to Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at the foundation’s Al Hamriyah Studios, Sharjah, this exhibition will highlight book design in Japan from the early 1900s to the present through innovative exhibition methods, bringing together typography, page design and photographs combining text and images.

In its exploration of the relationship between art and books, the exhibition will not only examine Japanese books from the perspective of graphic design, but it will also consider the book as a comprehensive intellectual object, one that includes content, materials and bindings as well as design elements such as illustrations and font styles. In addition, the exhibition aims for viewers to sense and consciously experience the book as a ‘poetic space’ as they interact with the books on view.

This eight-week exhibition comprises the six sections listed below:

• Books created in the 1930s and 1940s with unique materials such as umbrella-paper, bagworm moths and edible seaweed
• Photobooks containing photographs by Ikko Narahara of Piazza San Marco in Venice, with the books becoming an installation that recreates an architectural space
• Books as satisfying objects, presenting varied ideas for 2D and 3D designs
• Books becoming art and artists creating works with a book as their theme, including works by artist, graphic designer and book designer Shinro Ohtake; artist and photographer Asami Kiyokawa, who creates objects by adding embroidery to books; and poet Gōzō Yoshimasu, who returns to books the primal elements of his words
• Pre- and postwar magazine designs and washi paper sample books that highlight iconic designer Hiromu Hara’s deconstructivist approach
• Photobooks that become an exhibition space

Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space will be accompanied by three days of public programming. The first day of public programming on Wednesday, 21 November will include a solo performance by participating artist Yoshimasu at 7:30 pm in Al Hamriyah Studios following the exhibition’s official opening at 6:30 pm, while the following day will see a collaborative performance by Yoshimasu and Emirati poet Hassan Al Najjar at 6:00 pm in Poetry House, Al Mureijah, Sharjah. The exhibition’s curator, Yuko Hasegawa, will also give a tour of the exhibition at 5:00 pm on Friday, 23 November in Al Hamriyah Studios.

Culture Convenience Club Co., Ltd. will organise the selection and presentation of the books, and Yoshiaki Irobe from Nippon Design Center will execute the design of the exhibition space. Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space is the first in a three-year-long series of exhibitions to be curated by Yuko Hasegawa for Sharjah Art Foundation.

This event is free and open to the public.

To learn more, visit sharjahart.org.

About Yuko Hasegawa

Yuko Hasegawa is Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2016–present) and Professor in Curatorial Studies at the Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts (2016–present). She is also Artistic Director of the Inujima Art House Project (2011–present). Previously she was Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2006–2016) and Chief Curator and Founding Artistic Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (1999–2006).

She has curated major exhibitions at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, Paris (2018); 7th International Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2017); Centre Pompidou-Metz, France (2017); Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2016); ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2016); Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (2011); Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2010); Singapore Art Museum (2010) and 29th São Paulo Biennale (2010), among others.

Her extensive publications include her essay ‘Performativity in the Work of Female Japanese Artists In the 1950s–1960s and the 1990s’ in Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, 2010) and Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa: SANAA (Phaidon Press, 2006).

Hasegawa is a member of the Asian Art Council at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2008–present) and the International Arts Advisory Council for the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, US (2001–present). She has served on the jury for the MAXXI Bulgari Prize, Rome (2017–2018); Nasher Prize, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, US (2015–2018); Hugo Boss Asia Art Award (2013, 2015, 2017) and 48th Venice Biennale (1999), among others.

She studied law at Kyoto University and received an MA in Art History and Aesthetics from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Born in Hyogo, Japan in 1957, she currently lives and works in Tokyo.

About Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators, and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.

Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional and international developments in contemporary art. The foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and educational programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres. A growing collection reflects the foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world.

Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors and individual patrons.

Media Contact

Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa
+971 (0) 6 5444113