We are proud to announce the opening of Unwind Gallery, a new contemporary art space located inside of Unwind Hotel & Bar Otaru. Guests can enjoy the gallery’s first inaugural show, a solo exhibition by artist Ryuichi Kobayashi from November 1st through January 31, 2023.
UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU General Manager Oba had a vision to stir excitement in Otaru by transforming the common facilities of the hotel into a contemporary art space.
He realized that the white walls in the hotel’s entrance, lobby and front desk area were like a blank canvas and that they could easily be used to exhibit art. He knew that hanging modern art in a classic hotel built nearly 100 years ago sounded like a great idea, but was worried that creating a space where both the contemporary and the classic could coexist would be harder to execute in practice.
Thanks to the help of the hotel staff and the outside community, they were able to turn his great concept into an aesthetic reality that exceeded his expectations.
On Exhibit from November 1st: Works from the Artist Ryuichi Kobayashi
Kobayashi grew up surrounded by nature and the work in this exhibition is an expression of the plants and animals of his childhood. He tried to paint the spirit of nature in its totality–moments of tranquility and moments of chaos, moments of beauty and moments of strength.
Kobayashi named this exhibit mori no zokei or “shaping the forest.” His expression of nature literally takes shape with a special technique that he named sen to men (which literally means “lines and surfaces” in Japanese). A single sen (line) flows freely across the canvas and men (surfaces) are created from the spaces between where the sen intersects with itself. You can feel the energy in Kobayashi’s composition, following this single sen on its long and winding journey to create new shapes. For Kobayashi, Sen and men represent all living things wandering across space and time.
We invite you to enjoy this extraordinary new space inside Unwind Hotel & Bar Otaru, where contemporary art meets the classic design of our nearly 100-year-old hotel.
All art in Unwind Gallery’s first exhibition is available for purchase. Please inquire with any of our staff if you’re interested.
– Mori No Zokei (Shaping the Forest); Works by Ryuichi Kobayashi
– Located in Unwind Gallery located on the first floor of UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU
– On display from November 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023.
– Admission free of charge.
After graduating from the Bisen Hokkaido School of Design and Art with a major in illustration, Kobayashi went onto work for several ad production companies. He currently works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Kobayashi takes inspiration from nature and everyday life to express, through a number of diverse techniques, the motifs present in our routine lives.
Kobayashi also makes accessories, bags and postcards printed with his illustrations. You can find them available on his online store Kobayashi.
Now Available: Special Mori No Zokei Cocktail inspired by the exhibition
We invite you to enhance your experience of Mori No Zokei and the extraordinary atmosphere of the hotel with a special cocktail inspired by the exhibit.
The mixologists at Unwind’s Bar Ignis have taken the key theme from Kobayashi’s work to make an absinthe, lavender and honey based cocktail that also celebrates the Nature of Hokkaido. This cocktail not only tastes, but looks great as they also employ the use of his sen to men technique to decorate the glass with a brush.
We recommend enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of Bar Ignis and your cocktail while taking in the wonderful art. It’s a unique experience you can only have at UNWIND HOTEL&BAR.
Bar Ignis Hours and Information:
Located on the first floor of UNWIND HOTEL&BAR
Open Everyday from 19:30~23:30 (Last Order 23:00)
Future Exhibitions at Unwind Gallery:
Moving forward we plan to host contemporary artists based in Hokkaido with new exhibitions every three months. Admission will be free and art will be available for purchase at the hotel front desk. The gallery will be managed for the first year by Hanaagura Furu, who runs the Hanaagura Art Shop in Sapporo.
– November 2023 ~ January 31, 2023: Ryuichi Kobayashi Mori No Zokei
– February 1, 2023 ~ April 30, 2023: Shin Iga Solo Exhibit
About the Artist Shin iga:
Founder of G.A.A.L (Geometrical Abstract Art Laboratory)
Iga arranges thinly cut lumber to construct geometric art pieces based on meticulously drawn blueprints. In recent years, his work has grown so large in scale that it utilizes the space of entire art galleries.