Shiseido Gallery in Tokyo's Ginza and Art Tower Mito in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, will simultaneously present exhibitions of contemporary art from East Asia by up-and-coming artists, starting Friday. Asian contemporary art has captivated many people over the past decade. Masaki Higuchi from Shiseido Gallery and Toshihiro Asai from Art Tower Mito are no exception. They traveled around Beijing, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo, wandering streets and galleries and drinking in the atmosphere. Their impressions of Asian contemporary art have yielded two exhibitions with quite different themes, "After Kitsch" at Shiseido Gallery, and "Cute" at Art Tower Mito.

Higuchi named the Shiseido exhibition after finding that the four cities were losing their purely Asian daily traditions and assimilating Western influences, producing an atmosphere of cultural kitsch. "Kitsch" once described worthless art, but since the 1990s it has become a trend in itself. However, a trend alone does not generate a new and original Asian style. In order to create innovative, postmodern Asian art, artists must cross over the boundaries of kitsch.

The five artists at this exhibition are trained in Western-based contemporary art, but want to develop their own techniques to go beyond the kitsch fusion of East and West toward a new, purely Asianstyle.