Yoshiyuki Okuyama “windows”
Dates: Jun 10 – Jul 8, 2023
*Opening hours will change from 12:00 – 17:00 on Sat, Jun 10.
*Conversation: Yoshiyuki Okuyama x Mariko Asabuki
Date and time: Saturday, Jun 24, 14:00 – 15:30
Location: AXIS Gallery (AXIS building 4F)
By reservation only (capacity: 130)
amanaTIGP is pleased to present Yoshiyuki Okuyama’s solo exhibition “windows” from June 10 to July 8, 2023. Marking the artist’s fist showcasing at amanaTIGP and first solo show in four years, the exhibition features around 25 works from a series of photographs that solely capture the opaque windows of houses across Tokyo. This series consists of an extensive number of approximately 100,000 photographs and was taken over a period of two and a half years from April 2020 to November 2022 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since his debut in 2011, Okuyama has continued to produce his own works. In his 2020 series “flowers,” he attempted to engage in a dialogue with his late grandmother through photographing flowers, enabling the camera to respectively embody the perspectives of both himself and his grandmother. Following “flowers,” “windows” is the second in a trilogy work that “attempts to depict people through non-human subjects.” What underlies Okuyama’s works, regardless of their incentive or purpose, is his unique visual expression that treats the contradictions and multifacetedness accompanying all phenomena as themes for production, and discerns the essence of photography in the numerous possibilities that fluctuate before and after the moment that is captured.
Tokyo is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and when looking at each home in its crowded neighborhoods, one notices that many windows are fitted with opaque sheets of glass such as figured glass and what is commonly referred to as frosted glass. The scenery observed through the vertical and horizontal screens manifest as landscape paintings that convey the outside scenery to the closed inner space. At the same time, for the outside world, it potentially acts as a portrait of sorts that depicts the lives of people who live in the depths of these inorganic square frames. The everyday items and miscellaneous objects seen through the opaque glass are abstracted, and due to this very abstraction, the lives of the people who live there are presented as an uncertain meandering that can neither be informatized nor verbalized, even giving the impression as if projecting the inner thoughts of a stranger.
In the opaque windows–arguably a sort of symbol of Tokyo with its complex layers of culture and buildings crowded together–I saw the facial expressions of people. I felt that looking at windows is tantamount to strangers looking at one another.
It is my strong and heartfelt desire that these quiet exchanges of eyes meeting eyes can become portraits of people living in the city of Tokyo.
Yoshiyuki Okuyama, ‘Portraits of Tokyo’, windows, AKAAKA, n.p.
The artist describes windows, considerably a product of contradiction that satisfies the conflicting desires of human beings who wish to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors while seeking an indoor environment, as “also fulfilling the role of a ‘juncture’ that facilitates a connection between each individual ‘person’ and ‘society.’” The exhibition space manifests as a microcosm of the small but chaotic city of Tokyo, dispersed throughout with works of different sizes and window frame widths that serve to shed light on the diverse and eclectic nature of its neighborhoods. We hope viewers will enjoy this exhibition, which indeed could be perceived as a transitional period for Okuyama’s oeuvre.
New book will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Yoshiyuki Okuyama, windows
Published by AKAAKA, Jun 2023
Retail price: Regular Edition ￥11,000- (tax incl.) / Special Limited Edition ￥19,800- (tax incl.) *Limited 500, signed.
Pre-Ordering: Regular Edition Special Limited Edition
Yoshiyuki Okuyama was born in 1991 in Tokyo. He began producing photographic works in 2009 and marked his debut with the receipt of the 34th New Cosmos of Photography Excellence Award in 2011. Ever since, he has continued to produce works that center on the theme of contradiction and the mixture of contrary elements such as representation and abstraction. Okuyama won The 47th Kodansha Publishing Culture Awards, Photography Award with BACON ICE CREAM (Parco Publishing, 2015) in 2016. His publications include Girl (PLANCTON, 2012), The Town You Live in (SPACE SHOWER BOOKS, 2017), As the Call, So the Echo (AKAAKA, 2017), POCARI SWEAT (SEIGENSHA Art Publishing, 2018), Los Angeles / San Francisco (Union publishing, 2018), The Good Side (Editions Bessard, 2020), flowers (AKAAKA, 2021), BACON ICE CREAM-Taiwan Edition (Uni Books, 2021), Ton! Tan! Pan! Don! (bookshop M, 2021) and BEST BEFORE (SEIGENSHA Art Publishing, 2022). Okuyama’s major solo exhibitions include “Girl” Raum1F, Tokyo (2012), “BACON ICE CREAM” PARCO Museum, Tokyo (2016), “THE NEW STORY” POST, Tokyo (2016), “As the Call, So the Echo” Gallery916, Tokyo (2017), “The Town You Live in” Omotesando Hills Space O, Tokyo (2017), and ”White Light” CANON GALLERY S, Tokyo (2019).