In Development

Kyun-Chome is a Japanese artist unit made up of Nabuchi (b. 1984, Mito) and Honma Eri (b. 1987, Yokohama). They emerged as an art unit after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and rose to prominence after winning the 17th Taro Okamoto Art Award in 2014.

They primarily create video installations, conducting mid-to long-term residencies in socially divided regions to highlight what they refer to as the “core reality” of a particular place or issue.  Engaging with socio-political issues in Japan and abroad, such as natural and manmade disasters, immigration, national history, and gender identity. According to the artists, their work aims to blur the boundaries between perpetrator and victim, creating new associations between tragedy, comedy, and modern faith.

Kyun-Chome has been attributed as part of a wave of socially conscious young artists in Japan whose activities are not restricted to traditional art spaces such as museums and galleries but rather engage in collaborative, open-ended, dialogical projects that include participatory elements as central to their practice. Many of these artists engage with starkly political themes that emerged in Japan following the 2011 triple disaster.

Usesing repetitive dialogue and actions in their video projects to explore the inner side of human beings that is hidden underneath the surface. Since 2011, they have created artworks that engage with local communities in Ishinomaki, Okinawa, Hong Kong, and Berlin. While their projects are often critical, they refrain from making overt ethical judgments, and instead present the varied feelings and expressions of those who participate in their projects without betraying their own opinions or informing audiences what to think. In the artist’s words, “We can become bound by specific information. However, we are interested in the issues behind those obvious moral messages. We are interested in the hidden aspects of human actions; the way we live, the beliefs we hold onto and the way our emotions sway from one side to another.” The artists avoid assigning specific roles in their work together; instead they “rapidly throw ideas at each other,” keeping a general idea of what they’d like the project to be like, and working spontaneously toward their goal.

Kyun-Chome first debuted their work in 2012 in the group show Coming Out!!!!!!!! at Nao Nakamura, an alternative gallery space founded in the Kōenji neighbourhood of Tokyo by Bigakkō student Nao Nakamura. They held solo exhibitions at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin in 2015; Deptford X, London in 2016; and Komagome Soko, Tokyo in 2016. They have been part of numerous group exhibitions outside of Japan, including Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, the USA, Ireland, Denmark, the UK, and France. Other major group exhibitions include their participation in the Reborn-Art Festival in 2017 (Oshika Peninsula); the Gangwon International Biennale in 2018 (Gangwon Province); and the Aichi Triennale in 2019 (Aichi Prefecture). They regularly exhibit with a fellow Bigakkō graduate, artist Bontarō Dokuyama.