The 24th Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art

24 artists were selected from 616 entries.
Onishi Chifu won the TARO Award.
Morison Kobayashi 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 Taro Okamoto 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]. Please regulate work size depending on distributed ho space.

3. Tools, equipment, machines, etc. must be provided by the artist.
Please indicate the electric power voltage required for use at exhibition.

4. There is no network environment in an exhibition room. If you   need internet, please prepare it by yourself.

5. Please specify all the materials used for the work in application form.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.

6. For administrative reasons, food, soil, plants or animals may not be brought into or installed in the gallery or museum premises. Furthermore, should any logs or branches be employed, they must be certified as having been professionally fumigated.

7. Infringement of copyright by a third-person is strictly prohibited.

8. 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. Please fill out all the necessary sections in the application form (this may be downloaded from the website) and post it to the address listed below together with any accompanying documents, or alternatively, fill out the online application form on our website. Attached items differ between the postal and online applications so please read the following carefully and make the necessary preparations.

2. Entries are limited to one work per applicant

3.  work cannot be applied for other contests.

4. 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.

5. The applications must reach us no later than September 15, 2020.


[ Postal Application ]

Please post the all the necessary documents for your application to the address below.

(1) Completed application form [compulsory]

(2) In addition to the application form, data on past works may be included in a commercially available file (A4 size only), these should be printed on paper, do not include image data on DVD or CDs. Only video or musical works may be submitted on DVD or CD. Please note that no data will be returned. [optional]


[ Online Application ]  (We will start accepting from July 15th.)

  • Please use the 24th  Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art application form on Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki website.
  • Please attach the following files:

(1) Completed application form (PDF file) [compulsory]

(2) Data on past works, etc., maximum five, A4 size combined in one PDF file,  5MB or less. [optional]

* When scanning paper to create a PDF, please use the copy machine at a convenience store, etc.

* People who apply online will receive notification of the result of the first screening by email.


 The Online Application is here.

⇒【Download】application form (PDF 240KB)

⇒【Download】application form (DOC 79.5KB)

Judging Process

1. Preliminary selection / Paper application and attached selection.

2. Announcement of result / Applicants outside Japan will be notified by e-mail during November,2020. (scheduled)

3. Final selection / Winning applicants must present works at appointed place at the appointed date.

4. The judge’s decision is strict and we will not be able to respond to inquiries regarding the examination results and reasons.



■ 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 MuseumAward



■ 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 the middle of February to the beginning of April, 2021(scheduled) as The 24th Exhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art.
During the exhibition, 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 24th Exhibition of the Taro 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. The works should be maintained during the exhibition by the artists themselves.

4. If you wish to perform inside or outside the museum during the exhibition period, please consult with the museum staff, comply with the conditions of the facility, and take out the necessary insurance by yourself.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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, 2020

2. Preliminary Selection : November 2020. (scheduled)

3. Preliminary settlement of selected works /display construction : the end of January to the early February,2021. (scheduled)

4. Final Selection /Announce of examination/Award ceremony : February,2021. (scheduled)

The result of final selection is released to an award ceremony from this year. The winner needs to attend at an award ceremony.

5.  The 24thExhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art : the end of February to the early April,2021. (scheduled)


* Depending on the developing situation regarding the spread of Covid-19, changes or postponement may have to be made to the judging and exhibition schedule listed above. We ask for your understanding at this time and look forward to your application.

* A detailed schedule will be published on the websites of the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki and the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum as soon as it has been decided.


◆Head Office◆

Taro Okamoto Memorial Foundation for Contemporary Art

<Inquiry and Application Details>

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



How to Apply / Application Details
Judging Process