Past Exhibition


The Shiseido Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition by artist Yasumasa Morimura, titled Las Meninas Renacen de Noche (In Praise of Velázquez : Handmaidens Reborn in the Night), to be presented from September 28th (Sat) through December 25th (Wed), 2013. This exhibition is part of the “Japan & Spain: 400 Years of Relations” project being undertaken in the two countries during 2013 and 2014.

Morimura began impersonating himself into appropriated works of art back in 1985, when he first applied the technique to a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, and he has continued this thematic approach through to the present. In 1988, he was selected to participate in the Venice Biennale's Aperto exhibition, and since then has pursued an active career both in Japan and abroad. Some of Morimura's notable solo exhibitions have included: Sickness Unto Beauty – Self-portrait as an Actress (Yokohama Museum of Art) in 1996; Fantasy Museum — Myself as a Picture (Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo) in 1998; An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Hara Museum of Contemporary Art) in 2001; Requiem: Art on Top of the Battlefield (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and other museums) in 2010; and many others. Morimura has received numerous awards, including the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 2007 and the Medal with Purple Ribbon (Artistic Excellence) in autumn 2011, and is now regarded as one of Japan's foremost representative contemporary artists. Next year he will serve as artistic director for the Yokohama Triennial 2014.

In 1994, Shiseido sponsored a Yasumasa Morimura solo show titled Psychoborg — Madonna, Michael, and Morimura at The Ginza Art Space in Tokyo, and this current exhibition will be his first show with Shiseido in the nearly twenty years since. From 1997 through 2002 Morimura published a series titled Love Letters from Morimura in Shiseido's Hanatsubaki magazine, and since that publication's recent renewal he has continued with a second series, Poisonous Beauty People.

This latest exhibition will feature seventeen photographic works based on Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor), the painting by the 17th century Spanish master Diego Velázquez. Las Meninas is considered notable for the fact that the painter himself (Velázquez) is depicted within the painting, and also for its complex composition, in which the positions/roles and gazes of painter, models and viewers all intermingle in a tangle of lines. The painting poses a number of riddles—What purpose did Velázquez have in creating such a work? What subject is being painted on the canvas that faces away from the viewer?—and scholars have proposed a variety of interpretations.

In 1990, Morimura created his Daughter of Art History series based on the image of Princess Margarita of Velázquez's painting, and since then he has long considered doing a Las Meninas–based piece. But rather than merely reproducing the painting, Morimura wanted to use it as the basis for a new story, and the result is expressed here as “A One-Man Play in Eight Acts.” To create the room that serves as the “stage” of this work, Morimura traveled to Madrid in February to photograph the galleries at the Museo Nacional del Prado. To photograph the characters that appear, in late June and early July he opened the creative process, as a special class, to students at Kyoto City University of Arts, where he has been serving as a visiting professor.
This exhibit will be comprised of seventeen pieces, including both photos that serve as the setting for Morimura's story and portraits of the characters appearing in that story. While in the past Morimura has focused on what is within the frames of his appropriated paintings and photographs, in this piece the characters appear in the museum space outside those frames, resulting in a particularly dynamic effect. And for the first time ever, Morimura himself appears in his own work not impersonated.

We hope you will enjoy the enigmatic, thrilling aesthetic that Yasumasa Morimura offers by adding his own unique interpretations and creativity to one of the masterworks of Western art.

Shiseido Beauty Top Specialist Hirofumi Kera handled the hair and makeup used in the creation of this work. Some of the wigs and costumes used will also be displayed on the ground floor of SHISEIDO THE GINZA.

* Roughly contemporaneous with this exhibition, Yasumasa Morimura will also be presenting solo shows at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (October 6th–January 14th) and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (October 12th–December 23rd).

Yasumasa Morimura Profile

Yasumasa Morimura was born in 1951 in Osaka, Japan, where he still lives. He has a BA degree from Kyoto City University of Art.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013 Theater of the Self, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
Rembrandt Room — Again, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
2012 Morienniale/Imitating Art History, Shizuoka City Museum of Art, Shizuoka / Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Kitakyushu
Invitation to Art History, Mitsubishi-Jisho Artium, Fukuoka
2011 Portrait Economy, Others, BLD Gallery, Tokyo
A Requiem: Art on Top of the Battlefield, Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
2010-11 A Requiem: Art on Top of the Battlefield Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo / Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi / Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima / Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo
Morienniale/Imitating Art History Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa / Fukuyama Museum of Art, Hiroshima
The Power of the Others — Microcosm of Yasumasa Morimura, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo
2010 A Requiem: Another Story, Shugo Arts, Tokyo
2009 Sickness Unto Beauty — Me As Actress, Iwami Art Museum, Shimane
2008 Requiem Por El Siglo XX, Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
Requiem for the 20th Century / Twilight of the Turbulent Gods, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
2007 Twilight of the Turbulent Gods / A Requiem for somebody, #2, Shugo Arts, Tokyo
Beauty Classroom, Listen Quietly, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto / Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa
Requiem for the 20th Century / Twilight of the Turbulent Gods, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Galleria di Piazza San Marco, Venice / Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
2006 Season of Raging Fire / A Requiem for somebody - #1, Shugo Arts, Tokyo
One Artist's Theatre, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow
2005 Lives of Satirists — Presented to Goya, Shugo Arts, Tokyo / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris / Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York / Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
2003 Barco Negro on the Table, MEM, Osaka
2002 Story of M's Self-Portraits (with M-Style Diorama (25m)), Kawasaki City Museum, Kanagawa
2001 An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Self-Portraits), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris / Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
Story of M's Self-Portraits, Museum Eki, Kyoto
2000 Yasumasa Morimura: Historia Del Arte, Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid
The Time with No Name, The Self with No Name, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
1998 Yasumasa Morimura: Self Portrait as art History, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo / National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Marugame, Kagawa
1996 Yasumasa Morimura: The Sickness Unto Beauty – Self-portrait as an Actress, Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa / Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
1994 Rembrandt Room, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Psychoborg — Madonna, Michael, and Morimura, The Ginza Art Space, Shiseido, Tokyo
1993 The Sickness Unto Beauty vol.1–5, Nishida Gallery, Nara
9 Visages, Fondation Cartier pour L'art Contemporain, Paris
1992 Options 44, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago / The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
1990 Daughter of Art History, Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo
1989 Criticism and the Lover, Mohly Gallery, Osaka
1988 Mata ni, Te, Gallery NW House, Tokyo / ON Gallery, Osaka
1986 Mon Amour Violet et Autres, Gallery Haku, Osaka
1984 Hiramatsu Gallery, Osaka
1983 Galerie Marronnier, Kyoto

Selected Group Exhibitions

2009 100 Stories About Love, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Ishikawa
2008 Busan Biennale 2008, Busan Museum of Modern Art, Gwangalli Beach, APEC Naru Park, etc. Busan
Into the Atomic Sunshine — Post-War Art Under Japanese Peace Constitution Article 9, Daikanyama Hillside Forum, Tokyo
Liquid Crystal Pictures — Still/Motion, Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Mie / National Museum of Art, Osaka / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo
2004 Marcel Duchamp & 20th Century Art, National Museum of Art, Osaka / Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa
The Copy Age — From Duchamp Through Warhol to Morimura, The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga
2002 Emotional Site, Sagacho Food Building, Tokyo
Future Plan — My LifeTheater, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo
2001 Yasumasa Morimura & Sawako Goda, The Museum of Art, Kochi
1998 Technotherapy, Produced by Morimura, Nakanoshima Central Public Hall, Osaka
1996 Hugo Boss Prize: 1996, Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York
10th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney
1994 Cocide y Crudo, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Of the Human Condition: Hope and Despair at the End of the Century, Spiral Garden, Tokyo / Ashiya City Museum of Art & History, Hyogo
1992 Homage to Spanish Still Life by Yasumasa Morimura & Miran Fukuda, Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya
Post-Human, Musee d'Art de Pully, Lausanne / Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin / Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens /Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg
1991 A Cabinet of Signs: Contemporary Art from Post-Modern Japan, Tate Gallery Liverpool / Whitechapel Art Gallery, London /Malmö Konsthall, Malmö
The Everyday of Art — Anti-Art/Pan-Art, National Museum of Art, Osaka
1990 Culture and Commentary: An Eighties Perspective, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC
1989 Against Nature: Japanese Art in the Eighties, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco / Akron Art Museum, Akron / MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts / Seattle Art Museum, Seattle / Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati / Grey Art Gallery, NYU, New York / Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston / ICA Nagoya
1988 East Meets West: Japanese and Italian Art Today, ART/LA '88, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
Venice Biennale / Aperto 88, Venice
Art Now 88, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo
1987 Photographic Aspects of Japanese Art Today, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Tochigi
Yes Art / Deluxe, Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo / Gallery Haku, Osaka
1986 Art Differencie — Scene of painting transformation, Gallery Haku, Osaka
1985 Smile with Radical Intent, Gallery 16, Kyoto
1984 Can't You See We Are Not Reticent?, Gallery View, Osaka

Selected Recent Publications

Self-Portrait as Actress: Yasumasa Morimura, Nigensha Co., Ltd., 2010
Manebu Art History (Imitating Art History), Akaaka Art Publishing Inc., 2010
Rojian Sensei no Anpontan, Shinchosha Publishing, 2010
Conversations About Requiem/Considering the 20th Century, Iwanami Shoten Publishers, 2011

Recent Awards

Kyoto Cultural Merit Award, 2006
Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, 2007
52nd Mainichi Art Award, 2011
Photographic Society of Japan Award, 2011
24th Kyoto Artistic Culture Prize, 2011
Medal with Purple Ribbon, Autumn 2011

■Exhibiting Works

  • In Praise of Velázquez: Distinguished ones in confinement,
  • Living in the realm of paintings (the Princess),
  • Living in the kingdom of paintings (the painter),

■ Related Events

(1) Yasumasa Morimura gallery talk
Date: November 16th, 2013 (Sat), 14:00 – 16:00
Place: Shiseido Hanatsubaki Hall, Tokyo (Shiseido Namikidori Headquarters Building 3rd floor)
(2) Yasumasa Morimura talks with Nobuyoshi Araki
Date: December 7th, 2013 (Sat), 14:00 – 16:00
Place: Shiseido Hanatsubaki Hall, Tokyo (Shiseido Namikidori Headquarters Building 3rd floor)
Capacity: 200 guests
Participation fee: None
Inquiries: The Shiseido Gallery (Tel 03-3572-3901 or Fax 03-3572-3951)

■ Details for the Exhibition  Yasumasa Morimura LAS MENINAS RENACEN DE NOCHE

Sponsor: Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Support: Embassy of Spain in Japan

Instituto Cervantes de Tokio
Collaboration: Issiki Architects & Partners, Air France, Kyoto City University of Arts, Shashin Kosha Co., Ltd., Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., DNP Media Art Co., Ltd., FUJIFILM Imaging Systems Co., Ltd., and Motoco Land-Masaki Collection (dog breeder)
Duration: September 28th (Sat) – December 25th (Wed), 2013
Location: The Shiseido Gallery
Ginza Shiseido Building, B1
8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03-3572-3901; Fax: 03-3572-3951
Hours: Weekdays: 11:00AM–7:00PM
Sundays and national holidays: 11:00AM–6:00PM
Closed: Mondays (including holidays falling on Monday)
Admission is free.

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