Art lovers in Stockholm have been treated with much cherished doses of contemporary East Asian art this year. Wetterling Gallery ran “The Doubling of Reality” solo exhibition by Berlin-based Korean painter SEO in April and May, while ArkDes and Moderna Museet’s joint presentation of their “Yayoi Kusama – The Infinity” summer show on the renowned Japanese’s entire oeuvre since the 1950s just ended on 11 September.
While those of us who have yet to buy one or more of SEO’s paintings know that we can always work through Wetterling Gallery (Kungsträdgården 3, 111 47 Stockholm. Phone: +46 8 10 10 09) to fulfill our desires to own her artistic creations, where in Stockholm can we acquire Yayoi Kusama’s? Or for that matter, where else in this Swedish city can we shop for works of art from other contemporary East Asian artists?
Well, admirers of Kusama’s art can trip down to Lars Bohman Gallery at Karlavägen 9, 114 24 Stockholm or call them on +468207807. They can facilitate your acquisition of the Japanese artist’s works, having exhibited some of them in 1999.
The gallery can also offer you the option of considering an additional or alternative purchase of a piece by mainland Chinese artist Li Jin; having held his solo shows in the early 2000s, showcasing his specialization in ink-wash and gong-bi figure paintings, executed with unparalleled brushwork skills, replete with his signature expressionist facial features. And look into your preference for his more recent works with their food and animal themes instead.
If this Tianjin-based painter’s works are not quite your cup of tea, but you are definite about buying art by Chinese artists, you can consider Zhao Zhao’s or Jin Jiang’s creative inspirations.
Last year, Carl Kostyál Galleri (Artillerigatan 64, 11445 Stockholm. Phone: +46 7670 73 29 viewings by appointment only) exhibited the Beijing-based Zhao Zhao’s varied repertoire of artworks. His paintings, sculptures, video art and works in mix media range from the political to the provocative to the humorous; all with the intent of highlighting China’s collective culture and history along with his own.
In total contrast are Swedish-based Beijing-born Jin Jiang’s art. Her frequent ink on paper paintings, sculpture and photographs are soft, organic-based imageries drawing from ancient Chinese and European traditions; often statements about the beauty of nature, and our dreams of the absence of threats and violence in an unproblematic Eden.
If her art is more your cup of tea, Domeij Gallery (Luntmakargatan 52, 113 58 Stockholm. Phone: +46 702649934) can show you the range it currently has available for sale.
But if your heart is set on all other things Japanese that are as funky as Yayoi Kusama’s, then contact Loyal Gallery (Kammakargatan 68, Stockholm. Phone: +46 8-680 7711) to view Misaki Kawai’s installations and more.
Made from papier-mâché, wood, fabric and other low tech craft materials – like felt, stickers and yarn, the partly New York-based bubbly artist shuns expertise and uses heta-uma, an anime method, in basic expressions that risk amateurish aesthetics, by drawing from growing up with a mother who enjoys making clothing and puppets and an architect / amateur painter as dad.
If you prefer a bizarre version of Yayoi Kusama’s masterpieces without having the aesthetics sacrificed, Christian Larsen Galleri (1trappa Sverige, Hudiksvallsgatan 8, 113 30 Stockholm. Phone: +468309830) will be pleased to avail you to Haruko Maeda’s art they currently hold.
Tokyo-born and Linz-based, Maeda’s works filter her personal memories and experiences through Japan’s Shintoistic traditions with a Roman Catholic faith that is deeply rooted in Austrian culture and history to raise universal questions about existence, life and death. Thus seeking beauty in the ugly and frightening.
Finding loveliness in a fear of pain, sharpness, clearness, vagueness and nothingness leads Fukushima-born Manfune Gonjo to work with fragments of smashed glass; creating spaces in which we experience emotionally encountering something in between memory, afterimage, the unknown and the future – as glass is as changeable and unstable as the world.
To own an ephemerally fragile piece of Gonjo’s glasswork, contact Galleri Charlotte Lund (Johannes plan 5, SE–111 38 Stockholm. Phone +46 8 663 09 79).
And should you shun what Japan and China have to offer, opting instead for a piece from Korea, the gallery has works by Seoul-based Yeondoo Jung and Dongwook Lee.
Dongwook Lee’s miniature human figures are hyper-realistically and surrealistically staged in absurd situations as emphasis of the contradictions fundamentally inherent in man’s daily existence; transforming bleak everyday life into poetic horror.
In contrast to Lee’s pessimism, Yeondoo Jung’s straight to surreally abstract photographs, ingeniously created by joining sculptures and videos, emanate warm emotions enveloping his optimistic vision of our society; where his subjects sentimentally engage in their optimistic fantasies.
Surely, amongst these seven galleries, the East Asian art market in Stockholm has something to satisfy the diverse tastes for its discerning art collectors.
Photo credits: The respective galleries