Viewers will be flabbergasted by the rows of Scrapbooks, a project Otake commenced in 1977, and has since been developing. He has compiled 71 books so far, ranging from 50 to 895 pages. These scrapbooks of newsprints, magazine cutouts, product packages, photographs, reproduced artworks, film strips, ticket stubs, vinyl records, and others, that have been hand-drawn or painted over are atlases of our modern world. They transmit a visual language of the ways we manage information circulated around us, and the overruling consumption system that dictates those information.
Shinro Ohtake, Scrapbook #71 / Uwajima, 2018-21, Photo: Okano Kei
Finally, Ohtake incorporates art with Sound, which he had explored prior to his debut solo exhibition in 1982. He had been involved in a sound performance in London and the experimental noise band “Juke/19.” (1978–81) in Tokyo. For Ohtake, “sound has the power to instantly draw people’s minds onto the unique spaces created by memory and consciousness… capable of transporting him to a flash of unconscious ‘memory space.” (Interview by Massimiliano Gioni, “Critical Mass”) The stage-sized kinetic sound installation “Dub-Hei & New Chanell” (1999) is an absolute eye-catcher, swimming in tantalizing colors and collages meshed with a guitar and drum set.
Shinro Ohtake, Dub-Hei & New Chanell, 1999, Fukutake Foundation
There is probably no contemporary Japanese artist more courageous, vivacious, imaginative, and unperturbed by unorthodox impulses than Shinro Ohtake. His powerful images and installations open a sub-conscious universe that traverses between past and future, and perhaps, divulges what we all dream and imagine, but dare to intervene.
Date: November 1st, 2022 – February 5th, 2023
Openning Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (Fridays and Saturdays open until 20:00)
Place: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT)
Address: 3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 (0)50-5541-8600
Admission: 1,500 yen, College/University students 1,000 yen
Text: Alma Reyes
Photos: Courtesy of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT)