The world’s most elusive street artist has made his way to Japan.
BANKSY: Genius or Vandal?, which displays more than 70 famed Banksy original works has been held in Moscow, Madrid and Lisbon as well as in Yokohama and Osaka and will next be held in Nagoya from 3 February to 31 May 2021.

Despite retaining anonymity, Banksy is a household name in the world of street art, and is best known for the political statements shared through his murals that go on to encourage change in cities across the globe.
Though his face and identity remain concealed, Banksy can be recognised by his signature stencil graffiti, which have popped up overnight during vital turning points over the last 3 decades. The satirical and dark humoured nature of the designs are influenced by social issues of the modern age and quickly become a talking point amongst art critics, political figures and the media.

Although his artwork can be found on streets, walls and bridges at multiple locations across the world, Banksy nurtured his style in the underground art scene of Bristol; a port city in the South West of England, known for raising numerous artists and musicians.

The Nagoya version of BANKSY: Genius or Vandal? will showcase some of Banksy’s most well known designs and will include individual collector items, original works, prints and 3D pieces. The exhibition itself will be the largest of Banksy’s events to have been opened to the public. Visitors to the event will find themselves admiring the artist and will be able to make up their own minds of whether Banksy is an art genius or just another street vandal.

The exhibition will also welcome the artwork ‘No Swimming’ for the first time in Japan. This particular piece was originally installed in 2006 beside a lake swimming pool near London’s Hyde Park, and threatened swimmers in the area with being eaten alive by alligators. Despite the sign being new to the landscape and the threat being highly unlikely and out of place, it took about 3 weeks for it to be noticed by visitors to the park. This blending into the cityscape is a common feature in Banksy’s work, and he often incorporates common road and city signs into his designs.
‘No Swimming’ and similar pieces can be interpreted as a criticism of human beings and modern societies who blindly go about their daily lives without questioning the world in front of them.

BANKSY: Genius or Vandal? Exhibition Highlights

Banksy's humorous society satire:
All of Banksy's works might look catchy and humorous, but hidden within them are sharp social satire and political messages. In this exhibition, the works will be summarized by themes such as "politics", "protest", and "consumption", and the production intention will be revealed.

Amongst the exhibition will be some of Banksy’s best known pieces such as ‘Love is in the Air’, ‘Girl with a Balloon’, and ‘Love Rat’.

Experience-based exhibitions using installations and multimedia:
In this exhibition, Banksy’s world view is brought to life. On a large three-sided screen, Banksy installations and creations will appear alongside behind the scenes of Banksy’s artistic production (without revealing his identity of course!)
Additionally, the exhibit will include various video installations from Banksy’s 2015 theme park ‘Dismaland’ and a reproduction of ‘The Walled Off Hotel’ which was built in Palestine in 2017 as a social commentary on the affects of the israeli-palestine conflict.

BANKSY: Genius or Vandal? (Japanese event name: バンクシー展 天才か反逆者か)

Dates: Wednesday 3 February – Monday 31 May 2021
Times: 10:00 – 20:00 (Last admission 19:30)
Location: Former Nagoya Boston Museum (Kanayama Minami Building, 1-1-1 Kanayama-cho, Naka-ku 460-0023, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Follow this link for the official event website.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.