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In the context of the current debate over Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, the “Artist File 2015” show of up-and-coming contemporary artists at The National Art Center, Tokyo, is tantamount to a declaration of peace. The remit of this annual event is to showcase “some of the freshest and most substantial work today,” and 2015 being the 50th anniversary of postwar diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, this year’s show features artists from the two countries.

With a selection of around 250 individual pieces from 12 different artists, “Artist File” is not so much a group exhibition than an attempt to be a collation of solo shows. The selection process, as described by members of the Japanese curatorial staff, involved choosing the person, not necessarily the works, and consequently each section is primarily the exposition of an individual artist, though there was some control over the balance of different media.

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