With brilliant, light-filled colors and dynamic spatial structures, Oscar OIWA creates vivid depictions of contemporary society that are infused with critical and humorous qualities. Born in São Paulo, Brazil to Japanese parents in 1965, Oiwa splits his time between Tokyo and New York, making works that share both the perspective of an ordinary urban dweller and an objective bird’s eye view. Addressing themes such as the cities and societies he inhabits and environmental problems, Oiwa freely integrates photographs, printed matter, and images from the Internet to realize a unique worldview that wavers between reality and fantasy, artifice and nature, and light and shadow.

Oscar Oiwa-Journey to the Light

This exhibition explores Oiwa’s vision through a collection of approximately 60 works, with an emphasis on recent efforts, and a 27-meter-long drawing executed on a wall in the museum. In addition, the composer Chad CANNON was invited to take part in a collaborative project, in which Oiwa’s work served as the inspiration for a magnificent symphony that coalesces with the paintings. With any luck, the light that Oiwa pursues in his work while traveling all over the world will reawaken a sense of hope, helping us deal with the difficulty of living in the current era.

The painter’s job has nothing to do with how well you can paint or your technique. It’s an inner struggle to express an idea on the picture plane. The tools you use are pretty simple – paints, brushes, and canvases that anyone could buy. Over many years of painting, I have continually faced the difficult challenge of how I could use these simple materials to make something great.

Oscar Oiwa

Oscar Oiwa

Born in 1965 in São Paulo, Brazil. Graduated in 1989 from the University of São Paulo, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Oiwa moved his base to Tokyo in 1991. He lived and worked in London in 1995 as artist in residence awarded by the Delfina Studio Trust, and was recipient of a grant from Asian Cultural Council and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2001. In 2002 he relocated to New York, where he remains based today. Major exhibitions include the 21st International Biennial of São Paulo in 1991, “Oscar Oiwa: The Garden of Eden” (Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo) in 1998, “Oscar Oiwa: The Dreams of a Sleeping World” (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) in 2008, and “Oscar Oiwa” (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro) in 2011, and “Beyond the End: Ruins in Art History” (Shoto Museum of Art, Tokyo) in 2018 among many others.

Period :2019.4.27 (Sat) - 2019.8.25 (Sun) 10:00 - 18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Venue :21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Galleries 7-12, 14, others
Admission :Adult: ¥1,200