It’s not what to paint. It’s not how to paint. It’s not how to live……
– Tadanori Yokoo
Since debuting in 1960s, Tadanori Yokoo has always been active on the front lines as one of the leading contemporary artists, keeping fascinating Japan and the world. The exhibition showcases the comprehensive collection of Yokoo’s creative work that stretches over 60 years. Yokoo himself supervised this exhibition for the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo by reorganizing his successful exhibition titled “GENKYO YOKOO TADANORI”, which was held at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art and drew much attention as the artist’s largest-ever exhibition. In this exhibition, more than 600 items will be on display, including his latest works shown to the public for the first time.
Yokoo has been depicting the “realm of imagination” (幻境, pronounced “genkyo”) as a wildly splendorous world of images that draw from the “original homeland” (原郷, also pronounced “genkyo”) of all human souls. The exhibition will be an opportunity for witnessing the “present state” (現況, again pronounced “genkyo”) of Tadanori Yokoo’s art.
For 40 years since his so-called “painter’s declaration” in early 1980s, the artist Tadanori Yokoo has created a countless number of works using everything in nature as motifs without adhering to any given style. “GENKYO YOKOO TADANORI” in Tokyo is the largest-ever exhibition featuring the comprehensive collection of Yokoo’s art with more than 600 items, centering on paintings. The exhibits also include his early graphic works.
Under the supervision of Tadanori Yokoo, the successful “GENKYO YOKOO TADANORI” exhibition held at Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art under the theme of “A Visual Autobiography” has been reconstructed from the bottom up and reborn into a totally new one with more than half of the works from the "GENKYO" exhibition replaced.
The whole world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the unprecedented situation, Yokoo has shut himself up in his studio day after day devoting himself to paintings, while refraining from going out and receiving visitors. In this exhibition, more than 30 large paintings Yokoo created between the last year and this year will be presented for the first time.
In “Waterfall Installation”, the gallery walls are lined with over 10,000 postcards of waterfalls, which Yokoo collected as a reference for drawing waterfall paintings.
The exhibits also include works from “WITH CORONA” series, which are scattered throughout the museum. Yokoo has been posting the “WITH CORONA” series, a collage of his works or photos with a mask motif, on Twitter and his blog since May, 2020.
Curated by Yusuke Minami (Former Director, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art)
Tadanori Yokoo was born in 1936 in Nishiwaki, Hyogo Prefecture. After graduating from high school, he started his career as a designer in Kobe, went to Tokyo in 1960 and became widely known as a graphic designer and illustrator. In 1980, after seeing a comprehensive Picasso retrospective exhibition at MoMA in New York, he set out to become a full-fledged painter. Using various techniques and styles, Yokoo has produced paintings on various themes relating to all things in the universe, which made him an internationally acclaimed artist. After 2000s, his works have been exhibited at many museums in Japan and the world; Yokoo’s solo exhibitions were held at national and public museums in Japan and at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris (2006). Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art opened in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture in 2012 and Teshima Yokoo House opened in Teshima, Kagawa Prefecture in 2013.
Portrait of Tadanori Yokoo Photo: Noriko Sunami, 2020
Sat. 7 August
14:00 – 15:00 (pre-recorded)
Hiroshi Homura is a Japanese poet. He has published ANIMAL PICTORIAL BOOK in collaboration with Tadanori Yokoo in 2013. Having been inspired by Yokoo’s paintings with animals, Homura created poems and released them together with Yokoo's paintings in a form of a picture book. In this virtual talk event, Homura himself recites the picture book. He also views Yokoo’s paintings used in the picture book with an exhibition curator Aki Fujii and tells how he perceived the Yokoo’s works when he wove words to create the poems for them.
Tue. 10 August
19:00 – 20:00 (delivered in real time)
Yusuke Minami is a supervisor of this exhibition. He introduces the highlights of this exhibition and Yokoo’s works on display. Back in 2002, Minami also curated Yokoo’s exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. He talks about artistic activities of Yokoo, who has always been at the forefront of the art scene from 1960s to the present.
Mon. 23 August
19:00 – 20:00 (delivered in real time)
Jun Miura is an illustrator and essayist, who invented a new expression “My Boom”, meaning “to be into” or “to be addicted to” in Japanese”. Commenting on Yokoo, he says “a God, whom everyone wants to imitate but nobody can”. In an interview with the exhibition curator Aki Fujii, Jun Miura will tell how profoundly he has been affected by Yokoo.
[Archived videos can be viewed until March 31, 2022 (The publication period is subject to change.)]
|Exhibition Period||Sat. 17 July - Sun. 17 October 2021|
|Closed||Mondays (except 26 July, 2, 9, 30 August, 20 September), 10 August, 21 September|
|Opening Hours||10:00 - 18:00 (Tickets available until 30 minutes before closing.)|
|Admission||Adults – 2,000yen / University & College Students, Over 65 – 1,300yen / High School & Junior High School Students – 800yen / Elementary School Students & Younger – Free
* There are also reserved priority tickets. Click here for tickets.
* Ticket includes admission to the MOT Collection exhibition.
|Venue||Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Exhibition Gallery 1F/3F|
|Organized by||Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture / The Asahi Shimbun / TV Asahi / Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan / Japan Arts Council|
|Specially cooperated by||Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art / The National Museum of Art, Osaka / Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain|
|Sponsored by||TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.|
|Exhibition official Twitter||@GENKYO_Yokooten|
|Contact||050-5541-8600 (Hello Dial) 7 days a week 9:00 - 20:00|