Kyohei Inukai Exhibition
Japan Society, New York


  • Exhibition Design

Exhibition design for the first institutional solo exhibition of Kyohei Inukai (1913-1985), a largely unknown, yet prolific Japanese-American artist. Reflecting the rather different bodies of Inukai's work presented at Japan Society, we divided the galleries in two distinct zones: one light, airy, and approachable, the other dark, quiet and reflective. Each space is intended to emphasize the particular nature of the work.

All images © Naho Kubota

In Galleries One and Two, by putting the works on shelves, we intended to change the relationship to the viewer, make the works appear more as tangible objects and more personal. We want the viewer to feel a close connection to the playful and vibrant works. The curvilinear shelves echo the shapes in the works on display here. Small study paintings are presented in display cases made of birch plywood which is also used for the shelving and benches, tying the different elements together.

Gallery Three features Inukai's Sumi-e, or Japanese ink paintings. These works made us think of something grounded and eternal, and we turned the space into a “rock garden" where visitors can sit on the benches, slow down and contemplate what they see.