MOT Annual 2022
My justice might be someone else’s pain
The MOT Annual is a group exhibition that highlights diverse aspects of contemporary art and elicits inquiry and discussion. The 18th edition of the MOT Annual features four artists, OOKUBO Ari, KUDO Haruka, TAKAGAWA Kazuya, and RACHI Akira. With language and narrative as points of departure, these artists explore how we can give visible shape to people and things forgotten in our era and by our society, and how we can focus in sharper resolution on the complex, institutionalized environment that envelops our lives.
We live in a senseless world of pandemics and rampant unprovoked attacks, and it seems that basic definitions of right and wrong are increasingly blurred. How can we examine differences between people of varying backgrounds, and see the misunderstandings and paradoxes that arise from these differences as relevant to us? Is it possible to tolerate and forgive others with whom we share little or no understanding? Language is a means of sharing culture, but at the same time, cultural disparities can be sources of conflict. Meanwhile, that which cannot be described in words tends to be forgotten. This exhibition showcases artists’ endeavors to confront the challenges of storytelling and description, and to seek out alternative narratives.
Artists ：OOKUBO Ari / KUDO Haruka / TAKAGAWA Kazuya / RACHI Akira
(Videos and installations include new works by each artist)
Kazuya Takagawa, On That Rhythm, 52 min.
Screening schedule (start time)
10:30 / 11:25 / 12:20 / 13:15 / 14:10 / 15:05 / 16:00 / 16:55
New works and installations reconfigured for this exhibition
Each of the participating artists has created work specifically for this exhibition. Viewers will engage with the uniquely up-to-the-minute character of contemporary artworks created through ongoing processes of exploration.
TAKAGAWA Kazuya is working with multiple collaborators, including the rapper FUNI, to produce a new video in which he tries his hand at rapping. What do we gain or lose when we express our emotions in words? This documentary will explore the question while tracing the artist’s own personal experiences.
KUDO Haruka presents a new installation incorporating interviews with people currently living independently after leaving support facilities for persons with disabilities, with the former Eugenic Protection Law and the mass murder at a care facility in Sagamihara, which she has dealt with in previous works, as underlying themes. This overlaps with her interrogation of the history of women, including the artist herself, who pursue art careers while raising children.
OOKUBO Ari compiles a new narrative in which multiple stories and time-frames intersect, in an installation inspired by 13 of her past works. By reconfiguring these, she conveys the ways in which recombination of timelines and interchanges of subject and object in a story imply the possibility of alternative narratives in any given account.
RACHI Akira presents a version of work, previously shown in 2020 at his first solo exhibition in a decade, focusing on a passage used in a literacy test that was a prerequisite for voting rights in the US state of Louisiana in the 1960s. Here he reproduces this work, which reflects on invisible forms of prejudice, and positions reading, writing and pronunciation as arbitrary pretexts for discrimination, in the public space of a museum.
Imagining Untold Lives and Engaging with the Forgotten
Some of the works in this exhibition deal with issues that society tends to avoid discussing. Here they are addressed in ways that differ from their description or evaluation in factual terms in the news or in critical discourse. The artists present us with discoveries they have made while deepening engagement with their subjects and subjecting their own values to disruption by experimenting with the effects of language on the psyche, or imagining the lives of individuals not easily represented in historical narratives. Their stances – traversing boundaries between self and other and seeking to engage with marginalized issues and forgotten entities, at times rendering them abstract through fiction and symbol – demonstrate the potential of storytelling and creation, and of resistance to erasure from collective historical memory.
Ongoing Artistic Practices Not Swayed by Art-World Trends
While introducing new developments in art, the MOT Annual series also serves as a venue for diverse works that cannot be associated with any one trend, and which are often overlooked. From this perspective, this exhibition sheds light on artists who are remarkably accomplished but have not exhibited extensively at museums thus far.
Artists’ practices are nurtured in the context of their daily lives, and do not always manifest themselves in the form of artworks. Whether or not they have venues at which to exhibit, artists continue to pursue their own concerns, studies, and creative processes. This year's edition of the MOT Annual offers opportunities to imagine and experience stories outside the bounds of familiar language, and a venue for sharing the explorations and practices of present-day artists with a wider audience.
1. TAKAGAWA Kazuya
Born in 1986, Takagawa graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of Tokyo Zokei University of the Arts and completed the Graduate School of Fine Arts program at Tokyo University of the Arts. Since 2007, he has participated in group exhibitions and residencies in Japan and abroad, working primarily with video. Past projects include a filmed dialogue between Takagawa and a psychotherapist who pretends to be Takagawa himself, and experimental videos and projects in which consensus is formed among strangers. He is concerned with the effects of language on the human psyche, and has collected the words of depression patients and war survivors. Takagawa’s new work will be a documentary which explores verbal self-expression, and its effects, in collaboration with the rapper FUNI and others.
2. KUDO Haruka
Born in 1977, Kudo graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Tokyo University of the Arts. She is currently a member of the research collective Hitotohito. She began as a painter, but since the late 2010s has been creating installations combining text, objects, and video based on her research into social issues and imagination directed toward those unable to speak. Kudo questions the ways in which institutions and laws affect people’s value systems and are internalized. Building on previous works dealing with the passage of the former Eugenic Protection Law and the mass murder at a care facility in Sagamihara, here she presents an installation reflecting the history of Lake Sagami and the social structures surrounding resources, welfare, and labor that this history brings into focus, as well as the voices and perspectives of persons who society renders invisible.
3. OOKUBO Ari
Born in 1974, Ookubo graduated from the Department of Painting of Musashino Art University, and completed the Certificate Course in Art at the Goldsmiths, University of the Arts London and the Postgraduate Course at Chelsea College of Arts and Design. Since the early 2000s, she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and had solo shows in Japan and elsewhere, presenting works based on fictions derived from her own dreams and experiences in the form of performances, printed matter, and installations consisting of text and objects. By illuminating the ambiguity and multiplicity of memories and narratives, Ookubo endeavors to engage with the presence of things suspended or obliviated amid the chaos of history. In this exhibition, she reconfigures her own past work and compiles a new narrative through memories and objects invoked on a natural history museum-like time scale.
4. RACHI Akira
Born in 1980, Rachi graduated from the Photography Course at Arts University Bournemouth. He produces works based on research related to modern and contemporary history, especially voting systems, and also engages in artistic practice through everyday acts such as walking and asking questions. These practices, which are at times developed into texts, photographs, and performances, reveal the political nature of institutions and representations and the potential for recurring reminders of past events. schibboleth, which addresses the history of discrimination based on differences in speech, is a meditation on vague and unreasonably imposed dividing lines, those who create them and those who are at their mercy. He reproduces the previously exhibited work for the MOT Annual.
Sat. 16 July – Sun. 16 October 2022
Mondays (except 18 Jul., 19 Sep., 10 Oct.), 19 Jul., 20 Sep., 11 Oct.
- Opening Hours
10:00 - 18:00 (Tickets available until 30 minutes before closing.)
Adults – 1,300 yen / University & College Students, Over 65 – 900 yen / High School & Junior High School Students – 500yen / 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.
*We recommend that you purchase reserved priority tickets in advance. [Advance reservation]
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Exhibition Gallery 3F
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
※All programs are subject to change.