Aoki Akio Gallery at Art Basel


West Encounters East is a documentary produced by arts activist and collector Stella Holmes. The piece, due to be released by public television in 2013, studies the relationship between Japanese and Brazilian cultures as seen through the works of Japanese/Brazilian artists.



At Art Basel Miami Beach, Ms. Holmes visited the Vermelho gallery out of Sao Paulo, which is owned by Japanese/Brazilian gallerist Akio Aoki. The gallery displayed an installation by a native Brazilian with Japanese roots. The artist, Andre Komatsu, has an architectural background and created a three-dimensional piece from wood that adheres to his architectural understanding while also keeping with the clean, minimalistic nature of the Japanese aesthetic. The piece exhibits wonderfully precise geometric attributes and is a smaller scale model of what the artist hopes to one day re-create as a large scale installation.

As Ms. Holmes discovers more aspects of this newly defined genre, we gain a deeper understanding of a group living in a multi-cultural society that identifies completely as Brazilian, yet displays aspects of their Japanese heritage. The results of this mixture are still being identified as the West continues its ongoing encounter with the East.