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Shinro Ohtake at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

November 1, 2022–February 5, 2023

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) presents Shinro Ohtake from November 1, 2022 to February 5, 2023.

Shinro Ohtake (1955-, Japan) will have a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo (MOMAT) from November 1, 2022 through February 5, 2023. With a career spanning over 40 years, Ohtake is one of Japan’s greatest modern artists, and this exhibition will be the first major retrospective of his work in 16 years.

Shinro Ohtake, born in Tokyo in 1955 at the beginning of Japan’s postwar period of tremendous economic boom, has pursued a singular artistic vision from his stunning debut in the early 1980s. Ohtake has produced an incredible amount of works in genres spanning from drawing and painting to printmaking, assemblage, sound, moving image, multimedia installation, and architecture, as well as essays and children’s books, driven by a prolific creative impulse. His recent participation in major international art surveys such as documenta 13 (2012) and the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) affirms his standing as one of Japan’s premier contemporary artists.

Ohtake’s method is based on working with “what’s already there,” according to him. He collects a wide range of objects and pictures, from rusted garbage to fading printed matter and discarded photographs, as well as city signs, posters, lights, noises, smells, and dreams, and then recombines them. The artist’s amazing production is thus generated not just by his own creative impulses, but also by his collaboration with others, including time and natural occurrences. To see an Ohtake piece is to be charged by an energy that extends beyond the hand of a single artist.

This major retrospective spans almost a half-century of Ohtake’s career, but rather than being presented in strict chronological order, the 500-odd works are organized around seven themes—”Self/Other,” “Memory,” “Time,” “Transposition,” “Dreams/Retina,” “Layer/Stratum,” and “Sound”—that encourage dynamic rereadings of Ohtake’s artistic language development. We believe that this show will give viewers a new respect for a fiercely independent mind’s ceaseless creativity and wit.

Shinro Ohtake
Born in Tokyo in 1955. Major solo exhibitions include Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto / Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito (2019); Parasol unit, London (2014); Takamatsu Art Museum (2013); Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa (2013); Art Sonje Center, Seoul; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art / Fukuoka Art Museum (2007); and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2006). Group exhibitions include the National Museum of Art, Osaka (2018); the New Museum, New York (2016); and Barbican Art Gallery, London (2016). Among the many international art festivals in which Ohtake has participated are Hawai’i Triennial 2022, the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial (2018), Yokohama Triennale 2014, the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), documenta 13 (2012), the 8th Gwangju Biennale (2010), and The Setouchi Triennale (2010, ‘13, ‘16, ‘19′, ‘22). He has also participated in such historically significant exhibitions as Against Nature: Japanese Art in the Eighties (1989), A Cabinet of Signs: Contemporary Art from Post-modern Japan (1991), and the 1st Asia Pacific Triennial (1993).

Curated by Hajime Nariai (Curator, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-8322
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Friday–Saturday 10am–8pm
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