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Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA since 1961.

Born 6 July 1936, in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture).

Painter.

Conceptual Art.

Neo-Dadaist Organisers group.

Shusaku Arakawa studied medicine and mathematics at Tokyo University (1954-1958) and art at Musashino Art University, Tokyo. He began his career in the 1960s when he concerned himself with the representation of impossible space, which corresponded to Marcel Duchamp’s scientific interest in the fourth dimension. In 1960 he was involved in anti-art and Neo-Dadaism in Tokyo and produced his first happenings....

Article

Chinese, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1986.

Born 1955, in Shanghai; died 13 December 2000.

Assemblage artist, installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Chen Zhen designed his installations to reflect specific locations. He would juxtapose natural elements such as water, sand, wood and stone with assemblages of day-to-day objects, usually their residue or waste, thus imbuing them with a sort of supplementary existence....

Article

Mary M. Tinti

(b Houston, TX, 1951).

American sculptor, installation and conceptual artist. His multimedia works investigate the pathology of contemporary culture. Mel Chin was born and raised in Houston, Texas to parents of Chinese birth and received his BA in 1975 from the Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. The works in Chin’s oeuvre are diverse in both medium and subject, but a consistent undercurrent of social, political, and environmental responsibility runs throughout. Whether a sculpture, film, video game, installation, public project or earthwork, Chin’s artworks consistently targeted a broad spectrum of pressing cultural and ecological interests and spread their message in subtle, if not viral ways.

In the 1980s, Chin produced a number of sculptures that set the stage for his ever-evocative artistic journey. The Extraction of Plenty from What Remains: 1823 (1988–9) is a frequently referenced piece from this period. It is a symbolic encapsulation of the effects of the Monroe Doctrine, referencing the complicated dealings between the US (represented by truncated replicas of White House columns) and Central America (represented by a cornucopia of mahogany branches, woven banana-tree fiber, and a surface layer of hardened blood, mud, and coffee grinds). From the 1990s, however, Chin moved away from strictly gallery-based installations and began creating works that directly engaged contemporary culture in a variety of physical and theoretical landscapes....

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1944, in Niigata Prefecture.

Painter.

Mono-ha (school of things); Conceptual Art.

Honda Shingo specialises in conceptual art and photographic collage. After interrupting his studies at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in mid-programme, he had his first solo shows in Tokyo in ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1989.

Born 1954, in Xiamen (Fujian).

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Huang Yongping graduated from the fine arts academy of Zhejiang in 1982. He was active in the Xiamen Dada group. He left China for Paris in ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Kobe.

Painter, sculptor of assemblages. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Kawaguchi studied at the Tama School of Fine Art in Tokyo, graduating in 1962. He teaches at the University of Akashi. Kawaguchi’s interest in conceptual art appeared early in his career. Since then, he has used the new media of light, video, photography and film. He creates assemblages of markers arranged in a space, some of which can be electronically stimulated. Interested in making his art available outside normal gallery and museum spaces, he has produced two works for Japanese high schools: ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA fromc.1962.

Born 1933, in Kariya (Aichi); died late June 2014, in New York City.

Painter, collage artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Mail Art.

Kawara is a self-taught artist. After painting his early works in Japan, he emigrated to the USA in the early 1960s. His first works from the 1950s express a desire to exploit the grotesque, as in the swollen female torsoes surrounded by scattered, apparently floating limbs of the ...

Article

Akira Tatehata

(b Kariya, Aichi Prefect., Jan 2, 1933; d New York, June 2014).

Japanese painter, draughtsman, and conceptual artist, active in the USA. After graduating from Kariya High School in 1951, he moved to Tokyo, exhibiting at the Yomiuri Independent Exhibitions. His sensibility for a cold materialism became apparent in his series of drawings Bathroom, of dismembered grotesque nude bodies (1953–4; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.). Kawara went to Mexico in 1959 and travelled through Europe. He settled in New York in 1965. His renowned series of Date Paintings (from 1965), made in various cities on his travels, juxtapose a detail from a local newspaper with a simple record of the date in typographical letters and numbers on monochrome canvases using acrylic. The paintings’ principal meaning was that the artist and viewer shared the numbers that signified a date they both had lived. In the series of telegrams in the 1970s, which sent the message ‘I am still alive’ to his friends, he used the verification of his own existence as a statement in a medium whose abstraction, regardless of the artist’s hand, paradoxically gave his work a tense reality. His other work in book form, ...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 24 April 1948, in Osaka.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Kitatsuji Yoshihisa studied at the Tama Art School, Tokyo, from 1968 to 1972. The next year he travelled to the West, visiting France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. He lives and works in Osaka. His work is first and foremost a reflection on painting itself, how the image fades and wastes away; at the same time, his work is concerned with the artist’s eye, which gives the image its quality. He uses photocopying techniques to produce modified repetitions of an original drawing....

Article

Yulin Lee

[Ming Hong]

(b Tokyo, Nov 6, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lin studied at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles in 1990 and then the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena in 1993. Although Lin was born in Japan, he spent his early childhood in Taiwan and then moved to the USA. These transcultural experiences complicated the task of positioning himself as an artist after his return in 1993 to Taiwan, where contemporary art largely focused on locating a definitive identity.

Lin’s interest in creating art expressive of his fluid experience was already present in his first solo exhibition, Meander (1994). Lin hung monochromatic, acrylic-lacquered steel plates perpendicular to a white wall. While these highly finished works reflected an aesthetic close to that of Donald Judd’s industrially manufactured cubes, they also indicated Lin’s own West Coast background—the fetishism of the enamelled surface being rooted in southern California’s automobile culture....