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Light Boxes/Dark Rooms

Light Boxes/Dark RoomsFebuary 23th-March 19th, 2004

De Pree Art Center and Gallery

Hope College, Holland, MI


                                                                click to enlarge

The De Pree Gallery of Hope College presents an exhibition of works by three contemporary Japanese artists, Shinji Ogawa, Tomoaki Shitara, and Ko Yamada. They explore basic themes in art such as the nature of imagery and the nature of looking. Ther sources, which include zen philosophy, postmodern theories, and contemporary film, demonstrate a sophisticated and erudite knowledge of the world. In the catalogue of the exhibition, curator Brenda Mitchell explains the theme this way:

All three artists use the medium of photography in one way or another and work in or near Nagoya Japan. As a light box illuminates images from behind in order to make the photographs visible, so these artists illuminate recent cultural theories. The works also function to bring into focus images of, and insights into the shared experiences of our current lives, including universal questions such as "who am I?", "how do I define my relationships?", and "what happens when we die?". They provide us with an opportunity to examine and focus on understanding human experience in the speed-of-light, global experience of today.

Two of the artists in the exhibit, Tomoaki Shitara, and Ko Yamada are visiting Hope College from Japan and will give artist talks at the opening on Febuary 27th.

Shinji Ogawa was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1959 and graduated from Mie University in 1983. He has exhibited his paintings, drawings, and digital videos widely in Japan and most recently in New York in 2003. Currently he is represented by the roentgenwerke gallery in Tokyo. He will exhibit two of his digital video installations in the De Pree Gallery.

Tomoaki Shitara was born in 1955. He is currently a professor of art at the Aichi Prefectural University near Nagoya. He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions throughout Japan, including Nagoya and Tokyo, and his work is included in numerous public and private collections there. He contributes to the show with a series of paintings on polyester film overlaying canvas.

Ko Yamada, born in 1964, currently teaches photography at three universities in Nagoya.  Since earning an MFA in photography from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Yamada has exhibited in Japan, the United States, Brazil and Germany.  In addition, he worked as the Vice Secretary General for the 2002 International Symposium on Electronic Arts held in Nagoya. He contributes an installation of black and white photos printed on record album covers containing vinyl records; accompanied by turntables simultaneously playing vinyl recordings of multiple conversations

Brenda Mitchell is the curator of the exhibition. She is professor of modern art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She visited Nagoya University in 2003 on a grant and encountered these artists on her visit.


Opening Reception, open to the public, Friday Febuary 27th 5:00-7:00

5:30 artists' lectures by Tomoaki Shitara and Ko Yamada


The De Pree Gallery is located in the DePree Art Center at the corner of 12th Street and Columbia Avenue.  Regular Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.  The Gallery is handicapped accessible.  Admission is free.