In Praise of Shadows at the Louvre Museum

March 07, 2018

In Praise of Shadows
at the Louvre Museum

artwork + installation design + concept design + graphic design

credit :
art direction & creative direction: shun kawakami, artless Inc.
video & motiongraphy: tomohiro ishioka, matija suhadolc, akira kondo, Seven Shuffles
graphic design: koyuki inagaki, kanako ueno, artless Inc.
photography: kiku niuya, shun kawakami, yuu kawakami

本作は川上シュンと seven shuffles のコラボレーションによる 17.5m に及ぶビデオアート作品で、パリ・ルーヴル美術館で行われた「Salon des Beaux Arts 2017」にて発表されました。本展で artless Inc. は「Salon des Beaux Arts 2017」ブックの表紙デザインやインビテーションカード、ロビー・屋外に設置されるポスターのグラフィックデザインも担当しました。

Salon des Beaux Arts(サロン・デ・ボザール)は、150年を超える歴史を持つフランスの美術団体 Société nationale des beaux-arts(ソシエテ・ナショナル・デ・ボザール)が毎年パリのルーヴル美術館にて主催するアートの祭典で、本作は昨年2017年12月の開催にて金賞を受賞。

「In Praise of Shadows – 陰翳礼讃 – 」と題し、日本独自の「無」の概念、暗闇の深さ、視覚以外の感覚の複合により感受する瞬間的な美の価値、無涯無辺の広がりとして捉えられる現象をテーマとしています。川上はこれまで印刷表現と空間表現でこれらを表現してきましたが、Seven Shuffles とのコラボレーションにより映像特有の時間性、空間性を利用し陰翳の中にある「余韻と雅」を作品を通して再定義しました。

異なる分野でありながら、海外でも活躍する日本人としての観点から日本の美的理念を見つめる川上と Seven Shuffles。映像という手段とグローバルな感性を掛け合わせることで、匂い、重み、温度、音といった視覚できないものを暗闇の中に感じ取る日本古来の美意識の再構築を試みた作品です。

Shun Kawakami, CEO of artless Inc. and art director/artist, was invited to be one of the main artists of Salon des Beaux Arts 2017 at the Louvre Museum, Paris. Shun Kawakami exhibited a collaborative artwork with Seven Shuffles, featuring a video installation art spanning to the width of 17.5m. Alongside with the art installation, artless Inc. was tasked to design the book cover of the Salon des Beaux Arts 2017 catalogue, as well as the invitation card and posters.

Salon des Beaux Arts is a festival of the arts held every year at the Louvre Museum, organized by the Société nationale des beaux-arts, a French art groupe with a history going back 150 years. More than 600 artists from across the globe; from painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers to illustrators, gather to represent the contemporary art scene. Select artists in each discipline are given awards for their exemplary works. Kawakami’s artwork at Salon des Beaux Arts 2017 has won him the Gold Medal Award.

The exhibited artwork, titled “In Praise of Shadows”, communicates of the Japanese sense of beauty, in the foreign land of France by expressing the Japanese ideology of “nothingness”, “the depth in the shadow” and “ephemerals”. The nothingness, or negative space, suggest further depth rather than non-existence. Though Kawakami’s works have always centered around the traditional Japanese philosophical motifs, at Salon des Beaux Arts 2017, he has utilized the temporal and spatial nature of the moving images, to redefine and recognize the “aesthetics of Japan” through lights and shadows.

Though their creative fields differ, Shun Kawakami and Seven Shuffles reinterpret traditional Japanese sense of beauty to be presented to the world. By intertwining videography and global perspectives, they have breathed in qualities to the shadows; scents, humidity and weights.




In Praise of Shadows from artless Inc. on Vimeo















shun kawakami x seven shuffles at Salon des Beaux Arts 2017

November 30, 2017


shun kawakami x seven shuffles
at Salon des Beaux Arts 2017

Shun Kawakami, CEO of artless Inc. and art director/artist, was invited to be one of the main artists of Salon des Beaux Arts 2017, where his work will be on display at the Louvre Museum.

Salon des Beaux Arts is a festival of the arts held every year at the Louvre Museum, organized by the Société nationale des beaux-arts, a French art group with a rich history going back 150 years. More than 600 artists from across the globe representing the contemporary art scene; from painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, to illustrators, gather to exhibit their work, wherein select artists in each discipline are given awards for their exemplary works. Many artists from Japan, including calligraphers Sisyu and Suito Nakatsuka, have in the past received the esteemed award.
This year the festival will be held from December 7th to the 10th at Les Salles du Carrousel in the Louvre Museum, and the award ceremony will be held on the 9th.

The work on display “In Praise of Shadows” by Shun Kawakami is made in collaboration with Tokyo and London based video art group seven shuffles (Tomohiro Ishioka & MATIJA SUHADOLC). Utilizing the temporal and spatial nature of the medium and the three-dimensional effect of the manifold timelines (passage) and spatial perversion of the moving image, the work through lights and shadows redefines and recognizes the “unique aesthetics of Japan”.

Having been awarded with one of the world’s top three advertising awards, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (Cannes, France), as well as NY ADC, One Show, D&AD, and iF: International Forum Design Hanover, Shun Kawakami is poised to bring his unique aesthetic vision to Salon des Beaux Arts.

artless Inc. 代表でありアートディレクター/アーティストの川上シュンが、この度 Salon des Beaux Arts 2017にメインアーティストの一人として招待され、パリ・ルーヴル美術館にて作品展示を行います。

Salon des Beaux Arts(サロン・デ・ボザール)とは、150年を超える歴史を持つフランスの美術団体 Société nationale des beaux-arts(ソシエテ・ナショナル・デ・ボザール)が主催するアートの祭典で、毎年パリのルーヴル美術館で開催されています。現代を代表する画家、彫刻家、版画家、写真家、イラストレーターなど総勢600人のアーティストたちが世界中から集まり作品を展示し、ジャンルごとに審査を受けます。日本からも書家の紫舟や中塚翠涛など多岐に渡るアーティストが Salon des Beaux Artsに参加し、名誉ある賞を受賞してきました。
本年度は12月7日~10日まで、ルーヴル美術館内の Les Salles du Carrousel にて開催され、9日に受賞式が行われる予定です。

今回川上が出展する「In Praise of Shadows – 陰翳礼讃 – 」は、東京とロンドンを拠点に活躍する映像ユニット seven shuffles(石岡友敬 & MATIJA SUHADOLC)とのコラボレーション作品となります。映像の媒体的特性である時間性や空間性を利用し、複合的なタイムライン(経過)や空間性倒錯させるという動画の立体感を利用して、陰影の中に「日本独自の美」を再定義そして再認識させるビデオワークです。

これまでも、世界3大広告賞の一つといわれる「カンヌライオンズ国際クリエイティビティ・フェスティバル/Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (Cannes, France)」や、NY ADC、One show、D&AD、iF: International Forum Design Hannover などを受賞してきた川上による Salon des Beaux Arts での展示に、是非ご注目下さい。


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vmd & Installation

pmq hong kong multimedia installation art

May 29, 2017

pmq hong kong
artwork + installation design + concept design + sign design + graphic design

credit :
creative direction, art direction & artwork: shun kawakami, artless Inc.
space design & installation: kazunori matsumura, firm.
calligraphy: gen miyamura
video art: seven shuffles

installation assistant: ken aoki, artless Inc.
graphic design: koyuki inagaki, artless Inc.

‘Bokusho -墨象-,’ an installation art piece that combines the artwork by Shun Kawakami and calligraphic strokes by Gen Miyamura, first released in 2011 for ISETAN, was revived and evolved in 2016 at Hong Kong deTour 2016.

‘deTour’ is a concurrent annual event of ‘the Business of Design Week,’ organised and hosted by Hong Kong Design Centre and PMQ. In 2016, with the year’s theme being ‘Game Changer,’ we were selected to be part of the programme by creating an installation art piece to be set up at PMQ in Central, Hong Kong.

Our response to the theme ‘Game Changer’ was to create an artwork that questions the definition of a traditional art form. The title of our artwork ‘Bokusho -墨象 -’ is directly derived from the term meaning an avant-garde calligraphy style that sprung out of post-war Japan. In this artwork, traditional calligraphy and ink painting are explored in different forms.

Photos of Japanese pines, calligraphic strokes and alphabets were combined and printed on translucent fabrics. Visitors were able to walk into the artwork – making the visitors themselves to be part of the calligraphic pine forest. Do we define an art form by its subject matter, media or aesthetic style? Rather, we believe in philosophical and atmospheric ethos – the spontaneity of strokes, the tension within the accidental negative spaces – and that an art form should not be confined by a definition.

This artwork questions such definition, to become ‘the game changer’ in the field of traditional art form.

2016年、「Hong Kong Design Centre」と「PMQ」が共同で主催するアートイベント「deTour 2016」に川上シュンがアーティストとして参加し、インスタレーションアートを制作しました。

「deTour」は、Hong Kong Design Centre が2002年から主催するインターナショナルイベント「Business of Design Week」と同時開催する、年に一度のアートイベントです。香港の中心地「中環」に位置するクリエイティブハブ「PMQ」で、約2週間の間、香港をはじめとしたアジアの若手クリエイターの作品を展示した他、ワークショップ・イベントを開催し、アジア地域のクリエイティブホットスポットとしての香港を体感することができるイベントになりました。

毎年異なるテーマで実施される「deTour」、2016年のテーマは「Game Changer」=「概念をくつがえすもの」。伝統芸術のあり方を問う前衛芸術運動「墨象」を題したインスタレーションアートを制作し、川上シュンのアートと書家・宮村弦氏の書が生み出す世界観を、空間デザイナー・Firm. の松村和典氏とのコラボレーションで空間化いたしました。


伝統的なアート表現を現代のテクノロジーと、そしてグラフィックを映像・音楽と組み合わせた空間構成で、日本の伝統美術を体験型アートへと昇華させ、香港の地でグローバルなオーディエンスに伝えることで、「墨象」のタイトルに表現されるような「Game Changer」の制作を試みた作品です。









video & motion graphics

direction for UZUMASA EDO SAKABA

September 30, 2016

UZUMASA EDO SAKABA / movie and space installation 
produce + artist curation + art direction

creative direction and produce: artless Inc.
art direction and design: shun kawakami + kazuki kaneko, artless Inc.

flower art: takayuki tanaka, united flowers
motion graphics: EDP graphic works
photography: yuu kawakami, artless Inc.

suibokuga: shoh yoshida
calligraphy: yuuna okanishi
sound design: JEMAPUR
ceramic art: hirotsugu ogawa
agency: ryo kagami, dentsu Inc. + takuhei matsuura, secai Inc.

client: Toei Company, ltd.

Uzumasa Edo Sakaba: Bakumatsu Summer Festival is a summer nights festival held in Uzumasa’s Toei Kyoto Studio Park,
where guests can enjoy Kyoto’s traditional performances while tasting local sake and foods; all in a meticulously crafted Edo period setting.In commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Ito Jakuchu, we produced, curated, and art directed an installation and motion graphic piece based on the theme of Jakuchu and flowers.

Tanaka Takayuki, a highly recognised flower artist who is active both in his home country and abroad, was deeply affected by Jakuchu’s works and had been creating flower art as an homage to the esteemed artist. The photographs that he took of his artworks as a record of his artistic journey, were used to create the motion graphic piece.The motion graphic was created by EDP graphic works; a studio based in Shibuya, Daikanyama and Fukuoka, that has created various films and motion graphic works for television shows and commercials.The Suibokuga(Japanese ink painting) featured in the opening of the video was created by Syoh Yoshida, a Kyoto based artist whose artwork had been featured in many galleries in Japan and overseas, including an exhibition in New York. The title was done by award winning calligrapher Yuuna Okanishi. The music was composed by JEMAPUR, a musician who has been at the forefront of the electronic music scene, and rakuyaki-ware artist Hirotsugu Ogawa created the rakuyaki flower vase that works in synergy with the motion graphic to create the singular atmosphere of the space.

In collaborating with eclectic artists and creators from various fields, we were able to create a space that invokes Jakuchu and the uniquely Japanese notions of ‘wabi-sabi’ as filtered through a modern lens.

京都・太秦にある東映映画村にて開催された、「幕末」をテーマに京都の伝統芸能、地酒・食事が楽しめるイベント「太秦 江戸酒場 ~幕末・夏祭り~」。伊藤若冲の生誕300年を記念して、「若冲と華」をコンセプトとした映像および空間インスタレーションを開催し、artlessはプロデュース、キュレーションおよびアートディレクションを行いました。

国内外を問わず、空間装飾から広告、アートプロジェクトまで多岐に渡り活躍しているフラワーアーティスト・田中孝幸が、若冲の作品に感銘を受け、彼へのオマージュとしてフラワーアートを制作し、撮りためてきた写真を映像作品へと昇華させています。映像デザインは、渋谷、代官山、福岡を拠点に、TV&映画のオープニングタイトルやコマーシャルムービーを中心に、さまざまなモーショングラフィック作品を世に送り出しているEDP graphic works が担当。また、オープニングの水墨画はNYで作品展示を行うなど海外でも活躍している吉田翔、題字は国内外で数多くの賞を受賞している書道家の岡西佑奈。


















vmd & Installation

art installation for starbucks | q-front shibuya

February 01, 2016

starbucks | q-front shibuya
art installation

credit :
creative direction: artless Inc.
planning, art direction: shun kawakami, artless Inc.

design: nao nozawa, artless Inc.
photographer: yuu kawakami
client: Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd.

We had the great pleasure of designing a mural for Starbucks Q-front; a popular attraction unto itself, located in the prime location of Shibuya and overlooking the busiest crossing in the world.

We depicted the ‘Coffee Belt’, an imaginary band that stretches around the world that encompasses major coffee growing areas; as a semi-three dimensional map using carefully arranged cubes of wood
of varying sizes and colors. A mosaic of pixels, representing the cutting edge digital scene of Shibuya, expresses the fabric patterns that are originated in the coffee producing regions.

Through our design, our aim was to create a warm atmosphere that would envelope customers as they make their purchase on the first floor and then on the second floor, take a leisurely sip of their coffee as they watch the hustle and bustle of the city below. We believe Starbuck’s hospitable spirit and our design philosophy was conveyed through the use of wood and handwritten text and other meticulously thought out details.

We are extremely proud and delighted that we were able to contribute our design to an iconic Starbucks store; visited by millions, locally and from abroad. It would be our pleasure if you drop by whenever you visit Shibuya.

Lastly, we would like to extend our gratitude to the many who supported us and helped bring our vision to reality.

世界的に人気のある東京の観光スポット渋谷の一番目立つ場所にある渋谷Q-frontのスターバックスコーヒーSHBUYA TUSTAYA店の壁面アートをデザインしました。






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© artless Inc. All rights direction + design by artless (tokyo) / interactive design by manmaru (paris) / sound by noiselessly