HAPPENINGText: Alex Hiroki Coles

The “Ecce Homo: The Human Images in Contemporary Art” exhibition at the National Museum of Art, Osaka explores how the human body is portrayed and used in contemporary art. It focuses on many different themes throughout the exhibition which is split into several sections: “The Tragedy of Everyday Life,” “The Reality of the Flesh” and “Portrait of Absence.” “The Tragedy of Everyday Life,” shows how images of the body are depicted in suffering in everyday examples, with many of these paintings also focusing on surrealist style images.

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Motohiko Odani “Terminal Impact”, 2014, Collection of the artist ©Motohiko Odani, Photography by Nobutada Omote, Image courtesy of Yamamoto Gendai Gallery

The “Reality of the Flesh” presented works with identity and also shows work dealing with the skin and flesh and how the body is portrayed and viewed. The final section, “Portrait of Absence,” deals with people not present as a portent of a future beyond subject and object. It also shows objects and traces left behind of people no longer present, such as those killed in wars.

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Sun Yuan and Peng Yu “I am Here”, Photo: Alex Hiroki Coles

As you go through the exhibition you see there are many examples of works that shock the viewer such as the life size model of a soldier, “I am Here” (Sun Yuan and Peng Yu) against a wall. The works on display shows a wide range of different media from paintings, photographs, video and installations from over 50 artists. Although the exhibition mainly focuses on Japanese artists such as Tatsuo Ikeda, Ken Kitano and Saburo Muraoka, there are also some western artists including Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol.

Ecce Homo: The Human Images in Contemporary Art
Date: January 16th – March 21st, 2016
Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (Till 19:00 on Friday)
Closed on Monday (Except March 21st)
Place: The National Museum of Art, Osaka
Address: 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, kita-ku, Osaka
Admission: 900 yen
Tel: +81 (0)6 4860 8600

Text: Alex Hiroki Coles
Photos: Alex Hiroki Coles

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