The 23rd Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art

23 artists were selected from 452 entries.
Nonowe Akihito won the TARO Award.
Nemoto Yuko won the Toshiko Award.

Who will Make History!

In 1954, the 43-year-old Taro Okamoto published a book called “Today’s Art”. The subtitle to this book was “Who will Make History”.

Taro Okamoto passed away in 1996 at the age of 84.

The Okamoto Taro Memorial Award for Contemporary Art, commonly referred to as the “TARO Award”, was established shortly after Taro passed away. In continuing the dreams of the late Taro Okamoto, the Award invites and challenges artists “Who will Make History”

After years of presenting the Award, the TARO Award was renewed in 2006. “Taro Okamoto Memorial Award for Contemporary Art” was renamed the “Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art”, which now also grants the “Taro Okamoto Award” (one recipient), “Toshiko Okamoto Award” (one recipient), and “Special Award” (multiple recipients).

Recipients of the “Taro Okamoto Award” and “Toshiko Okamoto Award” may have the chance to exhibit their works at the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum in Aoyama. Selected art works will be displayed at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art in Kawasaki City, and follow-ups will be conducted to check on the future potentials of the recipients. The Award renewal in 2006 also serves the meaning of carrying on the final wish of Toshiko Okamoto, who passed away in 2005 and was a long-time supporter of Taro and this Award after his decease.

We are calling on the application from a wide range of people that remember Taro’s straight and sincere question “Who will Make History”and individuals that will be devoted to creative works.

Works can be in any form and technique as long as it complies with the rules listed in the application.

We are looking for art works that transcend genres and “fabulous” (a word that Taro often used) pieces that will startle the judges.


Taro Okamoto Memorial Foundation for Contemporary Art
Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki


  1. An individual or group who holds a copyright of the works to be applied.
  2. Open to all nationalities, ages and professions (professionals and amateurs).


  1. No restriction of technique (i.e., painting, sculpture, etc.).
  2. Maximum size of the work: 2 dimensions [H5m×W5m], 3 dimensions [H5m×W5m×D5m].
  3. Please regulate work size depending on distributed ho space.
  4. Tools, equipment, machines, etc. must be provided by the artist.
    Please indicate the electric power voltage required for use at exhibition.
  5. There is no network environment in an exhibition room. If you need internet, please prepare it by yourself.
  6. Please specify all the materials used for the work in application form.
  7. If the danger that mold or the insects have an influence on the exhibit room expected, the work must be a change or withdrawal. Please warn materials not to have an influence or put measures like fumigation beforehand.
  8. Infringement of copyright by a third-person is strictly prohibited. Previous prize-winning and commercialized works are not permitted.
  9. Sales promotion of the works or being a direct or indirect result of commercial activity, are not eligible for entry.
  10. Submitted work will be disqualified if the title, category, concept and material are changed from the submitted plan after preliminary selection.


◆How to Apply◆
  1. Applicants must fill in all required information on the application form. Information to past work can also be attached separately, if available. Visual and aural compositions can also be attached separately in DVD and/or CD format. However, please note that your attachments will not be returned.
  2. You will not be charged for applying your work. However, applicants are responsible for costs related to the application. Also, applicants are responsible for the costs that derive from the exhibition, such as transportation of the work, preliminary inspection, and award ceremony.
  3. Please send all application forms to the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art. Include a self-addressed envelope and International Reply Coupon for notification of contest result.
  4. The work may contain only one entry.
  5. The work cannot be applied for other contests.
  6. The applications must reach us no later than September 15, 2019 .
  7. To apply, please check the items listed below.
  • A complete application form.
  • The results of the preliminary selection will be sent by an e-mail. Please fill in an e-mail address by all means


◆Application Form◆

application form (PDF 113KB)
application form (DOC 77KB)


◆Judging Process◆
  1. Preliminary selection / Paper application and attached selection.
  2. Announcement of result / Applicants outside Japan will be notified by e-mail at the Early – November 2019
  3. Final selection / Winning applicants must present works at appointed place at the appointed date.
  4. The judge’s decision is strict and final.


  • SAWARAGI Noi [Art critic/ Professor of Tama Art University]
  • HIRANO Akiomi [Spatial media producer/ Director of the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum]
  • HOJO Hidee [Director of the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki]
  • YAMASHITA Yuji [Professor of Meiji Gakuin University/ Art History]
  • WATARI Koichi [Curator of the Watarium Museum]


  • crown Taro Okamoto Award: ¥2,000,000 (1 recipient)
  • Toshiko Okamoto Award: ¥1,000,000 (1 recipient)
    (These two prize winners can exhibit a work in Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum)
  • Special Award: ¥500,000 in total (multiple recipients)



Results will be announced in the media. All works that pass the preliminary selection stage will be exhibited at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki from February 14 to April 12,2020 as The 23rd Exhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art.
During the exhibition(from the mid – February to the late – March), there is a popular vote of preliminary selected works by the visitors. High-ranking artists will get a souvenir.


  1. Artists with works nominated for “The 23rd Exhibition of theTaro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art” are responsible for the transportation and exhibition of their works. As well, it is recommended that the transportation, installation, and exhibition of work are to be completed within one day within a designated period. The organizers shall not be liable for any loss or damages which may be incurred during the transportation and/or exhibition of the works.
  2. Regarding the exhibition of the works, please consult with the museum staff and facility rules are to be strictly followed.
  3. If you use electricity, please simplify the operation of a power supply, and maintain operation till the end of a term.
  4. Copyright to award-winning entries belongs to the artist. However, each entrant expressly agrees that the Organizer may photograph, publish, reproduce, print, distribute or edit, in any media, such entries, as well as each prizewinning entrant’s name, image and likeness, for the purpose of promotion and public relations for the contest. Please approval that the photography and the information dispatch to SNS in the exhibition room by the visitor are possible.
  5. All works and documents will be received and treated with ultimate care, however, no responsibility is taken for accidental loss, damage from disaster or any other cause while in transmission or holding. Please take out insurance by yourself, if necessary.
  6. For the reason of the exhibited sites, there could be some cases where any works can be removed temporary. In the case, works would be kept by the museum.

  1. Application Period: July 15-September 15, 2019
  2. Preliminary Selection:the Early – November 2019
  3. Preliminary settlement of slected works the late – January, 2020
  4. Preliminary selected works /Display construction: January 25,26,2020
  5. Final Selection: the late January, 2020
  6. Announce of examination/Award ceremony: February 13, 2020
    The result of final selection is released to an award ceremony from this year. The winner needs to attend at an award ceremony.
  7. The 23rd Exhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art: February 14 to April 12,2020


◆Head Office◆

Taro Okamoto Memorial Foundation for Contemporary Art


<Inquiry and Application Details>

Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki
7-1-5 Masukata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-0032 Japan
Tel: 81-44-900-9898



NB. Enter by submitting the application form via mail, not fax or online.

How to Apply / Application Details
Judging Process