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Since the 1960s, Tatsuo Kawaguchi has worked to reveal the crucial yet hidden relationships between disparate entities, such as between man and nature, the visible and the invisible, and the past (or future) and the present. He has explored these dynamics through over 100 distinct bodies of work in a diversity of media and materials, ranging from oil paintings and happenings to mirrored sculptures and environmental installations. He has written that "art is something that doesn't merely express a private world but must in some way function universally and shed light on the condition of being human." In other words, his practice is about something much greater than self-expression. It is about communicating collective truths.    

In 1965, Kawaguchi established himself as a key figure in the postwar Japanese avant-garde by co-founding Group “i” (meaning “unit”), a collective that collaborated in and around Kobe City to execute some of the earliest-known happenings in the east. More broadly, the group sought to eliminate emotion and subjectivity from their work, instead seeking an “impersonal,” cerebral art that both mirrored and arguably presaged foundational ideas in western Minimalism. In 1970, Kawaguchi was selected to participate in the 10th Tokyo Biennale, “Between Man and Matter,” which curated leading Japanese artists alongside western contemporaries like Carl Andre, Sol Le Witt, and Richard Serra to explore the common interests, themes, and working methods uniting artists around the globe.

Also in 1970, Kawaguchi created the first work branded with the prefix that would come to define his practice for the next four decades and beyond: relation. Used in the title of most pieces he has created in the time since, “relation” became the means by which Kawaguchi began illuminating ideas too abstract or poetic for us to recognize in our everyday lives. Whether communicating the individual’s connection to society, the present moment’s place vis-à-vis the vastness of history, or several other cerebral yet lyrical concepts, these overlooked relationships have motivated Kawaguchi to continue evolving creatively—and reshaping our understanding of the world—for over 50 years. 

Tatsuo Kawaguchi was born in Kobe, Japan in 1940 and earned a BFA from Tama University of Fine Art, Tokyo, in 1962. He has shown extensively in Japan and internationally since, including in such historically significant exhibitions as the aforementioned 10th Tokyo Biennale in 1970, the Paris Youth Biennale in 1973, and “Magiciens de la terre” at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989. His work resides in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, among others. He lives and works in Chiba, Japan.

Born 1940 in Kobe, Japan. Lives and works in Chiba, Japan
 

EDUCATION

1962         
B.F.A., Tama University of Fine Art, Tokyo

TEACHING POSITIONS

2003        
Emeritus Professor of Art, Institute of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Professor of the Graduate School of Kyoto, University of Art and Design, Kyoto, Japan
Professor at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, Kurashiki, Japan

1991         
Professor of Art, Institute of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba, Japan


1983         
Associate Professor of Art, Institute of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba, Japan

AWARDS

2008        
Prize of Japan Arts Foundation, Japan


1974         
First Iue Culture Prize for Art and Culture, Japan

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Shigeru Yokota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: DARK BOX "Shelter" lat: 35.35153 lng: 139.4057, CAPSULE, Tokyo, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Relation—Lead Envelope, SNOW Contemporary, Tokyo, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Kurobe City Museum of Art, Fukui, Japan

2017         
Beyond Viewing, Kanaz Forest of Creation, Fukui, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Gallery Monma, Hokkaido, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Fuji Xerox Art Space, Kanagawa, Japan
Early Work 1964-1975, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA

2016         
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Standing Time, Kawaguchi Art Gallery ATLIA, Saitama, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Topology of Time, SNOW Contemporary, Tokyo, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Shigeru Yokota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2015         
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Beside the Coelacanth, Coelacanth Mouri Bushiro Memorial Museum, Toyama, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Darkness Time, Museum Haus Kasuya, Yokosuka, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Land and Sea 1970, Taka Ishii Gallery, New York, NY
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Shigeru Yokota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2014         
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Gallery Monma, Sapporo, Japan

2013         
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, House of the Nakai, Kyoto, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Shigeru Yokota Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Parea Wakasa Gallery, Fukui, Japan

2012         
Let There Be Light! Tatsuo Kawaguchi: World after 3/11, Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima, Japan

2011          
November 2001 Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Yokota Shigeru Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2010         
Kawaguchi Tatsuo: The Spiral Time, Kake Museum of Art, Okayama, Japan

2009        
Kawaguchi Tatsuo: Language, Time, Life 1, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Kawaguchi Tatsuo: Language, Time, Life 2, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan

2008        
Positions towards Infinity: Works of Tatsuo Kawaguchi in 1970s, Utsunomiya Museum of Art, Tochigi, Japan
See Saw Seen 1973, Yokota Shigeru Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Voyage of Time, Nizayama Forest Art Museum, Toyama, Japan
DARK BOX 2008, Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, Japan

2007        
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: The Invisible and The Visible, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art/ Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan

2006        
Underground Time, MACA GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan

2005        
Time within Time, Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori, Japan
Time within Time Part 2, Gallery NOVITA, Aomori, Japan
Relation - Book, Tokyo Publishing House, Tokyo, Japan

2004        
Relation - Floating of Time, Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, Japan

2003        
Earth/ Water/ Plant, Hillside Forum, Tokyo, Japan

2002        
Japan Contemporary Art - Kawaguchi Tatsuo, Busan Museum of Art, Korea

2001         
Relation - Small Thing, INAX Gallery 2, Tokyo, Japan

2000        
Relation - Seed/Life, Yokota Shigeru Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1999        
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Relation - Kyoto, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan

1998         
Kawaguchi Tatsuo 1990 -1998: Sealed Time, Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan
Sight Breathing/Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Dialogue with the Unseen, Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima, Japan

1997         
Relation - Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba, Japan

1996        
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Relation: Seed/Farming Tools, Hillside Gallery, California, CA

1994         
Forming the Present, IBM Kawasaki City Gallery, Kawasaki, Japa
Tatsuo Kawaguchi: Surrounding the Seed, Hillside Gallery, California, CA

1993         
Time Form, Hosomi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1992         
Relation - Bird, Art Space Niji, Kyoto, Japan

1991         
Relation - Plant, Yokota Shigeru Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1990        
Today's Artist - V - '90 Tatsuo Kawaguchi, The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, Japan

1989         
Relation - Seed, Soll, Water, Air, Gatodo Gallery Takeshiba, Tokyo, Japan

1988         
Relation - Seed, Soll, Water, Air, Gatodo Gallery Takeshiba, Tokyo, Japan

1987         
Series Today's Artist - Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Osaka Contemporary Art Centre, Osaka, Japan

1984         
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Kwan-Hoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Blue, Gatodo Gallery Takeshiba, Tokyo, Japan

1983         
Indication of Nature, Ina Gallery 2, Tokyo, Japan

1981          
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Art Front Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1980         
Relation - Quality, Kobayashi Gallery, Tokyo
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Sakura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan

1975         
Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1971          
172 ,800 Seconds, Galerie 16, Kyoto, Japan

1968         
DARK, Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015         
Five Decades:Sculpture and Works on Paper: Koji Enokura, Noriyuki Haraguchi, Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Noboru Takayama, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK

2013         
Two Years Later. Nature & Art. A Requiem, Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Japan
Magiciens de la terre, Musee national d'art moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

2012         
5th Echlgo-Tsumarl Art Triennale, Niigata, Japan
Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

2011          
This Is not a Book, Urawa Art Museum, Saitama, Japan
Morphology of Emptiness, National Museum of Modem Art, Tokyo, Japan

2010         
The Setouchi International Art Festival 2010, Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan
Meaningful Stain, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
OAP Sculpture Path 2010, Osaka, Japan
Okayama Art Spanning Thousand Years, The Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art , Japan

2009        
Niigata Water and Land Art Festival 2009, Saito Residence, Niigata, Japan
Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009, Osaka, Japan
The World of Trick Art, Toyohashi City Museum Art and History, Aichi, Japan
Contemporary Art Is Just Easy as Pie, Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan
From Home to the Museum: Tanaka Tsuneko Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, Japan
Close your Eyes ... And Visualize What You See, The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Japan
Waiting for Video: Works from the 1960s to Today, The National Museum of Modem Art, Tokyo, Japan
Vital Signals: Japanese and American Video Art from the 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

2007        
Welcome to the Art World, The Museum of Modem Art, Toyama, Japan
Shape of Water, The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Japan

2006        
Retrospective Exhibition of the Early Video Art, Nagoya Citizen's Gallery Vada, Japan

2005        
Age of Tokyo Metropolitan Art Gallery: 1926-1970, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

2004        
Remarking Modernism In Japan 1900 -2000, National University of Fine Arts and Music, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Traces: Body and Idea In Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Group 'I', Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan
Exhibition of the Collection 2004 - Ill: Vanishment and Future: Works of Yutaka Matsuzawa and Other Works Selected by Him, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan

2003        
Echigo-Tsumarl Art Triennial 2003, Echigo-Tsumari, Niigata, Japan
Parallel Time: Asian Contemporary Art Exhibition, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou China

2002        
Oita Contemporary Art Exhibition 2002, Oita City Museum of Art, Oita, Japan
Power of Art, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan
Melting Point/Poems and Sculptures, Urawa Art Museum, Saitama, Japan

2000        
Echigo-Tsumarl Art Triennial 2000, Echlgo-Tsumarl, Niigata, Japan

1998         
Art/Ecosystem: The Contemporary Japanese Art Scene, Utsunomiya Museum of Art, Japan

1994         
Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA
Memento Mori: Visions of Death c.1500 - 1994, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Tochigi, Japan, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Machida, Japan

1992         
The Urban Environment and Art in Japan: My Home Sweet Home In Ruins, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1990        
Print Works by The Japanese Contemporary Artists, The Japan Foundation, Japan

1989         
Magiciens de la Terre, Musee National d'art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris, France

1986         
Japon des Avant Gardes, Musee National d'art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

1973         
8th Biennale de Paris, Paris, France
12 Biennale de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

1970         
Between Man and Matter - The 10th International Art Exhibition of Japan, Tokyo Biennale 1970 at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
August 1970 -Aspects of New Japanese Art, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan

1965         
1st Group 'I' Exhibition, Kobe International Gallery, Kobe, Japan
Group 'I', Independent Art Festival, Nagara River, Gifu, Japan

MONOGRAPHS

1992         
C. Tsukamoto, Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Gendaikikakushitsu Publishers, London.

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australlia 
Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Japan
Iwaki City Art Museum, Japan
Japan Foundation, Japan
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Jaoan
Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, Japan
Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan
Nagaoka Contemporary Museum, Japan
Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Osaka Contemporary Art Centre, Jaoan
Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Jaoan
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Japan
Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Japan