Encompassing various media such as drawing, collage, painting, scrapbook, sculpture, and installation, Shinro Ohtake's works are composed of the aftermath of contemporary mass-media and visual culture, investigating the detritus of daily life. The artist collects, assemblages, edits, and organizes images in order to examine the ways of seeing and perceiving them. He maintains his emphasis on the excess of visual culture in contemporary daily life, yet creates his own composed universe. Each assembled image and object carries its own cultural connotations while simultaneously becoming part of Ohtake's collective memories and worlds. Ohtake has imbued his work with a documentation of his life through his references to pop culture and intentional visual chaos.
The exhibition Shinro Ohtake features collage works including those from the LONDON/HONCON (1986), Retina (1990-1994), Poppy (2008-11), and Time Memory (2011-12) series. Ohtake's collages incorporate diverse materials ranging from newsprint to found photos, magazine cutouts, scraps of wallpaper and vinyl, cotton and electric wire, and these materials participate in narratives constructed by the artist while also retaining their original significance. In addition, this exhibition presents works from the Scrapbook series, which form the core of his practice. Ranging from as few as 50 to as many as 895 pages, and taking several months to several years to complete, each work in the Scrapbook series comprises found images and materials collaged together with hand-drawn and painted elements, presenting the artist's accumulated creative gestures and processes as objects in their own rights.
The exhibition also presents the painting series ZYAPANORAMA (1995- ), which reflects the artist's unique perspective on and interpretation of Japan. Consisting of more than 100 works, ZYAPANORAMA features a new panorama of Japan that contrasts with traditional Japanese landscape paintings done in neutral colors. Moreover, Shinro Ohtake introduces a new neon installation. Produced especially for this exhibition, the new installation work is made of assembled neon signs that symbolize the nightlife of Seoul, reflecting the artist's particular interest. This work provides the audience an opportunity to view Seoul through the artist's perspective.
Born in Tokyo in 1955, Shinro Ohtake is one of Japan's most important contemporary artists. In 1985, he had a solo show at the ICA in London,. Since then, Ohtake's works have been exhibited internationally including dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012); Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2010); Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2006); Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa (2002), Tate Liverpool touring to Whitechapel Gallery, London and Malmo Konsthall, Malmo (1991); and Against Nature: Japanese Art in the 1980s, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art touring to multiple venues in the United States (1989).
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