“Games require rules and as an artist using video games as a reference, I enjoy making rules for my art works as if I am playing a game.”
EXCALIBUR "NEW GAME +"
title, color, date ... gimmicks everywhere
As if we do a role-play game.
From December 8th - December 19th, EXCALIBUR, a collective of artists based in Tokyo, presents their first exhibition in Paris.
In contrast to the renowned Japanese neo-pop movement, which was born from anime and manga culture and led by Takashi Murakami, EXCALIBUR, the next generation, uses video games as a source of inspiration and Japanese mythology and culture as a motif. We like to call it "post-neo-pop."
EXCALIBUR's pixel art is strongly influenced by the graphic appearance of Nintendo in the 1980s and by the golden age of video games. As a base, they use the same 8bit pixel as the video games of that time giving its work a strong sense of nostalgia. Simultaneously EXCALIBUR emphasizes the advanced technology of our modern times.
"I was particularly influenced by the beauty of the pixel art in "River City Ransom” aka “Street Gangs”, the 3rd game of Technos Kunio-kun series,” Yoshinori Tanaka - founder of EXCALIBUR - explains when we speak to him, about the upcoming exhibition.
Also the original illustrations of Yoshitaka Amano in "Final Fantasy 2" made a deep impression on him. "The transition from a watercolour drawing into an 8bit digital Nintendo image was shocking and beautiful. It was the firsttime the game world directly asked an artist to create the world of the game and you could see how they tried to eliminate the line between physical art and digital art”
Purple is a color that is often used in the works of EXCALIBUR, "because it is considered to be an imperial and sacred color in ancient Japan. Besides, nowadays the new street culture uses a lot of neon colours and purple is the main colour of the neon palette.”
Furthermore, EXCALIBUR underlines the works are produced based on the rule that there are only 16 RGB basic colors so therefore only 16 or less colours can be used.
“Games require rules and as an artist using video games as a reference I enjoy making rules for my art works as if I am playing a game.”
The title of the exhibition is "NEW GAME +", it is a term used when you replay a game after your status is ‘GAME OVER’. In the corona wreck, many people experienced strong negative feelings such as sadness, stress, and unreasonableness. When we rethink our new daily lives and the future, these experiences will help us to act as better players. Besides, no matter how advanced the present looks, the present age is a nostalgic retro game for the future, so the message is to continue developing this world for a better future.
The exhibition “NEW GAME+” covers two floors. The ground floor shows mainly new work and is called: “Great Reset”, something that came to EXCALIBURbefore the Corona disaster.
The basement is titled "Dungeon of Memories" where they show their sources of inspiration. Presenting these two different floors, NEW GAME+ is an exhibition one can enjoy as if playing a game, while getting to know EXCALIBUR and their eccentric ways.
Hidden in the opening date of the exhibition - December 8th - we can find a playful gimmick. The date combines "8-bit pixel art" and "12 knights" who appear in the Arthurian legend Knights of the Round Table, of which the name EXCALIBUR is derived.
This way, the collective EXCALIBUR keeps surprising us, bringing meaning not only with their works, but also with their other activities and gimmicks.
Please come and enjoy the new world of EXCALIBUR in the heart of Paris!
Open everyday from 11:00-18:00