Epicentre for up-and-coming
Roka exhibits a collection of artworks
by Japan’s emerging talent.
All the artworks are curated by Shigeo Goto, a professor at Kyoto University of the Arts,
who actively shares information about domestic contemporary art.
Notice not only the edgy curation of the artworks but keep an eye
out for an impromptu art event when you plan to stay with us.
Art is meant to shake up one’s mind, heal one’s soul and inspire one to take action.
Interacting with artworks at Roka is different from seeing them at galleries and museums.
Your experience with them is
much deeper and more personal.
Featured Artist Programme
Like “Ether#80,” the white sculpture work in the courtyard by Kohei Nawa and the painting “Seasonal flowers and birds” by Ryo Shinagawa that graces the wall in the café-bar, many works by Japan’s up-and-coming artists are dotted throughout the inn.
Roka has launched a programme called “Featured Artist” where a selected artist will display their works in all the eleven guest suites. They are also for sale. Many of these artworks are replaced twice a year by those of newly selected artists.
We hope to create a place that attracts art lovers from all over the world and nurture artistic inspiration which will give rise to new projects by supporting our domestic talent and offering them a venue to present their works.
- Vol. 04
- Shohei Yamamoto
Inner jolt caused by the structure of the paintings created by repetition over iconographic motifs
I have been invited to show my artwork series “Calcite on Myth,” currently on display in the restaurant En, also in each of the twelve suites. This series is part of the works I have created by repeatedly going over some of the familiar Greek mythology icons and Egyptian artifacts using self-made rollers. Similar to how cultural clashes or “noise” occurred when different cultures were introduced into Japan giving birth to a brand-new hybrid culture, I hope you will enjoy a jolt you might feel caused by the visual structural contrast, repetition over historical iconographs in Ryokan Roka where both the East and the West exist in harmony.
1994 Born in Kanagawa Prefecture 2019 Graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design with Art major specializing in painting In our modern digital environment, Yamamoto chooses to create his paintings by adopting an analogue method, which is to paint with self-made rollers. He fixes in our mind a series of traditional iconographs and symbols often regarded as something transient by playing with the idea of repetition. Some of his notable exhibitions include "Calcite on Myth: Myth" Ritsuki Fujisaki Gallery (Tokyo, 2022), KUAD ANNUAL2019 "Spaceship Earth" Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (Tokyo, 2019), "Re:Reiterate" Institut Français Tokyo (Tokyo, 2019)
Born in 1975. Sculptor/Chairman at Sandwich Inc./Professor at the Kyoto City University of Arts. Nawa graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts with a PhD in sculpture in 2003.
Nawa’s 'PixCell' series symbolizing our digital culture was launched in 2002. The artist explores the ideas of ” surfaces” with his sculpture works which are also informed and inspired by cellular biology. Since then, he has created a series of works that challenge the definition of sculpture. By revealing the physical properties of the materials used, he has managed to create new sensory experiences for the viewers. In 2018, his 3D suspended-installation work “Throne” was exhibited within the glass Louvre Pyramid in Paris.
Shohei Yamamoto (b.1994, Kanagawa, Japan) graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts with an MA in 2019. In the same year, won the Art Award Tokyo Marunouchi 2019 and the French Embassy in Japan Award. Yamamoto adopted a unique approach to creating his paintings. He uses his original roller with which he “paints” by repeatedly rolling over traditional iconographs and images that often appear in art history. One of his solo exhibitions is “Re:Reiterate” at Institut français du Japon – Tokyo in 2020.
Kohei Yamada (b. 1997, Osaka, Japan) graduated from Musashino Art University, majoring in oil painting in 2020. The same year, he was admitted to the Master's oil painting programme at Kyoto University of the Arts. Yamada has been selected for the “CAF Award 2020” and “FACE 2020 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Art Award Exhibition. Some of his solo exhibitions include “Sen-no-hairikata” at MtK Contemporary Art and at Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya Bookstore Gallery Space (2022), “road” at Daikanyama Hillside Terrace Annex A in Tokyo (2021), “Nobori, Oriru” at Gallery Bi-no-sha (2022).
Daisuke Yokota (b. 1985, Saitama, Japan) graduated from Nippon Photography Institute in 2003. Yokota has become a sought-after artist both domestically and internationally after receiving several awards including the first Outset Unseen Exhibition Fund Award (2013) at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam with a solo exhibition opportunity afterwards at Foam Photography Museum (2014), Foam Paul Huf Award (2016) and the Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award (2019). Some of his notable solo exhibitions include “Photographs”at rin art association(2021)and “SHAPE OF LIGHT” at Tate Modern(2018).
Masashi Shigeta (b. 1985, Chiba, Japan) graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a master in ceramics. Shigeta won the Hirayama Ikuo Award (2006) and one of his works was selected for the Kikuchi Biennale (2011). Currently based in Kashiwa City, Chiba, the artist has created numerous works. Some of his recent exhibitions include “Sozaino hana-heralding spring-“ at Art Front Gallery (2021), “Shigeta Masashi Pottery exhibition-CRYSTALLIZE” at Sogo Chiba (2018).
Born in Osaka in 1987. Shinagawa studied Japanese painting in Kyoto. Also with his training both in Italy and Switzerland under his belt, he explores contemporary possibilities for Japanese art.
Shinagawa has so far exhibited his works mainly in Asia including Japan, Seoul and Taipei but Basel and New York have hosted his shows. Some of his clients for his commissioned works include TIGER CORPORATION (Thermo bottles), Shimogamo-saryo (Kyoto haute cuisine) and Suiran luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto.
Roka Art Project
Greeting from the Art Producer
A ryokan with a contemporary art gallery has opened its doors in Naoshima, a world-renowned art destination and one of the host islands of Setouchi Triennale. Naoshima Ryokan Roka explores ways to make traditions relative to our age. The launch of the “Roka Art Project” coincided with the ryokan’s opening.
Its mission is to identify and nurture emerging talent and create a mid-to-long-term support system to show and market their art works. One of the first steps we have taken is to make the lounge and the dining space into a gallery for its permanent collection as well as having half-a-year solo exhibitions of selected young artists in all the eleven guest suites.
The participating artists for our permanent collection include Kohei Nawa, now world-famous after the showing of his ambitious sculpture work within the glass Louvre Pyramid in Paris, Ryo Shinagawa, Shohei Yamamoto, Kohei Yamada, leading contemporary Japanese artists and the Kimura Ihei Award winner/photographer Daisuke Yokota. The first solo artist exhibition started in April, 2022. The new series “Twelve works inspired by the imperial anthology Shin kokin wakashu (New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern)” by the sought-after artist, Ryo Shinagawa, graces the walls of the eleven suites. All the works are for sale online with the priority given to the staying guests. In addition to the ongoing selected artists exhibitions, the Roka Art Project is planning to add another creative dimension to Naoshima by launching an artist in residence programme and a new gallery space in the coming years.
Shigeo Goto Profile
Shigeo Goto is an editor, creative director, art producer, and professor at Kyoto University of Arts who was born in Osaka, Japan. Under the motto of “unique editing,” he has produced many art books and photopraph collections for Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono, Kishin Shinoyama, Mika Ninagawa, and Kohei Nawa. He has also curated more than 150 exhibitions through his platform, G/P+abp. His most recent production work was the direction of Kohei Nawa’s huge installation “Metamorphosis Garden” at GINZA SIX. He also runs the GOTO Lab at Kyoto University of the Arts and the SUPER SCHOOL online “A&E (ART & EDIT).”