Over the past few years, no international glass artists have gained more hype in the United States than the artists populating the All Japan Show lineup — and their first major gallery show in the states is about to hit Denver on Oct. 28.
Easily one of the premier glass events on the calendar, The All Japan Show is a hurricane of insane lampworking talent that, without debate, has produced some of the finest glasswork around. The All Japan show premiered in Tokyo in 2015, took a year off while the original Team Japan members did a Vancouver show last year, and now is back for 2017.
The show is being hosted and curated by Jon Green. Green is based in Tokyo and represents various Japanese glass artists internationally. We asked Green about what it’s been like to watch the glass artists he reps develop over the years into international stars at the peak of the scene.
“The Japanese really got into the American market for the first time with Team Japan four and a half years ago in Toronto for the Treating Yourself Flame Off,” Green said. “After that, those guys did really well in the states and they started inspiring and helping the next generation of Japanese glassblowers.” (Kondo, Disk and Rose Roads were the original Team Japan members prior to the All Japan expansion in 2015.)
With the success of the past All Japan events, everyone involved agreed that entering the American market for a full show was definitely the next step.
We asked Green about the complicated process of bringing the actual pieces safely to America. Green said that the artists will both do some the prep work in Japan and bring the pieces here for assembly, and also the artists will make pieces from scratch once they arrive in America.
“When they get together with some artists, they want to work at the same time and pass off to the American artists they’re working with so they can be more specific to the what’s being created,” Green said.
Green says usually the All Japan artists will bring some finished works to the states because they too long to create in the short time before a show. For example, Disk spent a week at Banjo’s studio on a recent trip, where he brought work from Yoshinori Kondo and Rose Roads as well. According to Green, each of the four contributors put in 60 or 70 hours of work into a single piece, for a total of roughly 250 man hours. The piece will be on display in Denver, and Green called it the headlining piece.
In total, the show is expected to include over sixty pieces from the All Japan Show lineup and their various collaborators. Some of the other artists will include Dosa, Certo, Chris Carlson, 2 Stroke, Cha, Joe P. and many more.
Here is the lineup for the 2017 show:
AKIHISA IZUMI aka AKIO
DAISUKE SAITO aka DISK
JUNICHI KOJIMA aka ROSE ROADS
TAICHI KASHIMURA aka TK HAPPA
TAKAO MIYAKE aka CHANDRA
TAKEHISA OKUMURA aka AQUARIUST
In addition to all these amazing glass artists, famed Japanese tie-dye artist Yogu Oguro will be making the trip to Denver and will have various tapestries available for sale. Oguro befriended members of All Japan Show line up on the music festival scene popular with artists in Japan.
The All Japan Show 2017 will also feature a show within the show. For the first time, the Go Round – USA x Japan Marble Session will be exhibited. The works in this show were crafted in Japan earlier this year when DISK, Rose Roads, Takao Miyake, Yoshinori Kondo, Gateson Recko, John Kobuki, Josh Sable and Tim Keyzers went on a road trip that started in Tokyo and made a visit to each of the Japanese artists’ studios. It ended at Studio Morio in Otsu, where the artists spent two weeks working some major collaborations. Most of the artists who took part in the Go Round will be in Denver.
And what does the VIP collector community think of the show? According to Green, a lot of people have been waiting for this one. “That’s why we do VIP,” he said, “so serious buyers that do want to spend some money can. Because these pieces are getting expensive, we want them to have a more catered-to experience so there’s not the pressure of 50 people hanging around trying to look at the piece while they’re trying to decide if they want to buy it. It’s about making them comfortable and giving them an environment where they can see the work.”
Green says there are way more pieces than VIPs that have been invited, so there will be plenty of works still available when the public gets in.
TELL US, what glass art are you excited about?