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First Steps: Emerging Artists from Japan. The work ranges from an elegant brick wall made of salt to a video of golf clubs repeatedly smashing plastic models. The exhibition retains the Pop-y sensibility of much recent Japanese art, but the works are executed with refreshing subtlety. Highlights include Chelin’s installation Mellow House ver 5, a house made of cookies with a floor of sugar (the best-smelling art I’ve encountered) and Yuriko Yamamoto’s piece Yuriko Yamamoto + Yukako Okamuro Project—Kyosei muriki jyotai sochi. In Yamamoto’s piece participants climb into a glass box on an elevated platform encased in a room-sized black box. There they put on a boxing glove and punch a button on the floor. Shockingly, when the button is fully depressed the floor opens up and the puncher falls through. Although it is a bit sensational, the excitement of seeing the person fall for the first time overcomes the “jack-ass” elements.

- Asha Schechter [Wednesday, February 19th, 2003]

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