Kenji Yanobe: Taro, Cat, and Sun

July 12(Fri.)2024-November 10(Sun.)2024



Enjoy the ‘Two in One’


Once again, the prodigy of the contemporary art scene will be hijacking the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum.

After taking over the museum in 2011 with his SUN CHILD, Kenji Yanobe returns this year with BIG CAT BANG. This is based on the silly, yet spectacular story of a ‘SHIP’S CAT’ that arrived on Earth aboard the spaceship ‘LUCA’ and introduced life into the previously sterile planet Earth.

This spaceship was in fact the ‘Tower of the Sun.’ The same ‘Tower of the Sun,’ that now looks down over us in Osaka, is in fact the corpse of the dead ship, or so Kenji Yanobe tells us with a serious face.

There have been many works in the past that used the ‘Tower of the Sun’ as their motif, but nothing as exciting as this. I think that Taro and he share something in common in the way that they both come up with ideas on a ridiculous scale. I felt that this was something I just had to do.

The nine-meter-long BIG CAT BANG is currently suspended in the middle of GINZA SIX, shopping complex in the Ginza district of Tokyo. I can guarantee that you will be captivated by this visual experience, which is unlike anything you have ever seen before. I would like you to see the display in Ginza first, then, of course, you should visit the exhibition at the museum.

The huge image that fills the entire space in Ginza is sure to overwhelm the viewer, while the story and details behind this work are carefully explained at the museum in Aoyama.

GINZA SIX and the Memorial Museum adopt completely opposite approaches to create a single exhibition; together they are the ‘Two in One.’

Kenji Yanobe and Taro Okamoto. We hope you will enjoy this ‘Two in One’ experience.


                         Akiomi Hirano


Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum of Art


Special cooperation: GINZA SIX

BIG CAT BANG @ GINZA SIX will be on display in the central atrium until summer 2025 (planned)



Life was born on the earth 3.5 billion years ago, and we have survived

five mass extinctions of living organisms.

Where did life come from, and where is it going?


We would like to present an explosion of imagination of the mystery of life and the universe,

with the fantasy of “BIG CAT BANG” on the theme of “Art is Explosion”, as said by Taro Okamoto.


As we stand today in a century of chaos and crisis, we must explode our imagination and creativity

to achieve an overarching vision of the universe.





Kenji Yanobe


Contemporary Artist / Professor, Kyoto University of Arts / Director, Ultra Factory

Born in Osaka in 1965, Kenji Yanobe graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1991, and since the early 1990s, he has been creating functional large-scale mechanical sculptures on the theme of ‘survival within contemporary society.’ His works, which have a humorous appearance but also contain social messages, have been highly praised both in Japan and around the world. In 2017, he began work on the ‘SHIP’S CAT’ series, featuring a guardian deity based on the motif of a ship’s cat. His SHIP’S CAT (Muse) (2021) has been permanently installed as the symbol of the Nakanoshima Art Museum, Osaka, which opened in 2022.