Holding the Storm


22 December 2023 - 28 January 2024
*Open Fri. Sat. Sun.
*Close on 29, 30, 31 December, 2023






ASAKUSA is delighted to announce Metahaven 's first solo exhibition in Japan, titled Holding the Storm, opening on Friday, December 22, 2023.

Metahaven is an artist collective formed in 2007 in Amsterdam, by graphic designers Vinca Kruk (b.1980 in Leiden) and Daniel van der Velden (b. 1971 in Rotterdam). Since its foundation, the collective has been engaged in the fields of art, design, literature, cinema, and fashion, with a focus on graphic design within evolving digital technologies. Metahaven's critical attitude and philosophical inquiries set them apart as a unique entity. Their commentary on geopolitical and media representation through filmmaking and design not only challenges the boundaries of aesthetic language, but also gives rise to poetic and metaphysical questions—interwoven with a diverse array of texts and images from science fiction, animation, and children's books.

The exhibition showcases Metahaven's new work series Holding the Storm (2023), commissioned by ASAKUSA, and the video installation Chaos Theory (2021), which explores the intricacies of linguistic expression for the real and imaginary beings from the perspective of caring for and about children. The exhibition also features the related textile series Arrows (2020), Blossoms (2021), Secrets (2021), Swans (2023) and Bus Seats (2023).

The artists will be present at the opening on December 22 from 16:00.

ASAKUSA is a 40-square-meter exhibition venue for contemporary art programmes committed to advancing curatorial collaboration and practices. The programs follow the artistic development since Futurism, Dada, Fluxus, the emergence of video art and institutional critique, while providing a historical framework to the local art context. It has worked with artists Thomas Hirschhorn, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Yoko Ono, Anton Vidokle and Hito Steyerl amongst others, while introducing Japanese early avant-garde collectives such as Mavo (1924-25) and documentary filmmakers Prokino (1929-31). Artists talks, discussions, academic symposia and publications are produced alongside these programs.

Asakusa opened in 2015, with an aim to co-curate exhibitions with researchers of diverse academic fields, and to focus on programmes which combine community-based initiatives with social and political agendas. The organisation is run by a small voluntary team —currently of two people— recruiting additional members to execute each project. This year, it launched “Asakusa Entertainments”, a serial exhibition of videos and films which critically reviews the history of mass culture and entertainment industries. The programme intends to promote discursive culture in the gallery’s neighborhoods, through inviting artists to deliver talk, performance and to produce new work in commission. Both print and digital publication of “Asakusa (Journal)” is currently under way.

Gen Adachi / Khalid Albaih / Serafín Álvarez / Aoyama | Meguro Gallery / ARCUS / Masaru Araki, Okayama University / Taka Atsugi / Oliver Beer / Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz / Federica Buzzi / Yin-Ju Chen / Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation / Guy Debord / Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei / James T. Hong / IM Heung-soon / Thomas Hirshhorn / Mikhail Karikis /Kawakami Laboratory / Makoto Kinoshita / Yuki Kobayashi / Lawrence Lek / Matthieu Lelièvre / LUX / Tomoyoshi Murayama / Akiyoshi Nita / Yen Noh / Eiji Oguma, Keio University / Tatsuo Okada / Toki Okamoto / Yoshua Okón / Yoko Ono / Koichiro Osaka / The Otolith Group / Luke Caspar Pearson / Raymond Pettibon / Prokino / Sanya Labour Welfare Hall Action Committee / Sanya Production and Screening Committee / Mateusz Sapija / Mitsuo Sato / SCAI The Bathhouse / Tomoko Shimizu / Santiago Sierra / Kristin Surak / Swiss Embassy, Tokyo / Rirkrit Tiravanija / Anton Vidokle / Kyoichi Yamaoka / Masamu Yanase / Héctor Zamora and more.

Current project members:
Koichiro Osaka, Mariko Mikami

Koichiro Osaka