Frederick Harris GalleryThe former Genkan Gallery was renamed in December 2010 to honor the late Dr Frederick Harris, a former Club president, longtime chair of the Genkan Gallery Committee, renowned artist and cultural ambassador whose profound contributions to the Club and the grander art world over the decades were plentiful.
The Frederick Harris Gallery houses a changing selection of fine artwork from local and internationally renowned artists. Exhibitions feature a new artist every month, with works ranging from oil paintings and traditional Japanese woodblock prints to ceramics and sculptures.
Much of the displayed artwork is available for purchase through the Member Services Desk. Sales of works begin at 6 pm on the first day of the exhibition.
Artists interested in exhibiting their artwork can complete an application at the Member Services Desk. Showcased artists are selected by the Frederick Harris Gallery Committee.
While driving through the heart of his hometown in Saitama, Yohei Yama eases off the gas.
“Actually, on this road is my painting. Ah! There it is,” he says, pointing to a decades-old piece of street art that won him a local art contest as a child. “To draw, for me, it’s [the] very first desire for the human, like [eating or sleeping],” he says.
It was just four years ago, on a road oceans away, when the former salesman-turned-traveling photographer realized his true calling.
While in the southern French city of Arles for an international photography festival and bored of displaying his snapshots on the street, Yama put marker to canvas. A passing curator took notice.
Two months later, he held his first exhibition. “So that is how I became a painter,” he says. “It’s like a movie, it’s like [a] manga [comic].”
This month sees Yama bring his brilliantly colorful creations to the Club. As a self-taught artist, it’s an opportunity he relishes, particularly in Japan’s hierarchical art world. “For me, people decide the position of the painter not with the work, but with name value,” he says.
The 36-year-old himself has few pretentions. Despite having been courted by top galleries in France and Japan and with his designs on everything from high-fashion catalogs to skateboards, Yama still prefers painting roadside to a studio.
“It’s a very magical time for me,” he says. “I work and people start to speak to me and something happens.”
December 23–January 19
Taking his inspiration from sci-fi novels or far-flung destinations, artist Hideshi Yoshida imagines an entire fantastical story for each woodblock print he makes.
Like building a set, he begins by molding his dreamed-up depiction into a three-dimensional model.
After flipping and turning the form to see how it casts shadows and appears from different angles, he begins the engraving process. As if switching on the lights after a blackout, he says his vision emerges more clearly with each cut. “The process is almost close to film production,” he says.
Yoshida’s otherworldly prints now hang in galleries across Japan, and he will show his latest collection, titled “Agnahuecom Land,” at the Frederick Harris Gallery this month.
Yoshida has advice for those viewing his work: “Think of it as a kind of parallel universe and it might be easier to understand,” he says. “Agnahuecom Land is a wicked world we live in alongside nonhuman races, such as dragons and demons, magic [abounds] and it’s ruled by strange physics.”
He began making woodblock prints as an elementary school student. By age 15 he knew he wanted to be a professional artist. Studying English literature at university, he pursued his passion at night at an art school nearby. Today, the 46-year-old is living his dream, moonlighting as a printmaker.
Ever focused on portraying his intricate creations with engaging precision, Yoshida prefers exclusively crafting black and white prints. “[Because] it’s without ambiguity,” he says.