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Friday, June 27, 2008
Doan exhibition embraces human taboos as art forms
By ROB SCHWARTZ
Artist Vivienne U.H. Doan is known for following her own vision. From body-sculpting and superstylish modeling- performance pieces to gigantic dress installations, this Vietnamese-German has offered a fresh take on art that involves the audience.
Her latest project, titled "[Beau * ti * fied Tab * oo] — A Dangerous Art Exhibition at SuperDeluxe," is an exhibition showcasing works by some of Tokyo's better-known experimental and international artists that attempts to investigate, as well as beautify, taboos.
Doan got the idea when she started to question both Japanese and foreign people on what they felt was taboo. Intrigued by the variety of answers and feelings she encountered, she took the ideas and "beautified" them, adding an artist's perspective to socially explosive concepts. Naturally, ideas relating to the human body, sex, violence and death are well represented.
The exhibition will host work by 12 Tokyo-based and international artists. Particularly, four well-known photographers — Tim Porter, Riichi Yamaguchi, Bonnie Bajaj and Carlos Gibbs — will display images that exemplify beautified taboos. Butoh dancer Yasuchika Konno, performance artist Yoko Taketani and Doan herself will contribute live performances; Doan's act will present an inverse take on the nyotaimori phenomenon (eating sushi from a naked woman's body) by using a naked man. Also, painter Tomoko Ichimura will offer her poetic interpretation of taboo in the form of an installation. Telemak Films and video-performance artist Lynn Lu will add their visions as well.
As with all of Doan's work, there will be a fashion element. Designers Rico and Philippe Pielat will exhibit their garment creations.
Overall, the installation/performance intends to engulf the audience in beautified forms of taboo. SuperDeluxe will be divided into sections to create individual universes in which to experience that artist's interpretation of the theme.
"[Beau * ti * fied Tab * oo]" is July 2 from 7 p.m. to midnight at SuperDeluxe in the Nishi Azabu district of Minato Ward, Tokyo. Entry is ¥1,300.
For more information, call (03) 5412-0515 or visit www.beautified-taboo.com