The Nakaochiai Gallery has a new show by Becky Yee, “Back to the Streets,” starting this Saturday.
Chinese-American artist Becky Yee’s Back to the Streets examines the dying world of the city’s shotengai, or shopping streets. As Tokyo evolves, the city’s youth and youth culture have concentrated on the major centers: namely, Shibuya and Harajuku. Ignored by much of Tokyo’s youth are the fringes of the city’s older shopping streets. These traditional areas live on, but for the most part they are the world of the Japan’s “silver” generation.
Back to the Streets takes place at Nakaochiai Gallery, itself a former noodle shop located on a nearly dead shotengai. It is here, through a series of portraits, that Yee breathes life back into the shotengai by preserving their individual sense of community. Yee redirects attention to the shotengai by juxtaposing these fading communities with the youth culture and fashion found in the city’s major centers.
The extreme difference between Ura and Omote, or the surface and what lies beneath, is what continues to influence much of her work. The mainstream of much of Japanese society contrasts with what she calls, “the city’s crazy underworld of culture and landscape.”
More info here.