GALLERY MoMo opened in 2003 in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. Since then, MoMo branched out to open its secondary space in Ryogoku in 2008.
As one of the leading Japanese galleries that represents native artists born in the 70’s and 80’s, the gallery specializes in portraying the particular reflections and unique expressions of these artists.
Hello MoMo, thanks for having us today! We’re thrilled for this opportunity to get to know you guys better. Let’s begin by talking about the artists you work with. We are curious to know what makes this group of generational artists so special?
GALLERY MoMo has focused on young Japanese artists born after 1970’s and 80’s because the founder of the gallery Tetsuo Sugita believes this generation outstandingly represents the modern day interiorities that the artists sensitively feel in their bones.
The founder used to be a collector of Japanese artists such as Yoshitomo Nara, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Makiko Kudo and Hideki Kawashima. So, naturally, the gallery artists reflect his taste. Many of the works by artists in our gallery stand between art and illustration. For this specific generation who is influenced by Japanese subculture like animation and comics, it is a natural way to express their feelings with super flat touch, effectively showing their inside.
Could you tell us a little about your latest exhibition on Yoshiko Fukushima’s Somewhere Someone?
We have been working with the artist Yoshiko Fukushima for nine years. She is one of the artists who really personifies the gallery’s character. Fukushima has developed portraits with her unique touches and slight earth-tones. The facial expressions of the portraits Fukushima describes reflect the humans’ deep inside and brings the strong message to the viewers directly. Especially, the downcast eyes or blank faces Fukushima depicts appeal to problems that many young people have today.
Recently, Fukushima struggled to develop her new series. Employing the actual people or historical paintings, and getting the images from the landscape and the ideas in front of her, Fukushima is trying to describe the various motifs. The change of her life environment and the way helps her creativities and provide the ranges. In this exhibition, she shows her latest 15 paintings that can see both her challenge and established unique expression.
How interesting! Can’t wait to go see the show myself. Well now that we know a little bit about the gallery, I know you have been enjoying ArtBinder for some time now. Exactly how long have you been with us? Mind telling us in what ways our services helped your gallery?
We began using ArtBinder in March. You guys have helped us better manage our inventory by labeling artists and exhibitions on our behalf. We used our records of inventory data made with Excel to export it straight into our ArtBinder account. The fluidity of the process made it so much easier for us to use this service.
What are some of your favorite ArtBinder features that you use on a daily basis? Or, in an art fair setting?
Our favorite feature is the customizable inventory management for Editioned works. We have a solo exhibition of Chika Osaka mainly representing the artist’s recent lithographs, so the editions management system is very helpful and easy to use.
Also, I haven’t used the feature yet, but I have high expectations for the payment system with credit card via ArtBinder [Check Out] when I participate in art fairs outside of Japan.
Wonderful! We would love to hear your thoughts about it after you make your first transaction through your iPad or iPhone. If you would like to know more about the Checkout system, visit our Q&A page!
Speaking of art fairs, now that MoMo is going beyond the Japanese art scene and breaking into the international art market, what are some of the biggest challenges you face as you expand globally?
The biggest challenge we face as we expand globally is making our gallery and artists well-known. We have participated in VOLTA NY three times and received a lot of positive responses from the collectors and visitors. With quicker turnovers and larger number of events to prepare for, it becomes crucial to regularly update the exhibition and new artwork information for people who discover our artists at the fair. Gaging our clients’ interests takes a lot of time and effort.
You’re right! With the ever-expanding art market, savvier dealers and galleries, like yourself, are taking advantage of digital tools to not only extend their outreach worldwide but to help manage their busy schedules while they are traveling.
If you were to give three most effective ways to save time, what would they be?
- Put together artist portfolios quickly
- Make artwork information easily accessible
- Generate invoices quickly!
How do you think ArtBinder has helped you achieve this?
ArtBinder has helped a lot. Not only does it enable the three things I’ve listed, but it also has a well-organized database system, so I can manage the artworks once I put in their information. Also, I can send artwork information through the system and directly provide invoices paid by credit card.
We went ahead and asked GALLERY MoMo if they could wave a magic wand, what would be their ideal way of organizing their inventory.
They responded by noting that they recognize the differences between paper-based documentation and having a digital database storage and organization. They claimed that they “still keep paper-based portfolios for documentation, but we also need a digital portfolio for practical reasons”
Luckily for MoMo, we’re launching a new all-in-one system called ArtBinder Index which will further help in art management whether they want it digitally on the go, or whether they want to access it to print it out. Stay tuned for more on this in the next few weeks!
Last but not least, MoMo, tell us about some of the projects you are working on right now. What are your next steps?
Currently, we are working on participating in more international art fairs. The gallery hopes to expand and will be at Art Taipei this November and PULSE MIAMI BEACH this December 2016.
That’s so exciting! We wish the best of luck in your future projects, and we can’t wait to see you amidst the hustle & bustle of this upcoming art season!
Hungry to know more about other ArtBinder Features? Check out our blog post on the 3 ArtBinder Features You’re Definitely Not Using Yet!
Header Image: Yoshiko Fukushima Someone’s Portrait (2016), Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the MoMo Gallery and the artist.