art cruise gallery by Baycrew's

Toranomon Hills,
Tokyo

THINK

Let’s Go on an Art Cruise!

2024.03.14

On February 29, 2024, Art Cruise Gallery made its debut. Despite only a few days having passed since then, we have received tremendous praise.

This is the result of navigating in the dark, extracting guiding principles, and earnestly, yet boldly, exploring expressions.

The naming “Art Cruise Gallery” was inspired by the seasonal category existing in the fashion industry(Particularly high-end brands in Europe) known as the “Cruise Collection.” I personally came up with the name.

The “Cruise Collection” is a category of summer clothing that is not for spring/summer or autumn/winter seasons, but is instead launched in the dead of winter. It’s created for affluent individuals and those who prioritize lifestyle, often stemming from the idea of spending winter in warm climates. It’s an aspirational mindset for us common folk.

Art Cruise Gallery (ACG), located in Toranomon, naturally caters to affluent clientele. While this aligns with its identity, the essence lies beyond that. ACG’s philosophy resonates with the understanding that the value and usage of what people create can vary greatly depending on their approach, lifestyle, and aesthetic sensibilities.

Given that the parent company, Baycrews, is a major player in the apparel industry, the association with its name feels fitting. The “cruise” in Baycrews and the “cruise” in Art Cruise Gallery also rhyme, adding a poetic resonance.

Allow me to write a bit about what I have in mind for a gallery with such a name.

The first exhibition is titled “PLAY w/HOKUSAI,” featuring masterpieces from Katsushika Hokusai’s series “Hokusai Manga.”

Preserving the treasures of the past is not only a duty entrusted to successors but often encounters a lack of understanding about the meaning of “preservation.” While proper safeguarding is essential, what can be created for the future through continued preservation? Although the objects themselves endure, I always question the sustainability of the concept of “cherished antiquity.”

The lifestyles of people living on Earth naturally undergo dramatic changes over time. Systems of nations and regions, hobbies and interests, scientific advancements, and everything else evolve, leading to continuous shifts in values and perspectives.

Amidst this torrent, I constantly ponder what it truly means to preserve and inherit the “cherished antiquities.”

While preservation may be achievable, inheriting is a much more challenging task. In this context, “inheriting” refers to the ability to persist as cherished masterpieces that are truly beloved in each era. This notion of being beloved doesn’t entail nostalgia but rather existing as objects of cutting-edge admiration specific to their respective times. To achieve this, it’s essential to integrate them with values unique to each era, thereby generating a new sense of presence.

In present-day Japan, it seems that old objects are mostly marketed by fitting them into the image of their respective eras. For example, items from the Edo period are often presented with a strong emphasis on capturing the essence of that era.

ACG is fully committed to the concept of “inheritance.” While the gallery primarily focuses on contemporary art, our approach to the “Hokusai Manga” series is also from a contemporary art perspective.

Last year, during the exhibition “ANDY WARHOL KYOTO,” which I curated, we also had similar discussions. Despite being from the 1980s pop art movement, even relatively recent works are now viewed in a classical light. If we were to solely approach them with this classical perspective (the stereotypical “ANDY WARHOL feeling”), it would merely become nostalgic. Therefore, we carefully considered the significance of creating exhibitions in this era.

The main focus was to find interpretations and appeals to Andy Warhol that could only be done now. As a result of developing designs with this approach, it exhibited an appeal that surpassed even the currently highlighted contemporary art groups.

Everything created by humans is precious. They hold the power to transcend time. Instead of merely riding the waves of time, I believe in capturing their essence and embarking on a beautiful cruise, evolving to have significance as cutting-edge creations in any era.

This is also an act of bestowing artistic value upon things that may not be traditionally recognized as art. ACG is committed to presenting wonderfully beautiful creations made by humans, regardless of genre, in a manner that is unique to the present era.