Art Jameel and Japan Foundation host Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s first regional show - GulfToday

Art Jameel and Japan Foundation host Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s first regional show

Art Jameel 2

An installation from Tsuyoshi Hisakado.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Art Jameel, the independent organisation that supports artists and creative communities, has announced a collaboration with Japan Foundation to present one of Japan’s fastest-rising contemporary artists.

Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s first exhibition in the Middle East and South Asia will be held at Jameel Arts Centre spaces at Al Jaddaf. The solo exhibition (May 4 – Sept. 24) is titled Polite Existence and focuses on large-scale conceptual installations that span techniques and materials including sound, light, computer programming, sculpture and drawing. It takes inspiration from the laws of physics and mathematics and showcases Hisakado’s multi-form practice, questioning the order of space, time and other invisible forces that inform and shape our daily lives. Art Jameel’s collaboration with Japan Foundation is a year-long exchange programme that pairs upcoming independent curator-writer Anna Bernice delos Reyes (UAE) with Yu Iseki, Curator at Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan.

The curatorial research programme and exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Japan (2022). Art Jameel expresses a long-standing interest in facilitating cultural exchange between Japan and the Gulf, from the ‘Journey to Japan’ artists’ research trips (2015), a collaboration with Crossway Foundation, to the annual Hayy Matsuri festival at Hayy Jameel (see later), supported by the Japanese Consulate in Jeddah.

Nora Razian, Deputy Director and Head of Exhibitions and Programmes at Art Jameel, said: “Part of Art Jameel’s core strategy is to work with international artists to present their first major showcase in the Middle East and South Asia, alongside fostering curatorial development in the region and beyond.


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“Our partnership with the Japan Foundation is centered on a curatorial exchange, supporting curatorial knowledge production in both the UAE and Japan. We selected early-career curator Anna Bernice delos Reyes to work in collaboration with Ibaraki-based curator Yu Iseki, to develop this ambitious solo exhibition of Tsuyoshi Hisakado, one of Japan’s rising artists.”

Tomoaki Shimane, Director, Visual Arts Section of the Japan Foundation, said: “It is our great pleasure to have this collaborative project with Art Jameel in the UAE. A year ago, we planted together the seeds of curatorial exchange with young curators from each side, nurtured them carefully, and made a flower bloom in the exhibition with Tsuyoshi Hisakado, one of the promising artists of Japan at the Jameel Arts Centre.

Art Jameel 1 Anna Bernice delos Reyes is a curator and writer.

“We are very thrilled to see his sensitive, minimal, but also full-scale and beautiful creation corresponding to the light, wind, and sound that he experienced last autumn during his first visit to the UAE. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our partner, Art Jameel, and hope that many people in the UAE will enjoy this show, which is certainly one fruit of our cooperation.”

The exhibition is accompanied by an introductory conversation between the artist and exhibition curators in the Jameel Lobby on May 3. Hisakado (b.1981) lives and works in Kyoto, Japan, and is one of Japan’s leading contemporary artists. His work has been featured in various exhibitions, including Practice of Spiral, a solo exhibition at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (2020), the Hawai’i Triennial 2022, 58th Venice Biennale 2019 and Aichi Triennale 2016. He has been awarded the Mercedes-Benz Art Scope 2018-2020 and the Audience Award at the Nissan Art Award 2015, among others.

Anna Bernice delos Reyes is a curator, writer, and communications strategy specialist based in Dubai and Berlin. She co-founded Sa Tahanan Co., a grassroots arts collective platforming Filipino creatives in the Gulf and beyond. At Berlin-based agency Send/Receive, she works with museums, galleries, artists, architects and other cultural organisations on communications, research and public relations.

Her most recent curatorial projects include In Response to Solastalgia (Maisan15), After the Beep (Satellite), and Sa Tahanan Exhibition 01 (Alserkal Avenue). She has written for Vice, Global Art Daily, and The National. Her previous institutional collaborations and engagements in the UAE include Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, 421, Art Dubai and NYUAD Art Gallery. Originally from Manila, Anna Bernice studied sociology, performance and contemporary art at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Yu Iseki was assistant curator of the 2005 Yokohama Triennale, curator at the Shiseido Gallery from 2006 to 2014, and exhibition coordinator at the 2014 Yokohama Triennale. He has served in a curator of the Contemporary Art Center at Art Tower Mito since 2014. In 2018, he served as co-curator of Architectural Ethnography at the Japan Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

One of the first contemporary arts institutions in Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre presents curated solo and group exhibitions, drawn from the Art Jameel Collection and through regional and international collaborations. The Centre is a 10,000-square metre, three-storey, multi-disciplinary space designed by UK-based practice Serie Architects. The building is punctuated by seven gardens, designed by landscape architect Anouk Vogel, which aim to reflect local and global desert biomes. Sitting alongside is the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park, designed by waiwai, and a collaboration between Art Jameel and Dubai Holding.

Art Jameel supports artists and creative communities. Founded and supported by the Jameel family philanthropies, it is headquartered in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and works globally. The Japan Foundation is an incorporated administrative agency supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that implements international cultural exchange in the fields of the arts and cultural exchange, Japanese-language education overseas, as well as Japanese studies and global partnerships programmes.

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