Tadanori Yokoo “B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol” at SCAI The Bathhouse, TOKYO

Tadanori Yokoo
“B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol”
31 May – 6 July 2019
SCAI The Bathhouse, TOKYO

Tadanori Yokoo’s practice embodies a unique perspective, using an astute and penetrating understanding of the times. His work always attracts international interest, and he applies his talent to a wide range of genres, from the visual arts to literature. As evidenced, for example, by the Y-Junction series, Yokoo’s art is characterized by playing out through a series of iterations on a subject while freely changing the mode of expression. There are as many different types of expression as there are works, and there are as many ‘Tadanori Yokoos’as there are different types of expression. This incredibly rich variety stems from the artist’s knowledge of art history and his inquiring mind.

©Tadanori Yokoo, photo: Tomoki Imai

The curious title,“B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol,”hints at the complexity of meaning encompassed by the exhibition. Born in 1936, Yokoo’s childhood coincided with the Second World War and its aftermath. Fragments of that period, such as occupation forces and aircraft conducting air raids, appear sporadically as motifs in his art. However, as memories and experiences, they creep onto the canvas naturally, rather than as the result of a conscious decision to make war the topic. One could say that to Yokoo, who grew up and produced his art along with the post-war era, the history of modern Japan and that of his oeuvre are inextricably linked.
The principal focus of the exhibition is on portraits of distinguished personalities, including historical post-war figures like Douglas MacArthur, the movie character Tarzan, and the cultural icon Andy Warhol. The portraits are combined with a smattering of Y-Junction pieces, creating a multifaceted world, something akin to a general retrospective of the cultural experiences of the artist during and after the war.