Toronto, ON - September 23, 2023 - Shaoren Gou, International Arts News-The Toronto art scene is abuzz with anticipation as the acclaimed artist, musician, and architect, Nobuo Kubota, presents his latest exhibition, 'Nobuo Kubota: Live and Works,' at The Next Contemporary (1655 Dupont Street, Toronto). This exhibition, running from September 21st to September 30th, offers a captivating blend of visual art, sculptures, sound installations, and a mesmerizing live performance that unfolded on September 23rd from 4 pm to 6 pm. The exhibition's grand opening occurred on September 21st from 6 pm to 8 pm.
In this latest showcase, Kubota has chosen not to adhere to a specific theme, marking a departure from his previous exploration of 'freedom.' His philosophy revolves around the idea that the act of creating art is paramount, with its presentation being of secondary importance. This belief has consistently driven him to expand the boundaries of creativity and produce innovative and thought-provoking works.
The live performance on September 23rd at 4 pm was undoubtedly one of the exhibition's highlights. Split into two distinct parts, Kubota's performance took the audience on a captivating journey. In the initial part, he utilized his voice and an array of unique instruments, including gongs and drums, to craft an immersive atmosphere infused with oriental cultural elements. This sonic and visual experience transported the audience to a world of wonder.
The second segment of the performance featured the addition of an electronic keyboard accompaniment by another talented artist, Mani Mazinani. This augmentation added a layer of complexity to the mystical experience, resulting in a truly novel and unique artistic expression that left the audience spellbound.
Nobuo Kubota's artistic journey is as unconventional as it is inspiring. Born on June 27, 1932, in Vancouver, BC, he initially pursued a career in architecture, earning a degree from the University of Toronto and practicing architecture for a decade. However, his passion for artistic expression eventually led him to become an artist, musician, sound artist, and sound singer.
Kubota's art transcends categorization, encompassing installation, sculpture, painting, sound, music, and performance. His current fascination lies in 'Sonic Calligraphy,' a distinctive style of notation he developed to visually represent sound.
Throughout his illustrious career, Kubota has received numerous accolades, including the Allied Arts Award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Governor General's Award, and the Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from The Ontario College of Art & Design.
Nobuo Kubota has left an indelible mark on the Toronto art scene, consistently pushing the boundaries of artistic thought and cultural influence. As a founding member of the Artist's Jazz Band, CCMC, and the Music Gallery, he has played a pivotal role in the development of experimental music, continually exploring new sonic possibilities.
Kubota's upbringing, deeply rooted in Japanese culture, coupled with early exposure to the writings of Jack Kerouac, contributed to his profound interest in Zen Buddhism. His background in architecture and fascination with Japanese aesthetics have significantly influenced his work.
In 1970, Kubota embarked on a transformative journey to Japan, where he lived with Zen master Nanrei Sohatsu Kobori in a temple within the famous Daitokuji complex. This experience further deepened his connection to Zen Buddhism and Japanese artistic traditions.
Kubota's art often blurs the boundaries between sound, music, installation, and film, a practice he terms 'Intermedia.' His extended vocal techniques and sound poetry have earned acclaim for their innovation and can be experienced through various online platforms.
The Next Contemporary, dedicated to showcasing and advocating for BIPOC artists and those historically marginalized, is honored to host Nobuo Kubota's retrospective exhibition. Founded and directed by Iranian Canadian curator Farnoosh Talaee, the gallery aims to provide a platform for artists of all backgrounds to share their visions within Canada and beyond.
This curated exhibition, spanning 40 years of Kubota's work, offers a unique opportunity to witness the evolution of an artist who consistently pushes the boundaries of artistic expression. The exhibition features artworks, videos, and a special live performance by the artist.
Nobuo Kubota's contribution to Canadian art continues to resonate, and his ability to transcend artistic boundaries remains an inspiration for artists and art enthusiasts alike. His work, held in numerous prestigious collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario, continues to captivate audiences worldwide.
Nobuo Kubota (right) with Visual fine artist Michael Janzen, Chairman of IFAA (International Federation of Arts & Artists) at The Next Contemporary
As we celebrate the 'Live and Works' exhibition at The Next Contemporary, we are reminded that Kubota's commitment to artistic exploration and unbounded creativity serves as a testament to the enduring power of the arts to inspire and challenge us all.
For those eager to delve deeper into Kubota's artistry, The Next Contemporary's gallery hours during the exhibition are as follows:
- September 21: Opening 6 - 8 pm
- September 22: 12 - 7 pm
- September 23: 12 - 7 pm
- September 24: 12 - 5 pm
- September 27: 12 - 6 pm
- September 28: 12 - 6 pm
- September 29: 12 - 6 pm
- September 30: 12 - 6 pm
Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Nobuo Kubota's artistry.