What kind of art does Morimura Yasumasa make?
Morimura is a Japanese artist who deals subjectively with his origins in the Showa era and the 20th century. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan fell under the influence of Western civilization and culture, and after the Pacific War, the country was strongly affected by American civilization and culture. And in ancient times, Japan deeply immersed itself in Chinese civilisation and culture. Morimura's artistic pursuits are closely related to the Japanese mentality, rooted in the historical acceptance of a succession of different cultures. This sheds some light on his intentions and his approach of grounding his work in the spirit of the times and the spirit of history.
Morimura continually strives to become something other than himself, and his art is an accumulation of acts that question the meaning of the self. By supplementing his work with unique analyses of other people, and the art and historical events associated with them, Morimura's use of his own body in his photographs, videos, and performances suggests that his art is more than the resultant work, and that the site itself plays an important part in his practice. This is borne out by the fact that he goes to great lengths to convey the atmosphere of the place.
This exhibition traces the 34-year trajectory of Morimura's art through a collection of Polaroid-style photographs (made with a diffusion transfer process) that might be seen as 'on-site' works. Mormura puts special emphasis on his shooting locations as places where he dwells and creates, and it is these sites that contain the essence of his art. We hope that you will refer to Morimura's essay, in which he reveals some of the secrets behind his art, as you look at this exhibition.
In closing, I would like to make note of the fact that this is the second anniversary of the new ShugoArts in its current location in Roppongi's complex665. It is with great pleasure that we mark this important milestone with a solo exhibition by Morimura Yasumasa. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to all of ShugoArts' supporters and artists.
ShugoArts, Summer 2018
Press release courtesy ShugoArts.