Yukie Kamiya Appointed Director of Japan Society Gallery
By Simon Frank
New York’s Japan Society has appointed Japanese curator Yukie Kamiya as the new director of its gallery. Previously the chief curator at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima MoCA) in Japan, Kamiya will step into her new position at the Japan Society on November 16. During her time at Hiroshima MoCA, which began in 2007, Kamiya organized prominent solo exhibitions of artists such as Yoko Ono and Cai Guo-Qiang and led the institution through the difficult period following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, when it was faced with issues such as restrictions on the shipment of foreign artworks to Japan.
The new post will not be Kamiya’s first experience in New York; from 2003 to 2006 she was an adjunct and associate curator at the New Museum. She will have a busy year ahead of her in the city, having concurrently been appointed the 2016 curator for the Jewish Museum’s annual series “Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video.” In previous years, Kamiya was also on the advisory board for the 2014 Yokohama Triennale and was a contributing writer for the 2010 publication Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture.
Since beginning its activities in 1907, the Japan Society has been an instrumental force in fostering cultural exchange and understanding between Japan and the United States. Located at the organization’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan, the Japan Society Gallery is renowned for featuring exhibitions of contemporary and traditional art, as well as engaging with Japan’s global influence in the field of design and popular culture. Notable recent exhibitions have included: “Deco Japan” (2012), showcasing Art Deco designs from early 20th-century Japan; a collection of new works by Japanese multimedia artist Mariko Mori (2013), and “Life of Cats” (2015), which approaches the current internet popularity of cats through a selection of Edo-period woodblock prints. The gallery’s current show, “For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979,” which will run until January 2016, celebrates the explosion of innovative art in the decades following the postwar reconstruction of Japan.