What about Japan

Curated by Judith Leysner & Rona Mathlener

What about Japan?’ explores and verifies the borders of Japan’s cultural identity as experienced by young Japanese and Dutch artists. Souterrain Amsterdam presents the multi-interpretations of this question and shows the inspiration and fascination for Japan. She will search for differences in encountering and interpreting visual arts within the Western and Japanese culture.


Sayaka Abe @ Ignite Amsterdam 25 - Presentation on identity and migration During Ignite Amsterdam at Mediamatic artists, designers and other makers get 5 minutes to present their passions. The next Ignite Amsterdam will be held on March 27. Get your tickets online. Source: souterrainamsterdam.nl

Met: Sayaka Abe

What does the artist think of Japan and which associations come up without losing their own identity? Can artists bridge the cultural differences between the Japanese and Western society? Do the Dutch always stand at the edge of the Japanese culture or can they break into their body of thought? How is Japanese art ‘read’ and understood in the idea of the Western artist? Where do stereotypes start and where do they stop? Can visual art create a new perception outside Japan’s traditional archetypical icons?

In rememberence of the recently deceased Japanese artist Shinkichi Tajiri the documentary Tajiri’s Labyrint (2000), made by Walther Grotenhuis and Cinta Forger, will be shown as part of the exhibition.


Sayaka Abe (JP), Reiko Kanazawa (JP), Judith Leysner (NL), Sachi Miyachi (JP), Franziskus Nakajima (NL), Rico Satoko (JP), Q Hisashi Shibata (JP), Aram Tanis (NL), Akiko Yanagimoto (JP)