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Art in Yorkshire: Jiro Takamatsu at the Henry Moore Institute

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

 Jiro Takamatsu

henry moore institute

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds


In July, I attended a talk on Japanese conceptual artist Jiro Takamatsu (1936-98), and the talk triggered my interest in the artist's works. The talk was an introduction to the artist's first solo exhibition outside of his home country of Japan, and it given by Takamatsu's Estate representative Yumiko Chiba and exhibition curator Lisa Le Feuvre.

Takamatsu formed the short-lived postwar avant-garde group Hi-Red Center with two other artists from1963 to 64. Then he became a key member of the movement, Mono-ha (School of Things) from 1968 to 1975. The movement sought to 'reveal the world as it is,' and engaged the world through gesture, action, process, and experimentation, rather than formal studio-art methods or finished artworks. Takamatsu is especially renowned for his shadows paintings of human figures on walls.


 Jiro Takamatsu   Jiro Takamatsu

Slides from the talk on Jiro Takamatsu in London


Since I have long wanted to visit the Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, I decided to make a 2-day art trip up north to visit the three art venues within the Yorkshire sculpture triangle.

Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture exhibition showcases over seventy sculptures, drawings and documents loaned from collections in Japan, USA and Europe, focusing on works from the early 1960s to the late 1970s.


 Jiro Takamatsu

 Jiro Takamatsu 'Chairs and the Table in Perspective'

 Jiro Takamatsu   Jiro Takamatsu


The exhibition consists of only 4 rooms, and in some ways, I was slightly disappointed by the small scale, the lack of historical context and in-depth information on his works in relation to post-war Japan.

Nonetheless, there are some intriguing works to be found here, including 'Chairs and the Table in Perspective' (1966) and 'Oneness of Cedar' (1970). Takamatsu also liked to use found objects, such as bottles, cloth, string, stones to challenge people's perception of everyday things; and even though he was largely influenced by Western Modernism, Eastern philosophy and Japanese aesthetics (wabi sabi) is quite discernible in his works.


 Jiro Takamatsu

 Jiro Takamatsu   Jiro Takamatsu

 Jiro Takamatsu


Personally, I found the video (near the stairs outside of the exhibition area) on the artist quite informative, as it reveals his thinking and working processes that the exhibition itself lacks. I think that visitors would benefit more if the exhibition provided more information on the political and economical climate of Japan at that period so that they could understand the pertinence of this artist and his influence on the contemporary Japanese art scene.


Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture (13 July – 22 October 2017) at the Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH.


This post was posted in Exhibitions, Travel, Art, Britain, Japanese art, Sculptures and was tagged with Japanese art, Jiro Takamatsu, Leeds, Henry Moore Institute, conceptual art