Yamaguchi Akira Solo Exhibition

(A parallel event of the Singapore Biennale 2011)


Message from the artist

The buildings of Singapore seem to ignore gravity as they reach up into the sky and draw people up from the ground. Our neighbors used to be the people beside us, but now they are just as likely to be above or below. How would such things appear to the impudent eyes of the roaming traveler? I want to explore this question with various light-hearted creations – paintings with multiple layers, mysterious three-dimensional structures and videos that seem to peak at what is happening inside.

By Yamaguchi Akira


About the exhibition
Japan Creative Centre together with the Japan Foundation is pleased to present a solo exhibition by one of Japan's leading contemporary artists, Yamaguchi Akira, at the Japan Creative Center (JCC) in Singapore.

This exhibition will include a new, specially-made installation focusing on the Singaporean people, with their Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicities and their lifestyles in their city-state. The installation will take full advantage of the unique South East Asian character of the JCC's architecture. Important works from throughout Yamaguchi's career will also be exhibited. Without doubt, the exhibition will capture the attention of the Singaporean people and probably elicit more than a few smiles, too. Coinciding with the 3rd Singapore Biennale, the theme of which is "Open House," the exhibition is also sure to be seen by the many international art specialists who will visit the city at this time.

About Yamaguchi Akira
Yamaguchi was born in 1969 in Tokyo. In 1997, a year after graduating with an MFA from the Tokyo University of the Arts, he participated in the "Kotatsu School" exhibition and quickly attracted the attention of the art world. Yamaguchi uses oils, but paints in the style of classical Yamato painting, adopting traditional compositions such as kassenzu battle paintings and rakuchurakugai paintings that depict cities from a bird's-eye view with some building interiors visible. Within these classical compositions, he freely integrates different times and places, often mixing in a single painting things and customs that are old with those that are new, things that are Western with those that are Eastern.

The paintings often include scenes of life in contemporary cities, animals and plants and also machines as symbols of modernization. Part of the works' wide appeal lies in the fact that despite being playful and entertaining in their details, they also maintain a cynical, critical standpoint. While Yamaguchi's paintings may at first appear to be exotic or kitsch, the stunning precision of the depictions has won for them high acclaim overseas – acclaim that transcends exoticism.

In recent years, Yamaguchi has been working in a variety of formats in addition to exhibitions, producing public art and also artwork for CD jackets, books and novel serializations in newspapers.

This exhibition will be held as a parallel event of the Singapore 2011 Biennale.



12th March to 6th May 2011
(Closed on Mon & Sun
& 22th March, 22th April, 3rd May)

10am to 6pm daily

Japan Creative Centre
4 Nassim Road S(258372)
Tel: 6737 0434

Japan Creative Centre
Japan Foundation