In late 2019, when multi-talented Taiwanese ceramics artist Yu Jen decided on a collaboration with Gallery Towed in eastern Tokyo’s Sumida Ward, little did he know plans made with gallery owners Minami and Yurika would be just one of countless victims of art and humanity around the world being put on hold because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Yu Jen did not give up, however, and despite the virus continuing to claim lives that exhibition has finally been realised – still at Gallery Towed – in the heart of one of Tokyo’s up and coming hipster districts more closely associated with the traditional sumo world that has existed in nearby Ryogoku for over a century.

On display are items investigating the finer details of everyday life as seen by the artists.

Nakamura Megu’s textile work resembles the rainbows that appear on the back of sudden afternoon showers in Kyoto – Japan’s ancient capital and her home town; short lived and often ignored by busy city dwellers.

The Japanese, Megu too perhaps, used to believe that rainbows were a form of map, indicating the route to another world.

Minami Haraguchi meanwhile is more of a historian recording the city vibes around her, the sounds, light, and weather she sees – all portrayed in colourful blocks of splendid colours.

The lines and rhythm in her work are as if seen by insects looking up at house plants, blossoms in a vessel and a bowl of fruit – all giant in form to members of the formicidae family.

Do birds, whales even share similar viewpoints of the things around us – them – that we take for granted as humans?

Yu Jen, for his part and from a city known for its late afternoon downpours in the summer, enjoys the shadows left behind by the everyday items we so frequently look straight through, if we notice them at all bar for functionality.

One sunny day, he doesn’t say where, he noticed all those on the street had put away their parasols and umbrellas.

Only, the umbrella remained to collect and create the shadows in his minds-eye.

At the same time two green faces looked out from an apartment, through the window to the street below.

In this unusual time, many families have been torn apart geographically and physically because of the pandemic.

Loved ones have been separated around the world.

Fast paced cities are shut down, opened up, and shut down time after time.

There are now fewer planes in the sky.

And in this small corner of the biggest city on earth, the busiest too when in full flow, the work of three artists from Japan and Taiwan has come together to reflect the here and now.

Slowly and persistently they have made their art ‘work’, they have exhibited here, there, wherever they can.

And perhaps, along the way they have enjoyed the loneliness of walking their own path.


Minami Haraguchi

Born in Osaka, Japan – 1990

MFA from Kyoto City University of Arts

Exhibitions: Japan, Taiwan and Macao

Currently lives in Osaka

Instagram; @rainbow_moci

Nakamura Megu

Born in  Kyoto, Japan – 1985

MFA from Kyoto City University of Arts

Exhibitions: mainly in Japan

Currently lives in Kyoto

Instagram; @nakamura_megu

Yu Jen

Born in Taipei, Taiwan – 1976

MA from Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London

Exhibitions: Japan, Taiwan & China

Currently lives in Taipei

Instagram; @monkey_friendship

Gallery Towed, Kyojima 2-24-8, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0046, Japan

Due to changing pandemic related restrictions, gallery open times might vary. Generally Friday to Sunday & holidays – 13:00 to 20:00

Works can be purchased and view via

Instagram @gallerytowed

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like

Despite Trade War, Taiwan Raises Economic Forecast For 2020

The ongoing US-China trade war seems to be impacting everyone, except perhaps…

Calling China’s Bluff On Recent Provocations: Indian Style

Editor’s note: Dr Punit Saurabh is an Assistant Professor (Strategy area) at Nirma…

Taiwan – Somaliland Ties Drawing Attention From Egypt

According to sources speaking to the Somaliland Chronicle, and since independently confirmed…
Chinese Navy

Is Chinese Navy Eyeing Taiwan Held Pratas Islands?

A combination of reports from Japan and China over the past week…