This Friday night (June 22nd) in Hong Kong, the New York-based Tat Ito will be presenting a new body of work entitled Shinagawa Shinju at the Above Second Gallery. In his return to the Sai Ying Pun showspace after participating in the AM curated East West Connect last year, the Japanese artist will be bringing a selection of paintings in the mold of storytellers of Japanese rakugo, a form of verbal entertainment based on comical monologues about ordinary lives. Of course, with Ito’s work, the devil is in the details with his miniature characters scattered in rich landscapes often engaging in surprising activities that can only be seen up close.
“The title of the show is taken from an ironic story in the rakugo tradition about a prostitute who, over-the-hill and depressed about money, decides to kill herself. She convinces a young customer to commit suicide with her so that her death will be seen as romantic, as opposed to a confession of failure. In the end, a wealthy customer offers her money, returning her lust for life, and she decides not to take her life after all.”