Time and Memory in Japan

04.06. - 11.09.2005

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04.06. - 11.09.2005


Kunsthaus Graz


Toshiharu Ito (Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Tokyo)

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About the

A comprehensive exhibition by Kunsthaus Graz and Camera Austria entitled "Chikaku. Time and Memory in Japan", reflecting the dynamic development of Japanese art during recent decades.

Cooperation with 
Adam Budak (Kunsthaus Graz), Seiichi Furuya (Camera Austria), Miki Okabe (The Japan Foundation)


Co-organized by The Japan Foundation

Further information

Exhibition Architect: Makoto Sei Watanabe
Exhibition Coarchitect: Niels Jonkhans

Supported by A1, Zumtobel Staff, JAL, Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., Japan European Union 2005

The exhibition focuses on the topics of “perception” (Japanese “Chikaku”), “time” and “memory”. Concentrating on these topics and in collaboration with Adam Budak and Seiichi Furuya, the art scientist Toshiharu Ito defines afresh what are for Japanese art some highly characteristic positions, albeit scarcely presented together until now.

The spatial concept that was developed especially for Kunsthaus Graz offers altogether appropriate circumstances for pursuing the manifold and winding paths of contemporary artistic expression. Makoto Sei Watanabe, one of the most important contemporary Japanese architects, is responsible for the exhibition design.
The exhibition includes contemporary art, photography, video/film, media art and architecture. It casts new light on the complex shades and dimensions of Japanese art, visualises connections between works from various epochs and genres, creating new relations. Last but not least, this multi-layered approach sketches out links and interdependencies that had scarcely been traced until now.

Modern Japanese art was created under the complex influence of brisk modernisation and rapid technological progress. In the course of this development it exhibited an essential relation to the problems of society in dealing with technology and the environment, the latter being of global importance today.

The exhibition formulates new discursive approaches, analysing the validity of the aesthetic values of the west in the face of our extremely complex present, determined by dramatic changes in the realm of media and communication systems and a growing dependency on technology. “Chikaku. Time and Memory” in Japan aims at nothing less than a rethinking of the importance and rich variety of possibilities borne by art in the 21st century.


With works by Masaki Fujihata, Rieko Hidaka, Takashi Ito, Emiko Kasahara, Tadashi Kawamata, Yayoi Kusama, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Hiroyuki Moriwaki, Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira, Tetsuya Nakamura, Motohiko Odani, Taro Okamoto, Yoko Ono, Yutaka Sone, Yoshihiro Suda, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Makoto Sei Watanabe, Masaaki Yamada, Miwa Yanagi.



Under the auspices of the Graz Art Media Competition, protagonists from different disciplines were invited to put together a project for the Kunsthaus Graz BIX Media Facade. The jury comprising Toshiharu Ito, Hiroyuki Moriwaki, Miki Okabe, Makoto Sei Watanabe, Adam Budak, Christine Frisinghelli and Peter Pakesch has two prizes to award. The “Peter Cook Prize” is awarded by the architect of the Kunsthaus. Both prize-winners’ works (“Tentacle”, 2005 by Kentaro Taki and “Waterfall”, 2005 by Shinsuke Kajituka) will be shown as part of “Chikaku”.


A comprehensive and richly illustrated catalogue in English and German accompanies the exhibition with contributions from Ryuta Imafuku, Toshiharu Ito, Yoko Tawada, Makoto Sei Watanabe, Krystyna Wilkoszewska along with a foreword by The Japan Foundation and an introduction by Christine Frisinghelli and Peter Pakesch.

Rieko Hidaka, Distance from the Sky I, 2002

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Tetsuya Nakamura, Premium Unit Bath, 2003

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sea of Buddha, 1995

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Motohiko Odani, Berenice, 2003

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Makoto Sei Watanabe, Fiber Wave II, 1999

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