MAKI Gallery presents a selection of new sculptures by emerging Japanese artist Takuro Tamura. Born in 1989 in Osaka, Tamura graduated from Kyoto University of the Arts in 2016, after which he continued his practice in Kyoto while working as an assistant at SANDWICH, the artist collective led by Kohei Nawa. Tamura draws inspiration from his everyday surroundings and often incorporates motifs related to transportation into his work, such as asphalt, road signs, and traffic mirrors. With his keen observational skills, technical mastery, and playful sense of humor, the artist recontextualizes quotidian objects and materials, stripping them of their original functions and imbuing them with new meaning.
Tamura’s Lovers series, ongoing since 2019, takes the form of two traffic mirrors entangled in a tight embrace. Face-to-face, as if staring into each other’s non-existent eyes, they have essentially abandoned their duties of alerting drivers to incoming danger. In the most recent iterations presented at the fair, the mirrors exhibit an increasingly relaxed mien; their normally rigid bodies are loosely and fluidly intertwined in an almost suggestive manner. As they fuse into one, the anthropomorphized structures edge toward the tipping point where egocentrism and allocentrism become virtually indistinguishable. While it is unclear whether the mirrors are engrossed by their partner or their own reflected image, their utter lack of situational awareness elicits a sense of uneasiness in the viewer, alluding to the perils inherent in extreme interdependence within any relationship. Lovers is a practice in minimalist storytelling that harnesses the subtleties of body language and gesture to transform objects into subjects, surreptitiously shifting the ways in which we understand our day-to-day environments.
MAKI Gallery was first established in 2003 in Tokyo, with the aim of promoting works by seminal avant-garde Japanese artists of the 1950s-60s. The gallery has since gradually shifted its focus to working with emerging contemporary artists. After opening a location in the bustling, high-end shopping district of Omotesando in 2014, MAKI Gallery opened two expansive, museum-caliber spaces in the growing gallery hub of Tennoz in 2020. Across these three outposts, MAKI Gallery presents a broad range of works by internationally active artists, including Mungo Thomson, Miya Ando, Susumu Kamijo, and Marius Bercea, while also introducing younger Japanese artists, such as Anne Kagioka Rigoulet and Takuro Tamura, to a global audience. The gallery has participated in many international art fairs such as Frieze New York, The Armory Show, and West Bund Art & Design.