Kohei Kobayashi


Kohei Kobayashi
Born in Tokyo,1974. Lives and works in Saitama.

Kohei Kobayashi started out making impersonal, minimalistic monochrome video works. Since around 2007, he has widened the scope of his expression to include objects and articles of daily use arranged in space, and videos in which he appears. At the same time, he prompts viewers to take another look at the relationships of things and phenomena as well as our perception of them, and strives to alter this perception.

This approach is also reflected in his stance of leaving the video to the person shooting it, methodology of replying to the ideas of another, and demonstrations consisting of dialogue with an interlocutor. These elements expand the domain of thought while shifting the artist-centered outlook and even query. At the stage of forming the vision for his works, Kobayashi designs a vessel or locus large enough to accommodate a wide range of things occurring outside himself. In short, he proactively anticipates and affirms “the unexpected.” In addition, as evidenced by works such as M-U-R-D-E-R-W-E-A-P-O-N (2012), which erases the sense of body by eliminating that of right and left, to Kobayashi, body and direction cannot be separated from each other in our cognizance of self and space. Through intellectual experiments conducted in external space using objects, the questioning proceeding from his own body exposes gaps in perception and thought that arise in relation to others. The conversation, which meanders with frequent reversals of the person leading it, turns back into a question while incorporating various information, and spills out to the viewer’s side as well. It may be that, before we know it, we viewers become entangled in the conversational process, which deliberately drags our own thinking into realms outside our bodies.

Quotation from text in the catalogue “Teleportation” by Chikako Shakudo, Kurobe City Art Museum, with additions and revisions made with her approval.

His major solo exhibitions include “Teleportation” Kurobe City Art Museum, Toyama (2022), “Z-O-M-B-I-E-T-O-W-N” ANOMALY, Tokyo (2019), “Yawning・Lessons” Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo (2018), and “Palimpsest — Superimposed Memories vol.4 Kohei Kobayashi” gallery αM, Tokyo (2014) with many group exhibitions “MOMAT Collection” The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2019), “Kohei Kobayashi x Kohei Takahashi work on five hypotheses to cut off…” Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi (2017), “Setouchi Triennale 2016” Ibukijima Island, Kagawa (2016), “Aichi Triennale 2016: Rainbow Caravan” Aichi (2016), and “Artist File 2015 Next Doors” The National Art Center, Tokyo (2015).



The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan
Takahashi Ryutaro Collection


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