Pop Culture and Japanese Tradition Collide in New Exhibit by Artist Ken Hamazaki Opening at the Superfrog Gallery for J-Pop Summit Festival 2010

Sep 9th 2010
San Francisco, CA, September 9, 2010 – NEW PEOPLE and the SUPERFROG Gallery are proud to welcome Osaka-based artist, Ken Hamazaki, who will open his exhibit Grateful Red during the J-Pop Summit Festival 2010. The exhibit runs from September 17th to October 24th.

Making his way to San Francisco from Burning Man, Hamazaki performs his avant-garde Red Tea Ceremony -YOU ARE GOD in the SUPERFROG Gallery on September 18th for the exhibit grand opening and as of the day-long J-Pop celebration. During Summit Festival he will also perform his art of “teeth-making” in a special public performance of Get Bit: HAGATA-MAN from 1:00pm-2:00pm in Buchanan Mall. A performance of the Red Tea Ceremony is also set for the Asian Art Museum on September 11th at 12:00pm leading up to the festival, and again on the day after on September 19th at 2:00pm, at SUPERFROG.

A special reception party hosted by the artist will be held at the SUPERFROG Gallery at 11:00am on Saturday, September 18th during J-Pop Summit Festival. The public is invited to RSVP to attend the reception to www.newpeopleworld.com/rsvp/rsvp-ken-hamazaki.

Taking the exhibition's name from the free-spirited Bay Area band, the Grateful Dead, Hamazaki uses this sense of freedom to twist traditional Japanese ceremonies and ancient techniques to other worlds of imagination and experience. As the tea ceremony ritual demonstrates the pinnacle of Japanese Zen, its delicacies, and form, Hamazaki channels them through his own pop guise and serves up recipes for titillation.

Red paintings depicting Grateful Dead symbols reflect the concert experience providing an intimate and raw interaction. A life-size magnet painting will also be made on-site for the exhibition. A technique that Hamazaki has cultivated since childhood, the work reflects the sentiment of sand paintings from India as ephemeral moments skillfully rendered and easily transitory. Ken Hamazaki will also present a video collaboration with artist Hiroaki Katayama will be projected in unexpected places throughout the Gallery to kinetically activate the space.

Eclectic elements like a denim canvas by Evisu will be also transformed into Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans. Vividly colored scrolls like these historically provided inspiration for manga imagery. The Japanese word manga, literally translated, means "whimsical pictures" whose genre includes a broad range of subject matter including fantasy, mystery, horror, and sexuality.

With his shaved head, red body paint, and vivid crimson costumes, Ken Hamazaki is known in Osaka's Minami Senba district as “The Red Man.” When he was 20 years old, Hamazaki traveled to England and after returning to Japan, he opened a gallery in 1992 to display his artwork. In 1997, he moved the gallery to Minami Senba, painted the exterior and interior completely red and named it the Ken Hamazaki Museum of Contemporary Art, a title that, in Japanese, has the aggrandizing secondary meaning of the Hamazaki Prefectural Museum of Contemporary Art. In addition to holding exhibitions, his gallery sells interior decorative items and accessories, suggesting a fusion of art and lifestyle. For more information, visit www.kenhamazaki.jp/e/.

The J-Pop Summit Festival 2010 takes place Saturday, September 18th in San Francisco's Japantown and presents variety of Japanese pop-inspired attractions including fashion shows, theatrical film premieres, live art performances, video game demos, panel discussions, and an outdoor concert featuring bands and artists from Japan and the Bay Area. More details are available at: www.J-Pop.com.

About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located in San Francisco at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is available at: www.NewPeopleWorld.com.


Red Man Ken Hamazaki


Red Tea Performance

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