Art of the Sun—Tarō Okamoto’s Public Art—

Period: February 27 (Wed.) – June 23 (Sun.) 2019

Art is like the sun. The sun provides limitless light and heat.
Even if you have been sunbathing, the sun doesn’t put out its hand and say, ‘Hey, that was lovely and warm, how about giving me some money?’ does it? Art is like the sun. That is what Tarō Okamoto thought.
This was based on his belief that ‘art belongs to the people.’
Art does not belong solely to a small group of snobs or those with great wealth.
It belongs to the common people, to those who have to struggle against various contradictions and difficulties in the course of their daily lives; it is in ordinary life like this that art comes into its own.
This philosophy is what drove Tarō to produce public art.
He left lots of works in public spaces where they are always accessible to everyone.
Sculptures, murals, reliefs, memorials, clocks, plazas, temple bells, fireplaces…even if we only count his major works, there are several dozen, with a wide range of variations on each, and more than a few of them break with the accepted concept of art.
Okamoto’s public art plays such a crucial role that is impossible to discuss his oeuvre without reference to it.
For this exhibition we welcome as guest curator, Hiroshi Ōsugi, of the Kawasaki Tarō Okamoto Museum of Art, to help us think about the ‘Art of the Sun’.