During the course of his life, Taro Okamoto published a huge number of books and other writings. It is probably true to say that there has never been another artist who devoted so much enthusiasm to words.
Traditions, culture, the Jomon period, Okinawa, Mexico, skiing, the subtleties of men and women..... From serious discourses on art to witty essays, his writings covered a wide range of subjects but ultimately they all dealt with the serious question of “how people should live”.
‘Remain true to yourself, never hesitate to fight, adhere to your own philosophy, gamble on the negative.....’
Throughout his life, Taro continued to issue declarations on the subject of “how people should live”. Of course these were not mere theories or commentaries, rather he simply stated ‘this is what I would do’. The amazing thing about Taro is that he practiced everything he preached. He presented the lifestyle he believed in to the public unreservedly, embodying it in his own life.
He said what he thought and did what he said. Consistent in word and deed to such a degree that he appeared almost overly naïve.
It was so attractive that it was convincing.
Even today, Taro’s words go straight to the heart, and this is because he only ever spoke the truth. His mind contained only the true essence of things, their roots, and origins. Unselfish, free of all calculation and leaving no alternatives, his purity was extraordinary, his unshakeable conviction possessing an unparalleled strength.
There are no lies in Taro’s words, no cunning calculation, no irresponsible ambiguity. That is why they are so strong.
How would it feel to be enveloped in Taro’s words? It was with this thought in mind that we planned this exhibition.
It is a fact of life that everybody, no matter who, possesses a philosophy to which they want to remain true.
This is what Taro Okamoto said. Now it is our turn.