Viva Video! : The Art and Life of Shigeko Kubota
This exhibition will be the first major survey of the art of Shigeko Kubota (1937 – 2015) in Japan nearly in three decades. Born in Niigata and educated in Tokyo, Kubota moved to New York in 1964 to join the Fluxus movement. Kubota became internationally known as a pioneering artist for her “video sculpture,” which integrated video into three-dimensional structures. Her contribution to contemporary art, however, has yet to be adequately evaluated.
The goal of the exhibition is to provide an updated and contextualized survey of the Japanese American female artist Shigeko Kubota to international audiences. Shortly after the artist’s passing in 2015, the Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation was established in New York at the bequest of the artist to preserve and further the study of Kubota’s life and legacy, in addition to advancing the field of video art. Drawing significantly from a collection of recently restored sculptures, drawings, photographs, and ephemera of the Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation, and complementing them with additional works from Japanese museums and archival materials from the artist’s family, the exhibition will showcase a diverse array of materials for the first time.
What was Kubota thinking and seeking as a woman artist who was developing her art on the world stage at the dawn of media art? The exhibition will present multivalent views of Kubota’s life and work through drawings, photographs, archival documents, and video – including her Duchampiana video sculpture series. The exhibition is scheduled to tour three museums across Japan, starting in her hometown of Niigata, in the spring of 2021, then traveling to Osaka in the summer, and ending in Tokyo in February 2022.
A fully illustrated, bilingual catalog with scholarly essays, updated bibliography, and chronology will be published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha in Tokyo.
The organizers would like to express their special thanks to the Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation, New York.