TOKYO, JAPAN.-Nanzuka Underground presents a solo exhibition by Keiichi Tanaami (1936-). In contrast to the print art which he has set as a main battlefield for the presentation of his works, for this exhibition, Tanaami has produced new works in painting, drawing and sculpture.
Keiichi Tanaami started his career as an artist in the late 1950s and became famous for his distinctly pop illustrations and designs from the 60s to the 70s. Having been associated with Andy Warhol and Jasper Jones, and designed the album jacket of "The Monkees", his works have been highly valued internationally since then. In recent years, the reputation of his works keeps rising, involving new generations. In August 2007, his work made the cover of "Wallpaper"(world wide style magazine from UK).
This exhibition titled "DAYDREAM" will include works that are focused on goldfish and young girls as the newest form of Keiichi Tanaami who has always embodied the frontier of culture.
Tanaami comments on this exhibition as follows: "This time I am exhibiting mainly large paintings and sculptures. Also, a series of 50 drawings in which female figures are represented as a goldfish cover a whole wall. The composition uses the entire space to resemble an aquarium in which many goldfish are wriggling around. Such images appear in one of the writings (the Story of Umeno Yoshibee, Baika-hyoretsu) by Santo Kyoden (a popular writer in Edo period) as a woman with eyes crazed by jealous, and a monster-like roundfish with a puffed up stomach. As symbolized in the descriptions of those goldfish monsters, goldfish are like children with birth defects produced artificially by human beings. On the other hand, I think that human beings in modern times can be said to resemble goldfish-like beings."
"By depicting motifs of deep layers of my memories and dreams, I have consistently tried to represent the "inland world" of myself that is the unconscious vision, inextricably linked to everyday life but very different from that. The Goldfish-man appearing in the paintings is the being coming from my desire 'to substantialize consciously the vision from the depth of the world as my own'. I think the origins of this desire are my experiences in war time, when I had a vision of the scales of the roundfish, which my grandfather used to keep at home, awkwardly popping up by the light of flare bombs of American bombers as seen from the air-raid shelter, and the effect of my deep psyche fostered by that experience."
"The sculptural works are also of goldfish monsters. We often see aquariums of goldfish in the entrance of entertainment areas such as Kyoto, which likens a maiko to a goldfish as a caged bird. I think that maiko are like goldfish in the first place; I want to represent the malformed and fantastical existences created by human’s value of beauty."
During the term of the exhibition, there will be a talk event with Tabaimo and a screening of his video works that have been selected for many international film festivals including previously unseen work. In addition, a book of paintings titled "DAYDREAM" (graphic-sha) will be published in a catalogue of this exhibition.