Scrapbook, gwangju art biennale 2010
since shinro ohtake (b.1955 tokyo, japan) ‘s first solo show in 1985, his multi-layered works in painting,
sculpture, and bookmaking have become an influential presence in japanese contemporary art.
responding directly to the mass media and contemporary urban life, ohtake’s works are characterized
by their voracious, maximalist accumulations of found materials, which balance the slap-dash and
the considered, pairing short bursts of feverish energy with methodically layered imagery.
this sense of purposeful chaos also translates into ohtake’s work in music, where he has created tightly
coiled noise rock with his influential band JUKE/19, as well as with his current band puzzle punks,
which he formed in collaboration with boredom’s front man yamataka eye in 1991.
showing at this year’s gwangju biennale is one of ohtake’s most prominent and consistent facet:
his ongoing series of scrapbooks which he began to make in 1977. like a traditional scrapbook,
these books hold mountainous collections of found materials that ohtake collages and paints over
to create complex, stratified compositions on each of the books’ pages,rendering them into
quasi-sculptural objects. however, unlike a traditional scrapbook, his works have no specific diaristic
function. instead, they function more as a series of cultural crystallization points, where ohtake’s labor
transforms the cast-off sweepings of visual culture into heightened versions of themselves.