Makoto Taniguchi
10 Oct - 7 Nov 2015



AISHONANZUKA is pleased to present first solo exhibition with Makoto Taniguchi in Hong Kong.
Makoto Taniguchi was born in Tokyo in 1982 and completed studies in Intermedia Art at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts. Past exhibitions include Art Award Tokyo in 2007, neoneo Part 1 [Men] in 2009 (Takahashi Collection Hibiya, Tokyo), Daughters of the Lonesome Isle in 2012 (sprout curation, Tokyo), The Powe of Manga : Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori in 2013(MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART TOKYO), Young Pretty Girls in Art History in 2014 (Aomori Museum of Art / Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art / Iwami Art Museum) and solo exhibition Ano kono iru basho wo sagashite (2005-) in 2012 (SUNDAY, Tokyo), Untitled in 2014 (NANZUKA, Tokyo)

Taniguchi’s works are based on the imagery of girls in Japan as they appear as characters in comics and anime, and as heartthrobs and idols. These images of girls, passed down steadily to Taniguchi since his youth in the 1980s, are acknowledged as a common, general occurrence within contemporary Japanese society. Despite the repeated cultivation of these images as encoded forms whose origins are found in currency circulation and consumption, they evoke within the viewer the feeling of a vivid, living presence. Taniguchi reiterates a dialogue with this imagery, continuing the discussion in terms of the relationship between real existence born out of “strong feelings” and “emotional involvement”, and the act of painting.
Taniguchi’s paintings, using acrylic sheets and mirrors, are some of his strongest works, bringing the efforts of his studies to fruition. The two images, one reflected in the mirror and one painted on the acrylic sheet, express the distance the artist senses between the cognitive experience and that which exists. We are unable to make out the image of the girl reflected in the mirror from straight on. Further, that image would cease to exist without the deformed image in front of it, which seems to be melting away. Coming face to face with this piece, we realize that we can never get any closer to the girl that lives in the world of the mirror. At the same time, however, we also realize that as a dialogue with the viewer the girl in the mirror will exist for eternity. Like a fleeting yet endless journey, lyrical and sweet, the artist repeatedly questions the eternal.

The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception on 10th October from 16:00-19:00.

AISHONANAZUKA 將於香港舉行首次谷口真人的個人展覽。

谷口真人於1982年生於東京,畢業於東京藝術大學美術研究所主修跨媒體藝術。過去曾參與展覽包括2007年東京藝術獎,2009年 neoneo 第一部 [男] (Takahashi Collection Hibiya,東京),2012年 孤島之女(sprout curation,東京),2013年 漫畫力量:手塚治虫與石之森章太郎(東京都現代美術館,東京),2014年 美少女之美術史(青森縣立美術館/靜岡縣立美術館/島根市縣立石見美術館),個人展覽包括2012年 Ano kono iru basho wo sagashite (2005-) (SUNDAY, 東京)及2014年 無題(NANZUKA,東京)。





Article for Makoto Taniguchi works / Dominique Chen

Makoto Taniguchi
“lovable” : on the sentiment of wishing to remember

Makoto Taniguchi’s girls depicted in his mirror pieces have bumpy surfaces with thick layers of paint and thus their facial expressions are barely readable; but their faces, reflected in the mirrors, are slick and wearing a peaceful smile. If this order was reversed, with polished surface and bumpy back, the work would have fallen into a psychological cliché of a pultaceous pathos swirling under a neat surface. But Taniguchi’s structure, on the contrary, contrasts the faces that are distorted like thick bark, with the inner faces that lively represent the empathic nature of the subject.

We might consider this as a sort of Idealism, but more interestingly, we can notice that the older the piece is, the thicker the superficial paint is, so the newer pieces present less gap between its two sides. The viewer’s cognitive cost to interpret the work lowers with greater contrast, and with fewer gap, one’s optical effort to differentiate the two sides get more active. Maybe with each series, the works’ concept retrocedes, and its affect comes more naturally to the foregrounds.

It is easy to imagine that this author’s point of view towards these girls might appear quite “motherly” for today’s women, who are constantly inundated with massive marketing information that put almost imperative pressure to cover up the external and to be cool. But at the same time, you can feel a masculine aspiration, almost prayer-like, to wish for this way of things. This work is characterized by such duality of its two antagonizing points of view: one that takes a closer look for a substantial observation from the inside of the subject, and the other that beholds like a fatherly god from a distance.

This is why Taniguchi’s girls are chronological snapshots of the tension between their internal and external aspects, holding presage of movements, as if they are autonomous beings. The artist’s position of giving up the control of the subjects queerly seems to represent his authentic affection towards them, as if he is dealing with flesh-and-blood humans.

The Chinese character 愛 (which is normally translated as “love”) is composed of 3 different parts: 旡 represents a man looking back, 心 representing the mind, and 夂 signifies the human feet. All combined, 愛 depicts a person’s emotion that wish to look back while slowly walking. To this extent, 可愛 (Kawaii in Japanese, Kě’ài in Chinese), often translated as “cute” , and which became an international word nowadays, literally means “lovable”. Taking this etymology into account, 可愛 is a feeling that resembles a sigh uttered when we are confronted with the ephemerality of this world that is always swinging between memory and oblivion. If we can perceive this wish for remembering the passing liveliness of these fragile girls from Taniguchi’s pieces, that would be nothing short of an affect of love purified by the artist.

So here lies the reason why, each time I contemplate Taniguchi’s work, I can’t help but being deeply moved by the artist’s sincerity in his effort to shape sustainable affect out of his rich affections, afar of intellective conceptualism.

Dominique Chen
(IT Entrepreneur / Information Studies Researcher)







中文字「愛」(通常翻譯為「love」)是包含了三個部分:「旡」代表了一個人回首,「心」代表了心臟,「夂」代表了人的腳部。結合起來,「愛」比喻了一個懷念過去的人正緩慢地步行。而「可愛的」(日文為「 Kawaii」)已是現今的國際通用詞彙,通常解作討人喜歡的。從詞源看,「可愛的」是表達一種當面對世上的無常短暫時在記憶與遺忘中搖擺不定的概嘆。如果我們從谷口作品的柔弱少女中感受到這種希望記下過去生命活力的期盼,正是被藝術家將愛淨化後的感染力所牽引。


Dominique Chen

(資訊科技企業家 / 資訊管理研究員)










Dominique Chen

French citizen. B.A. in Design/MediaArts from UCLA, M,A. and Ph.d. in Information Studies from the University of Tokyo. Has been writing articles on contemporary mediology in various media since 2001. While working as curator/researcher at the NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] in charge of the open archive HIVE, Dominick has founded Creative Commons Japan to disseminate the idea of open copyright and creation since 2004. He has founded Dividual, an IT start-up in 2008, and has been developing web and smartphone apps such as Rigureto(2008~) and Picsee (2014~).
Translation supervisor for the Japanese version of Nathan Eagle+Kate Green’s “Reality Mining” (MIT Press). Author of “Cyborg’s Religio - Generating Mind in the Age of Big Data” (NTT Publishing), “Guidebook to build a Free Culture - Creative Commons and the Open Society” (Film Art Sha), “Activating the Internet - Theory and Practice of Prochronism” (Seidosha). Co-author of Coded Cultures: New Creative Practices out of Diversity」(Springer Vienna Architecture).

來自法國,加州大學洛杉磯分校設計/媒體藝術學士,東京大學資訊管理碩士及博士。自2001年起於多個媒體撰寫當代媒介學文章,曾於 NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] 任職館長及研究員負責開放 HIVE 檔案,自2004年起於 Creative Commons Japan 傳播開放知識產權及創意理念。於2008年創立 Dividual 並研發網絡及智能電話應用程式 Rigureto (2008~) 及 Picsee (2014~)。
Nathan Eagle+Kate Green的「Reality Mining」 (MIT Press)翻譯顧問。著作包括:「Cyborg’s Religio - Generating Mind in the Age of Big Data」 (NTT 出版) ,「Guidebook to build a Free Culture - Creative Commons and the Open Society」 (Film Art Sha)和 「Activating the Internet - Theory and Practice of Prochronism」(Seidosha)。合著包括:「Coded Cultures: New Creative Practices out of Diversity」(Springer Vienna Architecture)。

フランス国籍。UCLA Design/MediaArts専攻卒業、東京大学大学院学際情報学府修士課程修了、同大学院博士課程修了。博士(学際情報学) 。2001年より,様々な媒体でメディア論を中心とした論考を執筆。NPO法人コモンスフィア(旧クリエイティブ・コモンズ・ジャパン)理事として、新しい著作権の仕組みの普及に努めてきた他、2008年に創業した株式会社ディヴィデュアルでは「いきるためのメディア」をモットーに「リグレト」(ウェブ)や「Picsee」(iPhone)など様々なソフトウェアやアプリの開発を行っている。
著書に「電脳のレリギオ:ビッグデータ社会で心をつくる」(NTT出版)、「フリーカルチャーをつくるためのガイドブック クリエイティブ・コモンズによる創造の循環」(フィルムアート社)、監訳書にネイサン・イーグル/ケイト・グリーン著「みんなのビッグデータ リアリティ・マイニングから見る世界」(NTT出版)、共著に「Coded Cultures: New Creative Practices out of Diversity」(Springer Vienna Architecture)など。













Exhibition view