Museum of Mom’s Art
"Museum of Mom’s Art" is an exhibition in which guest curators, Association “crazy about SHITAMACHI-RETRO” and TSUZUKI Kyoichi, present more than 1,000 works of “Mom’s Art,” handcraft works of varying sizes created by mothers, which is an art form that has been quietly attracting attention since the early 2000s. The Mom’s Art that TSUZUKI Kyoichi has continued to seek out can be found scattered throughout Japan, at store fronts of shopping arcades, community halls, and michinoeki roadside stations. One distinctive feature of Mom’s Art, which is created by moms all over Japan, is that, despite the ingenuity and differences in materials and style of each individual piece, there is somehow a commonality about them. This exhibition presents a re-thinking of Mom’s Art from Tsuzuki’s humorous perspective. There will also be a special exhibit of three artists specially selected by Tsuzuki, titled “Lone Stars of the Mom Universe.” By encountering the appeal of Mom’s Art from various angles, this exhibition will home in on the times and places of creatives who have no association with specialized art education, their expression, and their charm. There may even be an exquisite work of Mom’s Art lying dormant in your own home or town.
|Title||Museum of Mom's Art|
|Period||Saturday, 22 January – Sunday, 10 April 2022|
|Opening Hours||11:00 - 19:00|
|Closed||Mondays (except 21 March) and 22 March|
|Venue||Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery, Galleries 1 and 2 and Interactive Space|
|Curator||TSUZUKI Kyoichi + Association “crazy about SHITAMACHI-RETRO”
|Artists||ITO Yuki, OKU Machiko, OMOTO Setsuko, KIGOSHI Teiko, KUBOYAMA Midori, KEITANI Michiyo, KOUSAKA Shitomi, GOTO Chieko, SATO Ie, TAKAKUWA Yoshikazu, NII Mitsuko, NISHIMURA Midori, FUJII Takako, FUJIOKA Junko, MATSUDA Tazuko, MORI Toshiko, YAMADA Fumie, etc|
|Organized by||Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture|
Moms never throw anything away. String from parcels is wound into a ball and kept in a drawer. Rubber bands are hooked over the faucet. Paper bags from the department store are tucked into the space beside the fridge. For the time being. Then, one day, there comes a sudden spark of inspiration. “If I do this with this, this is the pretty thing I get!” And that is how Mom’s Art was born (probably).
Mom’s Art is, as the words suggest, “art made by Moms.” If Art Brut, or Outsider Art, is considered as existing to the “extreme north” of mainstream fine art, then Mom’s Art lies at the complete opposite extreme, a gently cultivated art form at the “extreme south.” Baffling the viewer, destroying stylish spaces with a single blow, overflowing with power and heat, Mom’s Art has a unique destructive force that, of course, does not exist in professional art, nor even in Outsider Art or Art Brut, which nowadays are starting to enter the “insider” realm. If the defining feature of contemporary art is its inability to be confined into a single value, then Mom’s Art may appear to be the most harmless of art forms but is actually the most dangerous.
《PP band dog》 Unknown artist photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Knitted doll》 Unknown artist photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Kewpie clothes》 Unknown artist photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Sarubobo (ornament)》 KOUSAKA Shitomi photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Origami handicraft》 FUJII Takako photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Yarn dog》 GOTO Chieko photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Cotton gloves puppet》 KOUSAKA Shitomi, OKU Machiko photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Towel dog》 KOUSAKA Shitomi photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
A special exhibit of three creatives that curator TSUZUKI Kyoichi has being focusing on in recent years. The work of these creatives is remarkably close to the sensibilities of Mom’s Art, but they stand apart from others with their unique expressions.
Born in 1934. While working for many years as a cleaner at Waseda Shochiku revival movie theater, she spontaneously created objets d’art that adorned the cinema’s entrance and restroom shelves. These works, which she created using only everyday waste materials, such as food trays for side dishes, the plastic bamboo leaves that accompany sashimi, milk cartons, and the toys found in sweets packets, were mini dioramas that were so much fun.
Born in 1943. Taught herself kirie, or papercut art, as a senior high school student and began creating. After a career in advertising and other areas, started working in paste-up as a freelancer. Retired from work in her fifties and now dedicates herself to kirie and collage art. Her works in these genres, as well as the bags made from newspaper print that she created while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, were exhibited at the Setagaya Art Museum Annex in October 2021, attracting attention on social media.
Born in 1972. Member of the art department of Nishiawaji Kibo-no-ie, a disability services and support organization in Osaka. As well as illustrations and embroidery, he makes large quantities of “leaflet boxes” by folding advertising leaflets into the shape of boxes every day. Their excessively practical nature meant that, for a long time, they were not recognized as art, but eventually, a facility staff member, captivated by the colorful beauty of the folded bundles of paper, began collecting and saving them, and they have since been sent out into the world.
Planted events special talks, guided tours. Check the website for further information.
《Toilet Roll doll》 NII Mitsuko photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Pine cone decoration》 NISHIMURA Midori photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Rope dog》 Unknown artist photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Rope shrimp》 Unknown artist photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Beaded peacock》 KOUSAKA Shitomi photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Cotton gloves puppet》 Unknown artist photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Kewpie clothes》 KOUSAKA Shitomi, Unknown photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi
《Soap basket》 YAMADA Fumie photo: TSUZUKI Kyoichi