We had a special interview with Ms. Maho Kubota with SCAI THE BATHHOUSE!
─Have you decided the exhibition at Art Basel in Hong Kong in May?
Kubota: Haven’t decided the details yet, though we know the brief figure. Sometimes we ask artists to create works for the fair, or they ask us to bring some new works when they made up just in time. We always take time to plan it until the last minute.
─What do you recommend people on the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong?
I would insist that the quality of the fair has been getting higher with more varieties every year. Asian galleries have some unique issues. I have heard that the fair organizers have discussed those issues to make it better. And what I have heard is that each position and a presentation a gallery made became much clearer as a result. All applicants gave us strong presentations to get a booth. I anticipate that galleries would bring outstanding artworks too.
─What do you see the difference among Europe, America and Asia as you attend all Basel art fairs?
Since Asian market is under progress of development, the way collectors buy works is different from others. They tend to be based on information from auction results. There is a shorter history of collectors in Asia compared with Europe and America. They will get more opportunities to see arts to have more experiences. Artists who have been sold at auctions and galleries of established reputation including big western galleries are strong in Asia. The market is certainly developing; however, galleries might fail if you ignore the context in this market.
─What are the fascinations of Japanese contemporary art?
Since its very beginning, Japanese Contemporary Art has been developed through close relationship with Western art movements, therefore it has a matured tradition and diverse contents. There is a stable pivot of the concepts of Japanese culture. Collectors are fascinated with its diversity, strong concepts and quality; however, due to its sensitive approach, it might look less dynamic sometimes.
─The latest work done by Kohei Nawa was really dynamic, though.
He keeps the balance between doing detailed work perfectly and being powerful with his dynamic worldview of cyber generation. That makes it outstanding and deep to observers.
There are a lot more curators abroad who rate Japanese contemporary highly. I think they rate the strong reality of art highly due to a connection with history, a critical background and a deep concept behind work to resonate with various social problems.