In an adorable little store, hidden just outside of the busy Takeshita Dori street in Harajuku, the first solo exhibition of Sho Asakawa was on display for three days. Sho is better known for being the singer and composer of PLASTICZOOMS, but also as a designer of clothes and jewellery under the name VENUS ECCENTRIC. Not even twenty pieces were presented on a table made of old wood, which gave off a similar appearance as that of ships and sea chests.
The pieces were partially presented in photo frames that were decorated in a simple manner or in a way that they appeared to have been damaged by fire.
The fineliner artworks of Sho are diverse, from detailed busy drawings to minimalistic objects that, once the drawings were finished, had been cut out with precision and patience and placed on a black background, which gave the drawings more definition. The detailed works showed so much that it made you look at it closely just to make sure you’d discovered every detail about them. Sho has even added a few little jokes to his exhibition. A few works were hidden in the store itself, but within the presentation of artworks, there was one of them that was very small. A small white dot on a black background, upon further inspection you could see it was a small creature of some kind, maybe even something alien, but it was the smallest piece of the entire exhibition. The pieces may have seemed very simplistic, but the content of the drawings tell a different story. The cat Mochocho and a spooky creature are two of the recurring elements of these works by Sho. The world of Mochocho sometimes appears are peaceful and cutesy, but also has very frightening and psychedelic elements to it. The gothic elements that fit with the image Sho projects with PLASTICZOOMS aren’t forgotten but don’t have the emphasis in these works. After all, it’s about the mysterious world of Mochocho.
The choice of venue, A Store Robot, was very interesting. It might not be very easy to find and is even located next to a gallery, but seeing Sho’s first exhibition ‘もちょちょのせかい’ (World of Mochocho) in a store is fitting. The store has a long history and this is definitely tangible when you’re inside the store, because of the diversity of products you’ll find with their focus on western artists. It fit perfectly with the artist himself.
Photography: Francisca Hagen