Living in Kingston, made me realise many things. One of which is that Bob Marley is one of the nation's most imaged persons in public spaces. Visiting Kyoto Current a couple weeks ago at Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art allowed me to see the image that is familiar but now represented differently. The Bob Marley portrait is just one of several large iconic portraits done by Yuli Kande. From an image seemingly familiar from American media such as a woman perhaps of Hispanic or African-American ethnicity painted on top of glittery bling giving us the finger to what can be read as a Japanese woman of homogenic identity giving the well known Japanese snapshot fingers. Kande's work reminds you of the inside of the cadillac's of hip-hop culture. She seems to be using 'pimp my ride' aesthetics to etch out iconic cultural images.
The show had so much to see and the young hopeful artists had an auction this weekend gone by. I am not sure how this works yet with the Japanese equivalents of Charles Saatchi but there was diversity to be seen. I saw what I expected and what I didn't. There were quiet zen-like landscapes, highly technical futuristic images, conceptual performance-derived work, tiny aesthetic statements and large explorations. I chose Kande's work for this post because I enjoyed it immediately and more importantly it confronted me. In the tranquility of Kyoto, anything that gives me the finger will get my attention.