Ishu Han, Ulala Imai, Yoshiaki Kaihatsu, Elena Knox, Kosuke Nagata, Hiroyuki Oki, Yosuke Takayama, UJINO

Group Exhibition

"Echoes of Monologues"

Saturday, September 16, 2020 - Saturday, October 10, 2020

Ishu Han “ART LEAP 2019” Installation view in Kobe Art Village, 2020 ©Ishu Han photo by Nobutada Omote

We are excited to announce the upcoming exhibition entitled “Echoes of Monologues” by eight artists we represent. It opens on September 16th through October 10th, 2020.

At some point during the past half-year, the world-shaking outbreak of COVID-19 gave us a brief moment it would gradually settle down. However, at this time in September, over eight hundred thousand deaths and twenty-seven million infections worldwide are reported as if it would never converge but continues to threaten human beings.

Under the unprecedented circumstances, face masks that erase the facial expression become our daily essentials, and contacts of people and travels are restrained in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the internet connects people instantly through a monitor despite the time difference and geographical distance, unique characteristics of living things − a sense of touch, smell, and a feeling of the body temperature are completely interrupted. Whether you like it or not, the relationship with others is now minimized.

Meanwhile “Stay Home”, a slogan during the state of emergency period in Japan abruptly locked us indoors, and even anxiety is persistently blocking us from foreseeing the future, freedom for spending more time for a self-reflection became unexpectedly available to us. Drastic changes are inevitable in the various fields of economy, social activity, education, and private life, and it almost seems that the world would not return to where it was before.

During this peculiar time, to re-explore the joy of living, trust, and sense of purpose, the exhibition “Echoes of Monologues” shares another opportunity to contemplate and re-think about us and other ones.

To begin with, we introduce one of the emerging artists in the spotlight, Ishu HAN (b.1987), the Nissan Art Award 2020 Grand Prix winner. Originally shown at his large-scale solo exhibition at Kobe Art Village Center this past spring, his installation work is based on the extensive research focusing on the history of immigrants and the current landscape seen in the Kobe area. HAN embraced his experience in agricultural work with foreign technical intern trainees from the same area, vividly given the artist a sense of illusion when a vehicle carried spinach to harvest in the field. For the first time to present in the Kanto region, interweaving the artist’s own identity, the work poetically visualizes a sensitive linguistic relationship between the person concerned and the others. HAN has utilized daily objects along with his body and a personal view as a means of his artistic expression in the various art forms; video, installation, photography, painting sharing us different questions and confusion caused by the entangled relations of the society and individuals.

Yoshiaki Kaihatsu “The light art exhibition in Winterthur (swiss) Installation view, 2007 ©Yoshiaki Kaihatsu


Yoshiaki KAIHATSU (b.1966) who recently presented his large installation at the group exhibition “Now, it’s time to play” (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019), showcases his notable work Happo-en , the tea house made of polystyrene foam with a video work Interview (2001) played inside. The soft and light material mirrors the glorious spark of the small universe the traditional Japanese culture developed itself when a host and a guest meet, and the video humorously unfolds its contradiction− “This is an interview and also a monologue”.
The artist sometimes appears in a mole costume in his performances and often travels across the country for workshops. As his lifework, KAIHATSU continues to engage with his project in the affected areas from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

UJINO 《Plywood City Stories》, 2018 ©UJINO


UJINO (b.1964) has previously participated in the numerous solo/group exhibitions and curated shows in and out of the country with many international biennials. His sound sculptures, videos, and performances are well-known for utilizing mass-produced items such as home appliances, automobiles, and musical instruments to reconstruct into the modern orchestra. The exhibition features his new Plywood City Stories , a series of monologues narrated with the Japanese-English accent the artist speaks. Followed by his previous work Lives in Japan,the familiar home appliances and living-space play pivotal roles to show his roots;a strange feeling evoked by a CRT-type television sitting on the tatami mat, sheer and industrial looking Tupperware suddenly took over Japanese households, and the shadow found in ceramics and lacquerware admiring the Japanese esthetics expressed in “In Praise of Shadows”. His artwork attempts critically to re-form the way of contemporary living environment in Japan immersed in the waves of foreign culture to coexist.

Elena Knox《The Host (from Actroid Series II)》, 2020 ©Elena Knox


Currently participating in the Yokohama Triennale, an Australian artist Elena KNOX (b.1975) cuts through various art forms of digital media, performance, sculpture, sound, music, and installation. From the previous showcase at the exhibition “Future and the Arts” (Mori Art Museum, 2019-2020), her latest iteration of the Actroid series The Host in which a female character gives uncanny gaze to the audience will be presented in the exhibition. As an embodiment of her practice to leap over the ultimate loneliness in a distant world, the series played by a Japan-made advanced AI robot as a protagonist explores new perspectives towards the roles of identity, convictions, gender, personality, unrealistic or unworldly presence, and the stripped-back social situations in the unknown future where the science technology is far developed. Her artwork is in increasing demand internationally and KNOX is also invited in the upcoming Bangkok Art Biennale later this year.

Kosuke Nagata《Translation Zone》2019 ©Kosuke Nagata


Kosuke NAGATA (b.1990) focuses on the basic components− social structure, media technology, and perceptive system that we utilize to understand various matters today. One of his latest works Translation Zone (2019) to be showcased at the exhibition deals with the ambiguity that emerged from the process to distinguish one thing from the other. The video shows the artist himself making various international cuisines with local ingredients he finds, expressing difficulty in translating words to the equivalent in the foreign languages as well as flavorful creativity driven by mistranslating words and culture as a chaotic blend. His work reveals complex shapes of our ways of thinking and seeing influenced by digital media and various backgrounds represented by the language and culture. Furthermore, it also exemplifies that such ambiguities and mixtures flexibly transform our minds and perception at all times.

Hiroyuki Oki 《Melody of Buddy Matsumae》1992 ©Hiroyuki Oki, Courtesy of Image Forum


Since the ’80s during his study majored in architecture at the University of Tokyo, Hiroyuki OKI (b.1964) has been one of the rare artists who continuously explores through moving images for deep thinking to grasp, affirm, and update the world we live in today. From 1991, he splits his time in Tokyo and Kochi prefecture, where his early key works were successively created. In 1996, OKI won the NETPAC Prize at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival with his work HEAVEN-6-BOX . The exhibition revisits his lifework Matsumae-kun series (1989-ongoing, created in every January) and presents a 16mm film Melody for Buddy Matsumae-kun which is said to be a masterpiece and, shot only for 10 days in Matsumae-cho, Hokkaido in 1992, and May IV just filmed in Tokyo, Okayama, and Kochi in this May, as a part of his May series (2004- ongoing, created in May every year.) People, landscapes, and light captured by the artist’s eyes are composed in a diary format that is unedited but precisely calculated, and projected along with a transition of his thought.

Yosuke Takayama 《Untitled(The kiss #8)》 2018 ©︎Yosuke Takayama


Yosuke TAKAYAMA (b.1980) centers his artistic foundation in the making of the traditional wood sculpture and continuously strives to explore the notion of sculpture in the contemporary time by creating wood engraving and relief works recognized nearly as the two-dimensional facade with deliberately presented pedestals. The exhibition introduces the new iteration of his Kiss series continued from 2017. With his symbolic gestures− a wild trace of engraving left by a chainsaw and watery coating overly dripped on the wooden surface display embodiment of his awareness towards the materials, the new work explored by his emotions and personal memory attempts to project the current “hibernate mode” we’re experiencing.
In conjunction, his large-scale relief work created at a residency in Kochi prefecture will be showcased on the ground floor at ISETAN MENS Shinjuku store from September 23rd.



Crisp toast with butter, colorful fruits on a plate, a stuffed koala and a bear overlaying each other, famous figures from anime and movies− these are all the motifs seen in the oil paintings created by a promising, much-talked-about artist Ulala IMAI (b.1982). Her painting is unified swift and flawless brushstrokes with a full of odd tension and stillness, the harmony of intimacy and exhilarating presence invites viewers to experience her cosmos. In the exhibition, we’re grateful to present nearly 20 pieces of works freshly painted by the artist. The ordinary items from our everyday life transformed into her artistic expression are invigorating, and it blows off stagnation amid the COVID-19 pandemic and offers us the pleasure of living and more hope in pursuing the future.
In 2021, to celebrate the publication of the book compiling her works, PARCO MUSEUM TOKYO, Nonaka-Hill in Los Angeles, ANOMALY will consecutively open her solo exhibition.

“Echoes of Monologues” by these talented artists includes their latest works and some are shown for the first time in the public. The exhibition displays the echoes reflecting the plurality and complexity of our thinking with further potentials to expand.
We look forward to welcoming you to ANOMALY.

Notification of precautions and requests

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of visitors, artists, staff, and the community in compliance with the government’s health guidelines, please take a moment for the following requests upon your visit.

  • To avoid three C’s (Closed and Crowded place, Close contact), please refrain from visiting the gallery in large groups.
  • Visitors are asked to wear masks and sanitize hands before entering the gallery. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance.
  • Please refrain from visiting the gallery if you have symptoms such as a fever (37.5°C or higher) or cough.

Our staff will have temperatures taken before coming to work to check health conditions every day, and will guide you by adopting frequent hand hygiene and wearing masks. The entire space will be regularly ventilated and we will disinfect the high-touch areas.

Please check our website or SNS for the latest information about opening hours, as we may change it or close the gallery in unpredictable circumstances.

We appreciate your cooperation.