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Born in 1984, Rei Sato is the youngest member of Kaikai Kiki Corporation, a Tokyo collective founded by Takashi Murakami. Her colourful, childlike universe celebrates an optimistic vision of life and human relationships. Her latest installation, in Singapore, recreates a popular Tokyo café.
The fifth exhibition from Third Floor curator Emi Eu continues the venue's policy to host two exhibitions each year, featuring works created in situ by young contemporary artists.
"I was told that my mother and father met in a café," says Rei Sato. "Cafés are mysterious places, meeting-spaces…" No Need For Forever, her third solo exhibition, reinvents the familiar café of her childhood – Tokyo's Senzai Midori. Working with the Third Floor team, using found objects and items bought in Singapore markets, together with her own paintings, sculptures, animated films, and a sound composition, Rei Sato has created a deliberately naïve, dreamlike environment.
In reference to Japanese kawaï pop culture, and the aesthetics of manga comic books, the characters in her paintings wear ethereal smiles executed in bright colours, surrounded by vividly patterned butterflies and imaginary animals – a murmured subtext seemingly at odds with our normal, everyday surroundings.
Conceived as a setting for encounters and escape, the installation provided an experimental space for a performance by the artist on its opening night. Serving coffee in person to the café's visitors, Rei Sato abolished the distance between artist and public, creating a spontaneous, collective intimacy.
Exhibition curator: Emi Eu