Sunday, February 23, 2014

exhibition: Taro Award

Taro Okamoto was an artist leading his era, always challenging towards something new. In 1954, Okamoto published a book called Today’s Art subtitled Who will Make History
The Okamoto Taro Memorial Award for Contemporary Art, commonly referred to as the Taro Award, was established shortly after he passed away. It is one of Japan's most coveted art recognitions and the only one these days that actively encourages radical experimentation. 

This year the Taro Okamoto Award went to Kyun-Chome an art unit composed of two artists, Honma Eri and Nabuchi who's portfolio parallels that of Chim↑Pom in a number of ways (performances pieces staged and recorded in restricted areas around Fukushima, interactive gallery installations which temper with Japanese paradigms and cultural taboos and the central focus on a female character), which is of no surprise considering that Kyun-Chome were previous apprentices of Chim↑Pom's. 

For the 17th Taro Okamoto Contemporary Art Award exhibition they spread one-ton of white rice on the floor with the mound of red painted rice in the center, which combined resembled Japanese flag. To enter the space the visitors had to go under the do-not-enter tape and walk on rice to view video work showing the New Years's Eve of 2013 in abandoned Fukushima. Whilst everywhere else in Japan people went to their local temples to ring the bells and chase away all the past year evils, Fukushima remained silent until someone broke-into prohibited zone to toll the bell there as well. 

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