At "Resol Gallery Ueno" within the Living Lobby, up-and-coming artists showcase a variety of artworks embodying their thoughts and skills.
The unique artistic experience in Ueno, known as a town of academism, provides travelers with a distinct flavor beyond a typical hotel stay.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the gallery also has a special exhibition section held every other month, offering visitors the opportunity for new discoveries and personal growth with each visit.
Here are some of the artworks on display in the permanent collection.
On the large pedestrian bridge in front of Ueno Station, there are two large objects themed around the sun and the moon. Each is placed at a different points on the pedestrian bridge, and although the "moon" object, in particular, is not well known, both are the creations of the late Shoji Yokokawa, an environmental designer and one of my mentors during my university days. By expressing the contrast between yin and yang within the abstract forms, these sculptures encourage travelers exploring the Ueno area to make small discoveries. Please visit them with deep respect for Mr.Yokokawa.
Panda(2020, Masaru Ishikawa and Keita Shimizu, acrylic paint on resin figures)
Derived from the block-type figure BE@BRICK originating in Japan, the symbol of Ueno, the panda,was painted in the color of cherry blossoms.
It is said that when a baby panda is licked by its mother, it turns pink, and the pink panda is a symbol of affection. This object, painted repeatedly with time and affection, grows with Resol Ueno, cherished by many customers.
EDO, rotated 90°(2020, keita Shimizu, print on canvas)
By inverting the colors of a late Edo-period map and rotating it 90 degrees, it transformed into a satellite image capturing a night view of Tokyo. Can you spot Resol Ueno?
Ueno(2020, Keita Shimizu, acrylic paint on wooden panels)
A painting emerged, depicting a historical town in a foreign land, crowded with numerous buildings, all sketched with simple black lines. Ueno is known for its many distinctive structures, and the idea arose of capturing their coexistence with a simple, childlike feeling rather than providing a detailed explanation. In the creation of this artwork, there was a deliberate effort to avoid overthinking, opting instead to paint with very simple emotions.
Designer, Design Consultant
Born in 1974 in Tokyo.
After completing the Master's Program for Artists at Tokyo University of the Arts, Mr. Shimizu embarked on his career as a designer based in Milan.
Growing up in the United States and pursuing a designer's life in Italy, his inclusive designs, shaped from a globally cultivated perspective, have garnered acclaim both in Japan and internationally. Recently, he has expanded his involvement beyond product design, delving into hotel concept development and corporate design for a multitude of companies.
Here are some of the pieces in this month's special exhibition.
This is a famous quote by Pascal: "Man is a thinking reed." I remember hearing this quote on the television when I was a child. However, being a city kid, I didn't really understand what "reed" meant.
So, here's my take on Pascal's words:
I painted Toneri Park, where people stand quietly in the evening glow. I couldn't help but wonder if this is what the last day on earth would feel like.
This piece is about Saint Kuya. Saint Kuya continuously emits numerous Amida Buddhas from his mouth. This suggests that inside Saint Kuya, there must be an Amida Buddha production line in operation. For example, tiny Buddhist sculptors are diligently carving Amida Buddhas with their chisels. With this in mind, I became eager to see inside Saint Kuya. So, I peeled off Saint Kuya. Of course, I couldn't actually peel him, so I expressed it through art.
This piece captures Kyoto Station in winter.
At first glance, many might assume that it's a group of high school girls on a school trip, joyfully exploring Kyoto Station, wouldn't you? But take another look.
Each wears a distinct school uniform, and their belongings appear a bit worn. Could they be middle school classmates who have moved on to different high schools, gathered together? It's still daylight, so did they skip school? Or did they convene for some other reason? This is a glimpse of Kyoto Station in winter.
The local girl had arranged to go swimming with her friend from the city, but it seems that the city girl still wants to go fishing, so her request is declined. It's a shame, especially since she's wearing her cutest swimsuit.
But does the city girl really want to go fishing? Take a closer look. She doesn't have a bucket for the fish she catches, nor does she have a bait box. She's just pretending to fish.
It's kind of mean, isn't it?
The world of girls is immeasurable.
This piece captures Ine, Kyoto.
Born in Tokyo in 1956.
After graduating from the Faculty of Literature, French Literature Department at Sophia University, Ishida worked as a creative director for advertising, including TV commercials.
In 2019, Ishida began painting.
When you hear the word "art," what kind of image comes to mind? Colorful and decorative paintings? Naive yet charming? Flat and geometric? Ishida's paintings seem to exist in a distant, fringe area from the mainstream perception of "art." Thus, they may not fit neatly into that category. There's no particular intention behind it. It just comes out that way.
■2019 Public Exhibition Toten Incentive Award (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum)
■JAM Public Exhibition Selection
■2021 Kokuten Selection (The National Art Center, Tokyo)
■2021 World ART EXHIBITION the Doshisha Prize Awarded (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum)
■The Power of Painting and Words Exhibition (Matsuzakaya)
■2021&2022 Adachi Ward Exhibition Adachi Mayor's Prize, Adachi Council Chairman's Prize
■2022 Kokuten Selection (The National Art Center, Tokyo), etc.