Swaying Calmly, Gazing Quietly: the new TOKAS exhibition


TOKAS exhibition “Swaying Calmly, Gazing Quietly”


From October 7th to November 12th 2023, the exhibition Swaying Calmly, Gazing Quietly will commemorate the partnership between Tokyo Arts and Space (TOKAS) and the Province of Quebec, with theme of cities and culture.

TOKAS is an arts center dedicated to the creation and promotion of contemporary artistic expression from Tokyo and supports a wide spectrum of artistic activities including crossover and experimental projects. Ever since it first opened in 2001, it has continued to collaborate with international artists, curators, arts centers, and cultural organizations to produce exhibitions and pioneer related programs.

TOKAS Project, which began in 2018, aims to shine a contemplative light on the arts, society, and various other themes from a multicultural perspective. In its sixth edition, this exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Quebec Government Office in Tokyo and the 5th anniversary of full-fledged exchange with the Province of Quebec, and it is centered on Quebec-based artists who have participated in TOKAS residency programs. The exhibition presents the works of four groups: Jean-Maxime Dufresne & Virginie Laganière, Jen Reimer & Max Stein, Michel Huneault, and Kokubun Yuko. Each of them explores the transformation of cities and the resulting adaptation of culture and environment.

The time the Quebec-based artists spent in Tokyo coincided with the runup to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, a period of major changes for the city and Japanese society as a whole. Each of them explored different aspects of this shift – the psychological struggles of individuals adapting to urbanized working environments, scenes that usually go unnoticed and unperceived due to familiarity but become visible when viewed from a somewhat detached vantage point, other scenes of the construction of massive breakwaters that seemingly symbolize a departure from nature, the subtleties of people’s emotions – quietly observing and gathering material from which they developed their works. Over the past five to ten years, we have all faced events that drastically disrupted both individual mentalities and society as a whole. Particularly, the locked-down period beginning in 2020 when the world came to a standstill highlighted the ways in which culture and environment imprinted on the body can subtly fluctuate and manifest as a state of cognitive dissonance.

Today, as the reopened world goes about its business as if nothing had happened, these works created by capturing and intertwining space, time, sound, emotion, and landscape may offer fresh awareness of what has fundamentally changed and what remains unchanged.

Discover here TOKAS project and the artists!


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