Based in Tokyo, MEM represents both young and established artists from diverse generations, ranging from the 1970s to the present, who work with various media spanning photography, video, painting, and sculpture. Founded in Osaka in 1997, MEM started from representing a group of artists from the Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe) including Yasumasa Morimura, Chie Matsui, and Tomoaki Ishihara, who emerged in the late 1980s, producing photo/video-based mixed media works. Morimura, Matsui, and Ishihara, graduates of Kyoto City University of Arts, initiated the ‘Kansai New Wave’ movement and were among the first generation of Japanese contemporary artists to be recurrently featured at venues in the United States and Europe in the context of Japanese postmodern art. In addition to these three artists who make up the core of the gallery enterprise, MEM also works with younger generations and other established artists from the ‘70s and ‘80s. The gallery also represents the estate of Osamu Shiihara and Iwata Nakayama who led the Japanese avant-garde photography movement in the 1930s. In 2010, MEM moved to Ebisu, Tokyo, in the vicinity of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and reopened the gallery with a solo exhibition by Beijing based artist duo RongRong & inri. Since 2005, MEM has taken part in international art fairs including Paris Photo, Sh Contemporary, Salon du Dessin Contemporain, KIAF, and Art Taipei. Another important mission of the gallery is to build international relations and partnerships with foreign art institutions, galleries, and alternative spaces in order to place works by gallery artists in important collections worldwide.


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