HOME > Exhibitions > Current Exhibitions > The Self-Portraits of YASUMASA MORIMURA: My Art, My Story, My Art History
At The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Yasumasa Morimura, one of Japan's preeminent contemporary artists, presents his first large-scale solo exhibition ever to be held in his hometown of Osaka. The exhibition will consist of 132 works. There will be 50 new works, including Morimura's first full-length video piece, with a running time of approximately 70 minutes, never-before-shown works, and important works from the past.
Born in Osaka in 1951, the internationally active artist Yasumasa Morimura is still based in his hometown. Since his work Portrait (Van Gogh) was widely acclaimed at a group show titled Smile with Radical Will, which held at a Kyoto's Galerie 16 in 1985, Morimura has devoted himself to creating self-portraits in which he dresses up as protagonists from famous masterpieces, film actresses, and notable historical figures from the 20th century.
This exhibition might be described as a comprehensive survey of art history based on the self-portraits Morimura has created. The first part contains highly acclaimed works from the past such as the artist's early effort Portrait (Van Gogh), the Rembrandt Room series (1994), an exploration of the mind of the 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn, and An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Flower Tondo) (2001), a festive series displaying Morimura's unique artistic perspective that deals with the loves and death of Frida Kahlo, one of the leading Mexican painters of the 20th century. It also includes new works in which Morimura transforms himself into Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Caravaggio, Le Brun, Magritte, Dali, and for the first time in 30 years, van Gogh. This group of works provides insight into the artists who revealed themselves in self-portraits, Morimura's interpretation of these works, and his critical view of self-portraits in Western art history since the age of Leonardo. Morimura also resurrects the humanity and rich creativity of Shunsuke Masumoto, Shigeru Aoki, Tetsugoro Yorozu, and Kaita Murayama, who were pioneers in Japanese modern art, and recreating contemporary self-portraits of figures such as Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman.
The second part of the exhibition features a video work specially produced for this exhibition. In collaboration with the budding video artist Hikaru Fujii, Morimura has created his first full-length video work, with a total running time of approximately 70 minutes. Here, the artists depicted in the self-portraits in the first part of the exhibition appear alongside Morimura himself, encouraging a variety of unique interpretations of the self.
In addition to approximately 110 self-portraits, the exhibition includes portraits of the artist as a child. Morimura's personal history, leading up to his first encounter with art history, overlaps with art history, captured from a critical perspective through his own appearances in the works, to create an exhibition that serves as a wide-ranging retrospective of the artist's career.
10:00-17:00 (10:00-19:00 on Fridays)
*Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
Mondays except May 2, 2016.
Adults: 1,300(1,100) yen
University students: 900(700) yen
High school students: 500(300) yen