Beginning in the 20th century, artists around the world have rendered creative pieces known as “artist books,” or works utilizing printed goods as a platform for artistic expression – and the medium has achieved steady growth across the passage of time. Faithful manifestations of their creators’ innovative ideas, we see that these artist books have come to take on a life of their own. The publications undergo replication and movement: they continue to incite reciprocated “chemical reactions” in response to different catalysts, such as advances in printing technology, together with the evolution of Dada, conceptualism, minimal art, and other movements. One may even venture to say that such artist books have practically paved a new road of artistic expression: a medium that the next generations have embraced.

This exhibition focuses on Japanese artists at the forefront of the contemporary Japanese art publishing scene and their respective journeys with artist books. Displays unfold around publications of each artist, together with interviews in which they reflect upon their formative experiences with artist book creation as well as the allure they find within the book as a medium. By exploring each artists’ roots and their interpretations, we trace the various ways in which Japanese artists’ books have developed over the years: through Japan’s unique photobook world, the culture of manga, modes of expression developed in tandem with the rise of foreign art trends, as well as changes brought about by the advancement of the internet. In doing so, we work to glean insight into the future of the book and its potential for expression.


*Participating Artists: Aiko Yamada, Daido Moriyama, Daisuke Yokota, Fumio Tachibana, Futoshi Miyagi, Kotori Kawashima, Masanao Hirayama, Yuichi Yokoyama, Takashi Homma, Taro Hirano, Yoji Kuri, Yuichi Yokoyama