The Japan Foundation Reinterprets Distance in a New Online Exhibition Featuring Work from 11 Artists

April 26, 2021

The Japan Foundation

Sato Masaharu, “I want to be a wolf” (2017), video (silent), loop, private collection. Image © Estate of Masaharu Sato

Reinterpreting distance in our coexistence with COVID-19, the Japan Foundation presents an online exhibition from March 30 to May 5. 11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art from Japan features works by Japanese and Japan-based contemporary artists that are centered on the theme of translating distance. The exhibition aims to promote new artistic exchanges in this time of COVID-19, which has brought restrictions to our lives that are forcing us to be conscious of togetherness and separation.

Communication had been speeding up, and now a major turning point has arrived in how we interact. People are beginning to explore and build new relationships based on the assumption that they are apart. Instead of thinking of distance in purely physical terms, what words can we replace those distances with, or translate them into, so that we can understand the concept, including the positive aspects it gives rise to?

Via a bilingual website with text in both Japanese and English, this exhibition presents works that have been created around various kinds of distances, including those between people, between land and people, between history and the present, and between physical places and virtual spaces.

Participating artists are Araki Yu, Han Ishu, Ilyama Yuki, Koizumi Meiro, Mohri Yuko, Noguchi Rika, Okumura Yuki, Sato Masaharu, Sawa Hiraki, Yanai Shino, and Yoshida Shinya, who presents works in various media, including video, sound, animation, and live streaming.


Iiyama Yuki, “hidden names” (2014, 2021), video, 46 feet 3 inches. Image © Iiyama Yuki

Okumura Yuki, “The Lone Curator” (2021), video, 29 feet 56 inches. Image © Okumura Yuki

Koizumi Meiro, “Spell of Freedom Hypno-Experiment” (2021), consciousness of the participant, sound of the experiment, instruction, questionnaire, 20 feet 52 inches. Image © KOIZUMI Meiro

Araki Yu, “Bivalvia: Act II (R)” (2021), video, 17 feet 15 inches. Image © Yu Araki





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