Things Entangling

A collaboration between MOT and KADIST

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and KADIST present the exhibition Things Entangling, the culmination of a major, long-term curatorial collaboration.
Trees, fossils, books, artifacts—these are some of our companions as we live in and make sense of a world in which realities and histories collide and reverberate continuously. This exhibition features artworks by twelve artists/groups that trace and animate the trajectories, nexuses, and mutations of things that resonate with a specific time and place. These things might be material objects or living subjects, but they are always also mediators of meaning, ideology, and memory. When these artists’ practices invoke anthropology, archaeology, or historiography to seek rootedness, they aim less to excavate or clarify the past than to open up a new politics of interpretation for building the present. Haunted by different time spans and territories, positions and subjectivities, the artists reveal unexpected intersections, elusive networks, and fleeting affinities between things. Through their work they aspire to open up the closed circles, exclusive territories, and static systems that are around and also within us.

Exhibition catalogue【Read online(PDF)】【Download(A4/PDF)】【Download(A3/PDF)
Exhibition guide
Exhibition handout(PDF)


Pio Abad, Liu Chuang, Hikaru Fujii, Dale Harding, Yukihisa Isobe, Asako Iwama, Kapwani Kiwanga, Jumana Manna, mixrice, Tom Nicholson, The Propeller Group and Superflex, Alexandra Pirici


KADIST believes contemporary artists make an important contribution to a progressive society by addressing through their work the key issues of our time. As a non-profit organization dedicated to exhibiting the work of artists represented in its collection, KADIST encourages this engagement and affirms contemporary art’s relevance within social discourse. Its programs develop collaborations with artists, curators and many art organizations around the world, facilitating new connections across cultures. Local programs in KADIST’s hubs of Paris and San Francisco include exhibitions, public events, residencies and educational initiatives. Complemented by an active online network, they aim at creating vibrant conversations about contemporary art and ideas.

About the collaboration between MOT and KADIST

Things Entangling is the last step of a curatorial collaboration between the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and KADIST. Initiated in 2016, this collaboration unfolds across a series of three exhibitions based on artistic forms of engagement in contemporary society.

After a first group exhibition entitled Almost nothing, yet not nothing, presented at the Tokyo University for the Arts as part of MOT Satellite project in October-November 2017 and Les nucléaires et les choses, a solo exhibition by Hikaru Fujii which took place at KADIST, Paris in May-July 2019, this final international exhibition will bring together new works as well as works from the two collections.

Artists’ Biography

Pio Abad
Born in 1983 in Manila, the Philippines. Lives and works in London. Deeply informed by the modern history of the Philippines, where the artist was born and raised, Pio Abad’s work, which ranges from drawing to textiles, installation, and photography, engages the complexities of hegemonic power and its representation through objects. By appropriating symbols of power and evoking a sense of excess, the artist weaves together multiple layers of histories and present-day realities arising from forms of repression, rendering visible his critique and solidarity with those who stand against injustice.

Pio Abad, The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders, 2014-2019  (installation detail)

Liu Chuang
Born in 1979 in Hubei, China. Lives and works in Beijing. Known for engaging with socioeconomic matters related to China’s immediate realities, Liu Chuang creates works that integrate readymades and social interventions across various mediums, from video to installation, architecture, and performance. He reflects on personal experiences of globalization and sociopolitical systems underlying the everyday.

Liu Chuang, Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities, 2018

Hikaru Fujii
Born in 1976 in Tokyo. Lives and works in Tokyo. Hikaru Fuji’s films, installations, workshops, and writings explore the relationship between art and social activism. When revisiting a specific historical incident or present-day situation involving domination and exploitation, the artist undertakes extensive research and fieldwork to explore the potential of critique over that power and the sociopolitical systems supporting it.

Hikaru Fujii, Fukushima Cultural Property Center, 2019  (reference image)

Dale Harding
Born in 1982 in Moranbah, Queensland, Australia. Lives and works in Brisbane. Dale Harding—a descendant of the Bidjara, Ghungalu, and Garingbal peoples of Central Queensland—explores untold histories through his installations. He specifically investigates the social and political realities experienced by members of his family, especially his matrilineal elders, who lived under government control in Queensland. More broadly, his work addresses agency, power, and systems of domination in contemporary Australia.

Yukihisa Isobe
Born in 1935 in Tokyo. Lives and works in Tokyo. Yukihisa Isobe began as a painter with a particular interest in abstract forms and symbols, natural landscapes, and living things. After moving in 1965 to the United States to study natural sciences (geology, ecology, and cultural anthropology) at the University of Pennsylvania, he became enamored with ecological planning, a process of understanding and evaluating the use of landscape to ensure a better fit with human habitation, and began integrating graphics and colors from that field into his practice. Plans and mapping have since become a constant motif in his work, and serve to emphasize the reciprocal long-term relationship between a region’s environment and its human cultures.

Asako Iwama
Born in 1975 in Tokyo. Lives and works in Berlin and Tokyo. Her background as both cook and artist has led Asako Iwama to organize a number of experimental workshops and field trips that explore the social dimensions of eating. Her more recent practice further investigates historical and technological shifts in relationships between natural elements and the body as material and subjectivity through physical engagement, including (re)modeling, sampling, tracing, and research.

Asako Iwama, Artist in her studio  (reference image)

Kapwani Kiwanga
Born in 1978 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Lives and works in Paris. Using archival materials and referencing anthropology, history, and architecture, Kapwani Kiwanga’s research-driven work investigates marginalized and forgotten histories. By evoking the symbolism and associations of certain objects or materials, her installations help us see the world differently by addressing hidden authoritarian structures, institutional devices, and power imbalances.

Jumana Manna
Born in 1987 in Princeton, New Jersey, and raised in Jerusalem. Lives and works in Berlin. Working in film and sculpture, Jumana Manna explores how power relations play out in the inheritances of colonialism, and systems of sustenance in particular. She unpacks ideological narratives to understand their impacts on social relations and the intimacies of everyday life. Referring to the human body, archaeology, and industrial structures, the works are amalgamations marked by both specificities of place and dislocations.

Jumana Manna, Cache (Insurance Policy), 2018-2019  (installation detail)  Photo: Luca Guadagnini

mixrice is an artists’ collective based in Seoul, originally established by four artists in 2002 including Jieun Cho. It was run by Jieun Cho and Chulmo Yang in 2006-2019, and currently by Jungwon Kim, Gyeol Ko and Jieun Cho since early 2020. Many of their multidisciplinary works and projects engage with migrants in Korea, questioning the idea of community and belonging, critiquing society’s attitude toward difference, or exploring together how to articulate migrants’ aspirations behind their border crossing. They have expanded their artistic scope since 2013 to examine fauna and flora that migrate or are forced to migrate due to urban and energy development, thereby reflecting another subject-form affected by capitalism and its power of resilience.

*In June 2020, the former mixrice member Yang Chulmo has been accused of sexual harassment for making inappropriate remarks to former colleagues of a project he was engaging independently. He has been expelled from the collective.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo and KADIST condemn any form of sexual misconduct and stand in solidarity with the people who have suffered from sexual violence. We will continue to follow the developments of the situation and to communicate with the remaining members of mixrice who declared that they will cooperate to clarify this issue and engage with preventing sexual violence. ※Updated in September 2020. Statement_updated_Sep2020.pdf

mixrice, Plants that Evolve (in some way or other), 2013

Tom Nicholson
Born in 1973 in Melbourne, Australia. Lives and works in Melbourne. Tom Nicholson employs drawing, film, installation, actions, and writing to engage with colonial histories of Australia that unfold in and outside of the country. He draws connections between different moments, places, and subjects, often through in-depth archival research and dialogue with objects, people, and narratives. The process of engagement results in various modes of production and articulation, including collaborative object making and imagining monuments anew. Uncovering thin layers of history that might otherwise remain unnoticed or proposing alternative trajectories of history, he critiques the nation-state system that draws borders and allocates power.

Tom Nicholson, Comparative Monument (Shellal), 2014-2017  (installation detail)  Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney  Photo: Christian Capurro

The Propeller Group and Superflex
The Propeller Group was established in 2006 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A platform for collectivity, it examines political and social issues related to Vietnam’s tumultuous past, the residual effects of the Cold War, and the rise of neocolonialism. Their complex projects employ nontraditional art materials and methods that are meant to disrupt and/or reconsider modes of cultural production. They often team up with Superflex, a Danish artist group committed to social and economic change, founded in 1993, to coproduce a variety of moving-image projects, including short films, video installations, television series, and even a ten-day-long film.

Alexandra Pirici
Born in 1982 in Bucharest, Romania. Lives and works in Bucharest. Alexandra Pirici’s ongoing actions and performative works use embodiment to explore history, the production of meaning, and invisible structures of power, in both the gallery and public spaces. Her work uses movement—specifically the body, whether physically or virtually present—to reimagine the future by rereading historical and art historical narratives, turning objects into actions via enactments or living sculptures, and resituating abstraction in the living body.

Alexandra Pirici, Parthenon Marbles, 2017  (exhibition view)  Collection: KADIST  Photo: Ouidade Soussi-Chiadmi



Sat. 14 March 9 June – Sun. 14 June 27 September, 2020


Mondays (except 10 August, 21 September), 11 August, 23 September

Opening Hours



Adults - 1,300yen (1,040yen)
University & College Students, Over 65 - 900yen (720yen)
High School & Junior High School Students - 500yen (400yen)
Elementary School Students & Younger - Free

* Ticket includes admission to the MOT Collection exhibition.
* Children younger than elementary school age need to be accompanied by a guardian.
* Persons with a Physical Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Welfare Certificate, or Atomic Bomb Survivor Welfare Certificate as well as up to two attendants are admitted free of charge.

Services that are suspended until further notice:
* Amounts in parentheses indicate the price for a group of over 20 people.
* Persons 65 or over are admitted free of charge on the third Wednesday of every month (Senior Day). Proof of age is required.
* Tokyo resident guardians accompanying children under 18 are admitted at half-price on the third Saturday of every month as well as the following day (Family Day). Identification is required.


Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Exhibition Gallery 1F


Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, and KADIST

Under the patronage of

Ambassade de France / Institut français du Japon

Grant from

Takashimaya Cultural Foundation

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Institut français 3-ambassade_if_cs4++.png


Corporate support


Special support

Futaba Town Board of Education, Fukushima


Installation view

  • Tom Nicholson, Comparative Monument (Shellal), 2014-17 Collection of Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Tom Nicholson, Comparative Monument (Shellal), 2014-17 (detail) Collection of Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Pio Abad (left/center), mixrice (right)

  • Pio Abad, Splendour, 2019 (detail)

  • mixrice, Plants that Evolve (in some way or other), 2013

  • Jumana Manna (front), Yukihisa Isobe (left), Asako Iwama (right back)

  • Jumana Manna, Cache (Insurance Policy), 2018-19 (detail)

  • Asako Iwama, Pinocchio, 2020

  • Asako Iwama, Pinocchio, 2020 (detail)

  • Asako Iwama, Pinocchio, 2020 (detail)

  • Liu Chuang, Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities, 2020

  • Yukihisa Isobe, Personal Landscape, 2000-01

  • Yukihisa Isobe, Investigation for Japan National Land Agency: Osaka bay area, 1976

  • Yukihisa Isobe, Wind Direction Undefinable, 1998

  • Kapwani Kiwanga, Rumors That Maji Was a Lie..., 2014

  • Kapwani Kiwanga, Rumors That Maji Was a Lie..., 2014 (detail)

  • Dale Harding with Hayley Matthew, Know them in correct judgement – Gami, 2020

  • Dale Harding with Hayley Matthew, Know them in correct judgement – Gami, 2020 (detail)

  • The Propeller Group and Superflex, FADE IN: EXT. STORAGE – CU CHI – DAY, 2010  Collection of KADIST

  • Hikaru Fujii, The Anatomy Classroom, 2020

  • Hikaru Fujii, The Anatomy Classroom, 2020 (still image) *

Installation views of “Things Entangling, a collaboration between MOT and KADIST”, 2020
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 
Photo: Kenji Takahashi (except*)

Exhibition teaser

Hikaru Fujii, COVID-19 May 2020
On May 5 and 6, Hikaru Fujii, one of the participating artists of the exhibition Things Entangling documented the closed gallery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The video goes through the works in the darkness, waiting for the visitors.

Event archives

Things Entangling, a collaboration between MOT and KADIST Artist’s forum vol.1 (Online event)

Date: 18. September, 2020
Guest speaker: Tom Nicholson,
Alexandra Pirici Discassant: Andrew Maerkle

Things Entangling, a collaboration between MOT and KADIST: Artist’s forum vol.2 (Online event)

Date: 25. September, 2020
Guest speaker: Dale Harding, Asako Iwama
Discassant: Andrew Maerkle


Parthenon Marbles by Alexandra Pirici
Dates: August 2 (Sun), 9 (Sun), 16 (Sun), 23 (Sun), 30 (Sun) and September 6 (Sun), 11:00-14:00
Venue: Exhibition Gallery 1F
Performer: Takumi Tsuji
Language: Japanese.
*Preventive measures against Coronavirus are being taken for the presentation of the work.
*The schedule is subject to change due to the status of the outbreak and the visitor congestion in the gallery.

Artists’ & Curators’ Talk
*This event was cancelled.

International Symposium
*This event has been postponed. Further details are forthcoming.
Date: June 13 (Sat) 14:00-17:00
Venue: Auditorium, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Language: English with Japanese simultaneous translation

* Please note all events dates and details are subject to change.
* Please visit the museum website for updates and more details.

Things Entangling Online Exhibition

The online exhibition of Things Entangling is available at KADIST’s website until July 29, August 7, 2020.
Starting with Hikaru Fujii’s COVID-19 May 2020 that navigates through the closed exhibition space, the program introduces video works that reveal histories and human gestures hidden in the trajectories and mutations of things around us.

List of works:
Hikaru Fujii, COVID-19 May 2020, 2020
The Propeller Group and Superflex, FADE IN: EXT.STORAGE-CU CHI-DAY, 2010
Hikaru Fujii, The Anatomy Classroom, 2020
Kapwani Kiwanga, Vumbi, 2012 *The work is not exhibited at MOT.

Things Entangling Online Exhibition
Until Wed July 29, Fri August 7, 2020

Concurrent Exhibition

See Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions