Art + Culture

思想+方法、一流アーティスト岡田裕子の尊敬するナラティブ進展 「ダブル・フューチャー」 Thought + Method, Leading Artist OKADA Hiroko's Narrative of Progress "DOUBLE FUTURE" Earns Our Respect

OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Engagement ring - brain” @ MIZUMA ART GALLERY 2019/7/10 - 8/10

OKADA Hiroko’s 岡田裕子 voice and vision have been powerful forces in Japanese contemporary art for over two decades. Her multi-layered, eclectic art practice embodies the self in the now, always keeping in mind that art can also function as a critique of contemporary society and one’s own personal family history, unconsciously going 30-50, or more, years back.
Most of her works had been executed from personal experiences like “My Song” (1998) and “SINGIN’ IN THE PAIN” (2004), therefore the contemplating art-insider, with mucho gusto, receives astonishing revelations, which enforces her future status in obtaining an important place in the history of Japanese art.
Besides her popular and unique approach via performative practice intermingled with highly satirical (nota bene: rarely seen or understood in Japan), provoking content (see “AIZOU BENTO – Love and Hate Lunch Box” 2007, “RESTAURANT NO DRESS CODE” 2013 or “EXERCISES” 2014), Okada’s transformative self-vulnerability earns our deepest respect, too, – being contextualized via “Miss O’s Face” (1995) and the amazing “Dusky Room” (2009). Said that, her cutting-edge, structure-related works require a more complex and intellectually demanding interaction from the viewer.
This is actually the case in the running exhibition at Mizuma Art Gallery, named “DOUBLE FUTURE”. Keeping serious stem cell research results in mind, Okada’s new work “Engaged Body” touches the highly controversial topic about bioethics. Her artistic, semi-fictional approach explores superbly the latest standards in regenerative medicine and organ transplantation, in which the viewer, depending on her/his religious and socio-political context (“West-East”; bioethics in China, Japan, US, France, Germany, Switzerland etc.) doesn’t feel very comfortable. That means, the artist succeeded.
On top of that, during the vernissage we marveled at the chic, golden jewelry for sale, without knowing first that Okada’s body had been scanned via MRI technology and the 3D data had been used to recreate her organs as jewelry using traditional Japanese gold leaf technique. Beautifully weird, chapeau!
Connected with the above mentioned stem cell research, Okada’s popular work “The Delivery by Male Project” 2002 / 2019 experienced a revised version. In this context, we wonder how 17 years ago the artist succeeded in visualizing, via the case study of a “pregnant man”, a not-so-fictional narrative for the future. Additionally, Okada’s work implies an educational effect. We learn that human superdonors grow organs for people, semen and egg can be created using iPS cells therefore a surrogate mother can receive an insemination of your semen, or, in Japanese law, since men can’t become “mothers” in the family register, a man would have to adopt his own child, even if he birthed the child.
Art and emancipation (on both, women’s and men’s side (and all others)) and the “social role” of an artist.
Okada Hiroko’s works excellently function as an artistic critique towards Japanese society, where human relationship, mother-father-children relationship, seen from the “outside”, still show signs of behavioural disorder.
As most of her works refer to universal values and ethics (partnership, marriage, childbirth and – rearing, aging, death), the local (= Japan) socio-ethnological aspect becomes concrete form, too. 
Okada tells us: it’s high time to awake out of sleep. “Showa is over”. “Heisei is over”.
Our sympathy towards Okada Hiroko’s practice comes partly from her genius-like gift of being able to blend serious socio-humanistic topics with well done research, humor, grace and strict artistic concept.
Additionally, we notice how she embodies experimental and surprising (theatrical) happenings into the final execution, therefore letting the viewers experience marvelous magic in art.

Tokyo, 29th of July 2019
Mario A

OKADA Hiroko “DOUBLE FUTURE” @ Mizuma Art Gallery
岡田裕子展「ダブル・フューチャー」@ ミヅマアートギャラリー

10 July – 10 August 2019
11:00-19:00
Closed on Sunday, Monday and National Holidays
162-0843 東京都新宿区市谷田町3-13 神楽ビル2F
Kagura Bldg. 2F, 3-13 Ichigaya Tamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0843
https://mizuma-art.co.jp/en/exhibitions/1908_okada_doublefuture/
https://mizuma-art.co.jp/exhibitions/1908_okada_doublefuture/

Strongly recommending OKADA Hiroko’s new artist book, spanning the whole career, texts are in Japanese and English language.
“DOUBLE FUTURE: Engaged Body / The Delivery by Male Project”

http://mizuma-art.shop-pro.jp/?pid=144542724


Press Release by the gallery:

Mizuma Art Gallery presents a solo exhibition by OKADA Hiroko, entitled “DOUBLE FUTURE” beginning on Wednesday, 10th July.
The artworks on display for this exhibition feature Okada’s latest series “Engaged Body,” and “The Delivery by Male Project” made in 2002 (revised version for 2019).
 
“Engaged Body” was presented at Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions, February of this year, receiving very favorable reviews. Since then, the work has been selected by Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria for a one year permanent display in their exhibition, and garnered attention in both domestic and abroad. For this exhibition, precious original drawings and new two-dimensional work are revitalized into the installation.
 
Set in a fictional future, Japan’s regenerative medicine continues to advance, to where people are able to use cellular differentiation to create all types of organs from a single cell line, and then donate them to others. From all of this, a culture arises where, as commemoration of the relationship between donor and recipient, a part of the regenerated organ is scanned, turned into jewelry and sent as a gift – “Engaged Body” is that sort of fictitious story taking place in the future. While the donor and recipient aren’t able to know each other’s names, they instead send and receive the “Engaged Body Jewelry” as a proof of pledge in establishing a physical relation.
 
Featuring at the same time, is a video work made seventeen years ago entitled “The Delivery by Male Project” which again portrays a fictional near future where “Men can conceive and give birth.” It follows a pregnant man identified as “S.K.” who feels burdened in having meaningful conversations with others, who doesn’t want a girlfriend, and who also doesn’t want to be married, but eagerly wishes that he had his own child. All things that relate to pregnancy and childbirth for Japanese women, a general lack of understanding towards mothers’ ways of life in society, the attendant joys and stresses of raising children, and the problem of a declining birthrate; many of these things that Okada noticed through her own experience of pregnancy and delivery, are what became the driving force for her future production. In this setting – where males have the ability to conceive and deliver a child, through advanced medical treatments, it develops beyond the differences in gender, and give the viewers a much broader and multifaceted perspective. Since the presentation at Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in 2002, this video work has been displayed in multitude of group exhibition shows such as in Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 2005, and Brooklyn Museum in New York in 2007. For this exhibition, an original background music was created , presenting this revised version for the very first time.
 
While these two works together both depict the fictional futures, they also simultaneously act as mirrors reflecting our present reality. Viewing them, one can glean the way in which advanced medical treatments have changed over the last seventeen years. On the other hand, they also reveal the persistence of certain problems facing human society, such as discrimination, economic disparities, and poor living conditions. The real future should be full of choices, and it’s up to us to make these. It will be a pleasure if this exhibition “DOUBLE FUTURE” can be appreciated by as many people as possible.

ミヅマアートギャラリーでは7月10日(水)より岡田裕子展「ダブル・フューチャー」を開催いたします。
本展は、新作《エンゲージド・ボディ》と、2002年に制作された《俺の産んだ子》(2019年改訂版)で構成されます。
 
《エンゲージド・ボディ》は今年2月に恵比寿映像祭で発表され大変な好評を博しました。その後、リンツ(オーストリア)のアルス・エレクトロニカ・センターで1年間の常設展示が決まるなど、国内外からも大きな注目を集めています。本展では、着想時の貴重なドローイングや、新作の平面作品などを加えて、インスタレーションを再構成します。
未来の世界では、再生医療がさらなる発展を遂げ、ヒトの細胞株が、あらゆる身体の部分に分化するようになり、他者へ提供できるようになる。そんななか、ドナーとレシピエントの間では、契りの証として、再生した内臓をジュエリーに仕立てて贈り物をするという文化が芽生える。-- 《エンゲージド・ボディ》はそんな架空の未来の物語です。互いに名乗り合うことが許されない代わりに、ジュエリーを贈り、受け取ることで、互いの身体の関係を確かめ合うのです。
 
一方17年前に制作された《俺の産んだ子》は、「男性が妊娠・出産する」という、こちらも架空の未来を描いた映像作品です。妊娠する男性S.K.氏は、他人との濃密なコミュニケーションを負担に感じ、恋人もいらない、結婚もしたくない、でもなんとかして実の我が子が欲しいと願います。
日本の女性たちの妊娠や出産にまつわるあらゆる事柄、母となる女性の生き方への周囲の理解の乏しさ、その喜びとストレス、子育て問題、少子化問題など、当時、岡田自身が妊娠、出産を経験することで気づいた様々なことが作品のベースになっています。最先端医療の力を借りて男性が妊娠し出産するという設定は、性差を超えて、より広く多角的な視点を鑑賞者に与えます。
2002年に北九州市立美術館で発表されて以降、東京都現代美術館(2005年)、ニューヨークのブルックリン美術館(2007年)などで展示の機会を重ねて来ました。本展では、BGMをオリジナル曲として新たに作成し、再編集したものを初めて公開いたします。
 
二つの作品はともに架空の未来を描いていますが、それらは、じつは現在の現実を映す鏡のようなものです。これら先端医療にまつわるストーリーは、この17年の間に大きく変化した技術の革新性を感じることができます。その一方で、いまだに変わらない、差別や経済、生活環境などといった人間社会の問題も浮き彫りにしています。本当の未来は多様な選択肢に溢れているべきであり、そのどれを選び取るかは、私たち次第なのでしょう。
本展「ダブル・フューチャー」を一人でも多くの方にご覧いただければ幸いです。

★本展出品の2作品を中心とした岡田初の作品集が刊行!(7月23日発売)
『DOUBLE FUTURE— エンゲージド・ボディ/ 俺の産んだ子』定価:1,800円(税別)
http://mizuma-art.shop-pro.jp/?pid=144542724


OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “Engaged Body” 2019
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “Engaged Body” 2019. Gold leaf on nylon (3D-print from scanned data of artist’s own internal organs, bone, blood vessel and brain etc), etc. Edition work with video. This work (on the mannequin) is titled “Tiara – cerebral blood vessel”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Mask – sacralbone and tailbone”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Mask – sacralbone and tailbone”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Choker – collarbone and breastbone”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Choker – collarbone and breastbone”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Necklace – trachea”, center
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Necklace – trachea”, center
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Bracelet – pelvis”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 from “Engaged Body” 2019, “Bracelet – pelvis”
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “SEE YOU IN THE SHOW” 2019
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “SEE YOU IN THE SHOW” 2019, single-channel video, 13 min 40 sec (out-of-focus camera shot from beside; the video work is perfectly sharp)
Highly recommending OKADA Hiroko’s new, career spanning, art book “DOUBLE FUTURE – Engaged Body : The Delivery by Male Project” @ KYURYUDO Publishing House, Tokyo
Highly recommending OKADA Hiroko’s new, career spanning, art book “DOUBLE FUTURE – Engaged Body : The Delivery by Male Project” @ KYURYUDO Publishing House, Tokyo
非常に強くおオススメの岡田裕子作品集「DOUBLE FUTURE― エンゲージド・:゙ディ: 俺の産んだ子」@ 求龍堂 出版社
非常に強くおオススメの岡田裕子作品集「DOUBLE FUTURE― エンゲージド・:゙ディ: 俺の産んだ子」@ 求龍堂 出版社

http://mizuma-art.shop-pro.jp/?pid=144542724

岡田裕子作品集
岡田裕子作品集「DOUBLE FUTURE― エンゲージド・:゙ディ: 俺の産んだ子」より
岡田裕子
岡田裕子作品集「DOUBLE FUTURE― エンゲージド・:゙ディ: 俺の産んだ子」より
Hiroko Okada DOUBLE FUTURE artist book
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “Future Plan #2” 2003, Lambda print
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “Future Plan #2” 2003, Lambda print
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 (from left) “Future Plan #3+#1” 2003, Lambda print
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “The Delivery by Male Project” 2002:2019 two-channel video, 17 min 48 sec, Edition work
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “The Delivery by Male Project” 2002/2019, Two-channel video, 17 min 48 sec, Edition work
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “The Delivery by Male Project” 2002:2019 two-channel video, 17 min 48 sec, Edition work, ending
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “The Delivery by Male Project” 2002/2019, Two-channel video, 17 min 48 sec, Edition work
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “My body is made up of complicated puzzles” 2019, Acrylic on panel, mirror
OKADA Hiroko 岡田裕子 “My body is made up of complicated puzzles” 2019, Acrylic on panel, mirror
Vernissage
Vernissage memories

(former review from August 2nd, 2012)
魅力的岡田裕子 aka Josephine Beuys
Fascinating OKADA Hiroko aka Josephine Beuys
http://www.art-it.asia/t/sfztpm/w2ZAQ9rGzNLcafExBkSt/