Serendipity brings with it all kinds of gifts. Sometimes chance meetings or random conversations can start new friendships, ideas, and collaborations. Other times when the timing is right, a simple question sparks a movement. Such was the case with “Blossom Blast“, an all-female artist exhibition on display now through March 18 at UltraSuperNew Gallery in Harajuku.

blossom blast
Blossom Blast 2017 Installation | Photo by Tokyo Dex

In February of 2016, I was chatting with Shimpei Kimura, Digital Director at creative agency and gallery UltraSuperNew. “We just had a gallery cancellation for March, any ideas how to fill it?,” he asked. As it was already February, there was not a lot of time to even consider his offer, but I took the question back to my team and asked if they had any ideas. “March 8 is International Women’s Day,” said artist and frequent collaborator Miki Saito. “Why don’t we do an all-female artist exhibition to celebrate that?”

I didn’t need any convincing, and neither did UltraSuperNew. Everyone loved the idea and we set to work immediately on putting together a show of emerging female artists from the Tokyo area. Most were artists we knew well, but some were new contacts with whom the topic really resonated and wanted to join. We put the entire show together in less than a month, and the response was overwhelming.

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“Fontana Eli Fontana” by Sabrina Horak (2015) | Photo by Fontana Eli

15 prominent female artists exhibited their work and over 750 people visited the gallery during the 2-week exhibit period. The show got great coverage and reviews in the press and generated real buzz on social media. Blossom Blast was noted as one of the most influential events that supported International Women’s Day in Japan. With this momentum we were left feeling stronger than ever that this was a much-needed voice in Japan and that the project should be continued. Enter Blossom Blast 2017.

This year as lead curator, Miki Saito changed the focus of the exhibition to include conceptual work that speaks directly to gender issues and “What It Means to Be a Woman.” We have also added several seminars, workshops and other events designed to raise awareness and celebrate diversity. A full list of events is on the UltraSuperNew Gallery Website and everyone is welcome to attend.

“Strawberry and Milk” by Calligrapher Mami (2016) | Photo by Mami

We hope that the Blossom Blast art exhibit will not only be a place to see thought-provoking artwork, but also a venue for discussion and exchange on a very important issue in Japan as well as worldwide. We feel that Blossom Blast is more than than just an exhibition, it’s an important part of a movement. Join us for some unexpected insights and inspiration through the arts.

Event Info

Dates: March 1-18, 2017
Start/End Time: 10:00-19:00 (until 18:00 on March 1)
Venue: UltraSuperNew Gallery
Entry: Free

Special Event: Public Reception and International Women’s Day Celebration
Date: Wed, March 8 from 19:00-21:00

Blossom Blast is seeking funds to help cover gallery and admin costs associated with producing the show. Please see our crowdfunding page if you want to help!

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Filed under: Art
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