Amigos: Nobuaki Takekawa


Ota Fine Arts Tokyo is delighted to present 'AMIGOS', Nobuaki Takekawa's first solo exhibition in five years. Takekawa continues to be active in both Japan and overseas. His 'Cat Olympics' installation with over 2,000 ceramic cats marching in a stadium, recently shown at 'Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions' (Mori Museum, Tokyo), is still fresh in our memory. The series responds to the Olympics which has a deep connection with the concept of the 'nation' by using adorable cat motifs. In this exhibition, Takekawa expands his thoughts further through the performance group 'AMIGOS'.

'AMIGOS' was formed in 2019. In that autumn, Takekawa visited Okcheon, Korea with the artist Akira the Hustler, who was invited to perform as an opening act for an outdoor concert event by multi-talented artist Lee Lang. It was around the time when discord arose between Korea and Japan with Korea's abandonment of GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) - a military intelligence pact made between South Korea and Japan - which caused an uproar in regards to the issues of forced labor. Takekawa and his artist friends noticed that the alphabets of 'GSOMIA' could be rearranged to form the word 'AMIGOS', which led to their formation of a Mexican-style performing group associated with the word. They presented a cheerful and somewhat ridiculous performance as the opening act before Akira the Hustler's performance.

In this exhibition, we will showcase Takekawa's latest paintings, drawings, and woodblock prints, which are influenced by Korean TV drama series that he watched during the Stay Home period, together with a performance video by AMIGOS. Takekawa started making woodblock prints in 2016 and while it is still a relatively new medium for the artist, it plays an important role in his artistic activities. Woodcut is attractive with its catchy poster-like quality and powerful carved lines, and has been used to express messages from political and social movements throughout the modernization of Asia. The performance video that was recorded in the gallery space will also be broadcasted online as 'Episōdo 05' in 'Yokohama Triennale 2020 "Afterglow"' under the participation of the East Asian artist collective 'SURE INN', a collective that was founded during Takekawa's residency experience in Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing in 2018.

To sum up this exhibition simply, it is an attempt to 'express Korean TV drama with an AMIGOS-like approach'. Nowadays, Korean culture is gaining popularity amongst the younger generation of Japan, with their pop-idols, cosmetics and entertainment such as TV-dramas and the film 'Parasite'. On the other hand, for Japan, it is getting more and more difficult to face the historical conflict with Korea, which was once ruled by Japan. While the two countries possess complicated and distorted mixtures of feelings for each other, an entity suddenly appears in Mexican style and steps in with an incredible brightness. This is perhaps what 'AMIGOS' is aiming to achieve.

[NOBUAKI TAKEKAWA] Born in Tokyo in 1977, Nobuaki Takekawa is currently based in Saitama, Japan. He attained a BA in Fine Arts at the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2002. In recent years, he has participated in various exhibitions in Japan and abroad including "Singapore Biennale 2016", Singapore Art Musuem, Singapore and "Aichi Triennale 2016", The Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, Japan.

Takekawa also participates in "Yokohama Triennale 2020" as a member of the artist collective, Printing Sound.

Yokohama Triennale "Afterglow"

Episode05 "SURE INN"
[Online] URL:  ※only on 22th August
[Exhibition] Plot 48 22th August-11th October

Installation Views