At (marunouchi) HOUSE of Shin Marunouchi Building (7F), an art event “JAPANESE ARTISTS IN NEW YORK” is being held. At the venue, the event dubbed “the MOTHER of DESIGN” has been displaying many creators’ works every year since 2008, including Verner Panton and Yayoi Kusama.

The event is being held for the 6th time, displaying works of 8 Japanese artists based in New York. Approx. 30 works are showcased at the center elevator lobby and the area usually used as a library. In the library area, works of Satoru Eguchi, who handled the facade for Maison Hermes Ginza, minimal artist Mamiko Otsubo, and Yuken Teruya, who creates a tree by delicately cutting shopping bags, are displayed. In the central lobby, Misaki Kawai’s colorful work and Enrico Isamu Oyama’s dynamic mural of 21-m width made with cutting sheet are exhibited. In 2011, Oyama created pieces by painting onto garments designed by COMME des GARCONS.

“We have focused on young Japanese artists who are succeeding overseas, because the young nowadays do not take the trouble of traveling overseas,” says Yuko Nishiyama of M&I Art who is the curator from the 2nd event. The displayed artworks have been selected based on their New York-ness. The featured artists are from the same generation, but their backgrounds are very different from one another, in terms of the length of time spent in New York and their motivations.

Oyama, who spends his second year in New York says, “If I’d stayed in Japan, it would’ve been easy to predict what I’d be doing 10 years later. I wanted to put myself in a situation where things are indeterminate.” “The fusion style of street art and contemporary art is not very common in Japan yet, whereas in New York it comes across easily. I want to step further in to the style,” explains Oyama about his change of heart and how his works had been accepted in the city.

Otsubo says it has taken 8 to 9 years for her to get her career on track even after spending her childhood in the States. “The art market in New York is the biggest in the world, and that is why many artists migrate to the city,” she emphasizes that NY is a city where art can be a business.

It is very unusual to have an exhibition in a commercial facility like this even in New York, where people show preference in business aspects rather than academic. “I felt a bit of confusion at displaying artworks in a site where it is neither a museum nor a public space. I proposed some works with frames to kind of control the audience’s understanding, and maintain the image of the pieces,” says Otsubo. Oyama and Otsubo both describe the sense of distance between the artworks and the audience in this exhibit to be “very Japanese.”

Works will be on display until Nov 17, with some of them available for sale. On Nov 16 and 17, live drawing by Hisham Akira Bharoocha and a performance by Nobutaka Aozaki will be shown at the site.