Tokyo Doll Exhibit

Tokyo Doll Exhibit

Location: Toronto Design Exchange, 234 Bay St. south of King

Date: October 10-25, 2003

Opening reception: October 10, 6-9 pm

Closing reception: October 25, 1-5pm

This is a free event

Statement: Bringing Contemporary Ningyo to Toronto

Only in the last twenty years or so have western doll makers been recognized as makers of fine art, yet some would argue that the best of Japanese dolls have always been fine art. According to one Japanese expert there are more than 200 hundred kinds of Japanese dolls. Each of these may be called by a particular name related to its function, or where it was made or to how it was made

Contemporary ningyo (doll) are produced to represent the figures, styles and cultural language of the underground and pop culture in Japan with its emphasis on trends, graphic qualities and contemporary references. The mixture of tradition and post-modernity give these dolls an exciting dynamic, a beautiful expression of the ambiguity and uneasiness of modern society’s relation with the past and it’s hopes, fears and fantasies about the future.  The exhibit will address the distinction between art, design and commercial product exploring the use of human form for expressive, consumptive, and playful purposes.

Dolls are instructive instruments as well as a traditional children’s toy, used in every culture to transmit  knowledge about itself, teach norms of relationships, modes of caring and gender roles. As medical tools, they provide models of the human body and its functions. As sculptures, the human form serves to inspire, tell stories, reflect, and encourage us to dream of new possibilities.

These dolls escape easy categorization, and using devices such as exaggeration, distortion, contrast and deconstruction, they expose the raw nerves of post-modern society: it’s obsessions, anxieties, comic sensibilities and absurdity.

Participating Artists: 

Arata Anzai (JP)

Masakazu Inoue (JP)

Einstein Mobile Car (JP)

Takeji Nakagawa (JP)

Hiroyuki Sekiguchi (JP)

Jin Arakawa (JP)

Yuki Kita (JP)

Wonder Farms (JP)

Nobuyuki Takahashi (JP)

Akira Wakui (JP)


Okikokiko (JP)

Hirohisa Kadomatsu (JP)

Mitsuhiro Yamadiwa (JP)

Hironori Tsuchida (JP)

Katsutoshi Nakano (JP)

Kyoko Ookubo (JP)

Kirocomic (JP)

Tania Sanhueza (CA)

Seth Scriver (CA)



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