Mitsuo Kimura & Toko Hosoya – Reimagining: Narratives of tension and wonder

Free art exhibition at the TIFF Bell Lightbox from May 9 – July 4, 2023 as part of POP Japan film series.

Mitsuo Kimura, Onslaught, 2017

Reimagining: Narratives of tension and wonder

May 9 – July 4, 2023
Opening Reception: May 10, 7pm-9pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. W. Toronto)

Inspired by the bold aesthetics, narrative experimentation, and interplay between playfulness and danger in the films of POP Japan, Reimagining: Narratives of tension and wonder features works by multidisciplinary artists Mitsuo Kimura and Toko Hosoya. From intricate paintings and illustrations to sequential art and small-format objects, the works in this exhibition transform everyday materials and personal experiences into fantastical, character-driven narratives that occupy a space between real and imaginary, past and present, internal and external.

This free, public art exhibition will be on display in the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium from May 9 to July 4 during regular box office hours. Alongside the exhibition, view the mural Neon Otaku by Tim Fukakusa (a.k.a. Ekwal), programmed in partnership with StreetARToronto and supported by the Japan Foundation, Toronto.

Join us on May 10 before the inaugural POP Japan screening of Seijun Suzuki’s Kagero-za for the opening reception from 7pm to 9pm. Meet the artists and enjoy live painting by muralist Tim Fukakusa (a.k.a. Ekwal) and a set by DJ Sakiko Nagai.

Toko Hosoya, Scaffolding (at Dufferin Mall), 2022

“Taking inspiration from everyday materials and surroundings, the works [in this exhibition] dig for fantasies embedded within the overlooked parts of life and in moments of tension where contradictory forces seem to melt together. This exploratory process calls to embrace the reimagining of things already here — a continuous building and unbuilding, dismantling and remaking.” —Toko Hosoya

“In my works I tell a story about my personal experiences. Growing up in Japan I was surrounded by visual culture such as manga, anime and videogames. I naturally adapted those influences into my visual art practice. These paintings and sculptures combine many elements from Western religion, Buddhist stories and classical mythology.” —Mitsuo Kimura

Mitsuo Kimura, Flower Head, 2019

About the Artists

Mitsuo Kimura: Japanese-Canadian artist Mitsuo Kimura was born in Tokyo, Japan, received his BFA from Musashino Art University, and first visited Canada in 2007 to study English. He returned in 2011 to complete a BFA at OCAD University. Kimura brings a rich past with him, building across Japanese and Canadian cultures to develop a unique style, grounded in popular and traditional Japanese art forms while integrating the immigrant challenges of living in a new society. Kimura works in a range of media, from large-scale contemplative paintings to small-format ceramics, building a universe of characters, encounters, and experiences, that merges ukiyo-e, manga and anime styles and themes with personal responses to Japanese and Canadian contemporary existence.

Toko Hosoya: Toko Hosoya spent the first part of her life in rural Japan eating fresh cucumbers from her grandfather’s farm. Her practice is currently based in Toronto, Canada, where she received training in bronze-casting, printmaking, and drawing from OCAD University. Hosoya uses a range of media, often experimenting with an object- and space-based approach to storytelling. Her work focuses on the fragmented experience of living and invites viewers to take a sideways approach toward understanding.

Tim Fukakusa (a.k.a. Ekwal): Ekwal is a graffiti artist and graphic designer based out of Toronto. He has honed his graffiti skills for more than two decades. His style is influenced by anime, comic illustration, and Asian culture. His work is bold as he sculpts every line to have maximum impact.

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world through film.

TIFF Bell Lightbox is located on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit and the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, the Wendat, and the Haudenosaunee. The territory is within the lands protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, the meeting place of Toronto (also known as Tkaronto) is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and we are grateful to work on this land.

Toronto International Film Festival
350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5
(416) 599-2033

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The TIFF Bell Lightbox is fully accessible.

Enter the building from King St. W. using the automatic door. The exhibition is located on the first floor in the atrium (west side of the building, past the TIFF shop). There is an accessible washroom located on the first floor to the right of the box office. There are two elevators to access the upper floors. Guide dogs and service animals are welcome in all public spaces at TIFF Bell Lightbox, including the cinemas.

Learn more about accessibility at TIFF.

Image descriptions:
1. A painting titled Onslaught by Mitsuo Kimura made with acrylic, ink, watercolour, and pigment on paper mounted on wood panel. The work features a large colourful whale in the center of the composition. In the background is a small island with various creatures and a tree.
2. An etching titled Scaffolding (at Dufferin Mall) by Toko Hosoya. The work features a series of walking figures in grayscale. A bronze piece is placed overtop. The bronze has organic shaped openings allowing the figures to peek through.
3. A ceramic sculpture titled Flower Head by Mitsuo Kimura. A white bulb with green budding leaves and a red and orange flower, all with small open-mouthed faces.