Kenjiro Okazaki | Retrospective Strata

Since his first solo exhibition “Building through Construction” which presented the relief series Akasakamitsuke the artist Kenjiro Okazaki (1955 – ) has been producing works at the forefront of myriad genres encompassing sculpture, painting, film, media art, architecture, textiles, stage art, picture books, tiles, and drawings by robots. What is even more extraordinary is the tremendous amount of activity Okazaki has pursued with equal enthusiasm as the making of artworks that far surpasses the normal scope of an individual artist: long-term scenery preservation endeavors like the Haizuka Earthworks Projects, or educational activities such as in Yotsuya Art Studium, in addition to the curation of exhibitions and the writing of criticism extending across various fields. The sheer broadness and depth of these activities sustained by fierce intellect may be ascribed to Okazaki’s effort to create not only individual works but also the very site where such works are produced.

According to Okazaki, this world is never unidimensional but rather composed of multiple, disparate worlds each endowed with a uniqueness that cannot be mutually commensurated. And he has always maintained the idea that rich creativity is born by establishing a site that does not belong to any specific place, where these multiple worlds can communicate with one another while retaining their individuality and without being synthesized as one. To doubt and resist an expression becoming a representation of something, and to respect the potential of peripheral and minor things. The fact that Okazaki’s activity has always built and expanded networks between many people and things can be seen as an outcome of such conviction in the plurality of worlds.

In 2017, the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art presented the exhibition “Abstract Art as Impact” curated by Kenjiro Okazaki. By revealing the actual and real power that abstract art originally possessed, this exhibition subverted the monotonous view of Modernism in art history, offering many inspirations and new insights to the viewers. As the next step, we are presenting a solo exhibition featuring Okazaki’s own works and encompassing the entirety of his multifold activities.

The act of seeing always involves the act of recollection. Every time we see Okazaki’s work, the stratum of space we exist in shifts continuously, while past, present, and future also become altered as if we were stepping up and down the strata of time. Our senses are constantly renewed as we engage in the act of reminiscence while facing the actual works, instead of simply looking back to the past to remember what he did. We invite you to such an idiosyncratic and rewarding experience at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art.