Koki Tanaka

Koki Tanaka

Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Koki Tanaka, A Poem Written By 5 Poets At Once (First Attempt). HD video, 2013. Commissioned by Japan Foundation, equipment support by Artists Åf Guild.

March 20, 2013

Koki Tanaka
1 June–24 November 2013

Preview: 29–31 May 2013

55th International Art Exhibition –
la Biennale di Venezia
Pavilion of Japan
Giardini, Venezia


Curator: Mika Kuraya (Chief Curator of the Department of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)
Organizer: The Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation has invited the artist Koki Tanaka and curator Mika Kuraya to provide the Japan Pavilion contribution to the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, opening 1 June 2013. Koki Tanaka and Mika Kuraya will address through a video installation the theme, “How is it possible to take on the experiences of others as one’s own?”

Having experienced the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a disaster on an unprecedented scale, what message should Japan be sending to the world? This is the question that inspired the plan proposed by Tanaka and Kuraya, who have experienced the disaster indirectly through the likes of power cuts and damage caused by radiation in Tokyo. As for the awful experiences of people who lost close relatives, whose houses were destroyed, or who had to leave their sphere of life due to the nuclear accident, the only apparent means of accessing these are to harness our powers of imagination and to not forget.

Having said that, however, might it not be possible to explore the possibility of people who have experienced this disaster, regardless of the scale or depth of that experience, as well as people living in countries or regions far removed from the disaster—a category that most likely includes the majority of visitors to the Biennale—and even people of future generations separated from it by time (and perhaps not only this disaster, but the wars and other calamities that will no doubt occur in the future) sharing their experiences in some form or another?

Tanaka’s video-installation proposes turning the Pavilion into a platform for sharing these experiences through a number of projects that set up distinct “tasks”—tasks which place participants in and prompt them to deal with unusual situations, making reference either directly or indirectly to various aspects of unforeseen events such as disasters.

About the Artist
Born in 1975; currently lives and works in Los Angeles. In his diverse art practice spanning video, photography, site-specific installation, and interventional projects, Koki Tanaka visualizes and reveals the multiple contexts latent in the most simple of everyday acts. In his recent projects he documents the behavior unconsciously exhibited by people confronting unusual situations, e.g. a haircut given by nine hair stylists or a piano played by five pianists simultaneously, in an attempt to show an alternative side to things that we usually overlook in everyday living.

He has shown widely in and outside Japan: the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Taipei Biennial 2006 (Taipei), the Gwangju Biennial 2008 (Gwangju), the Asia Society (New York), the Yokohama Triennale 2011 (Yokohama), the Witte de With (Rotterdam) and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco). He is currently showing in Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (summer 2012).

Artist’s website: www.kktnk.com

About the Curator
Chief Curator of the Department of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Mika Kuraya earned her MA at Chiba University. Her recent curatorial projects include Waiting for Video: Works from the 1960s to Today (2009, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; co-curated with Kenjin Miwa), Lying, Standing and Leaning (2009, MOMAT), Meaningful Stain (2010, MOMAT), On the Road (2011, MOMAT), Undressing Paintings: Japanese Nudes 1880–1945 (2011–2012, MOMAT). Recent critical studies include “Where is Reiko? Kishida Ryusei’s 1914–1918 Portraits” (Bulletin of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, No. 14, 2010).

For additional information about the project, please contact:
The Japan Foundation
Europe, Middle East and Africa Section 
Arts and Culture Dept. 
(Ms.) Tae Mori, (Ms.) Yoko Oyamada
4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004
T 03 5369 6063
F 03 5369 6038

Press Contact:
The Japan Foundation
(Ms. Masako Taira)
venezia [​at​] jpf.go.jp

Koki Tanaka to represent Japan at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013
RSVP for Koki Tanaka
Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
March 20, 2013

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