Takahiro Iwasaki

Solo Exhibition

Looking at the Sky through the Eye of a Needle

Saturday, December 5, 2020 - Sunday, January 31, 2021

FOCAL DISTANCE, Installation view, 2020, SKY GALLERY, SHIBUYA SKY Photo: Ichiro Mishima

OPEN: Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun: 12:00 – 18:00
*Due to its popularity, the exhibition has been extended.
*Closed on Monday
*Winter holiday: December 27 – January 11

*In conjunction with Chu Enoki Solo Exhibition RPM-1200
*To protect public health against COVID-19, we will shorten the opening hours, and suspend the reception event.

We at ANOMALY are pleased to announce the solo exhibition of works by Takahiro Iwasaki titled Looking at the Sky through the Eye of a Needle, from December 5 (Sat.), 2020 to January 31 (Sun.), 2021.

Born in 1975 in Hiroshima Prefecture, Takahiro Iwasaki creates delicate, ephemeral landscapes using everyday articles such as toothbrushes, towels, bookmarks, and duct tape. He makes visualizations of the realities we ordinarily overlook, while changing the distance from the subject and its scale, thereby undermining our fixed perceptions and changing our awareness.

Iwasaki held solo exhibitions at Oyama City Kurumaya Museum of Art, Tochigi, Kurobe City Art Museum, Toyama, and the Asia Society in New York in 2015, and was selected to represent Japan at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.
In recent years, Iwasaki has participated in many exhibitions inside and outside Japan. The list includes Aichi Triennale 2019: Taming Y/Our Passion (Ito Residence, Aichi, 2019), Japan – Cuba Contemporary Art Exhibition: Going Away Closer (Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art, Havana, Cuba, 2018), Water and Land Niigata Art Festival 2018 (Bandaijima Multipurpose Plaza, Niigata, 2018), MAM Collection 005: Recycle and Build (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2017), Oku-Noto Triennale: SUZU 2017 (old Japanese House in Morikoshi, Ishikawa, 2017), Paradoxa: Arte Giapponese Oggi (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Udine, Italy, 2016), Nissan Art Award 2015 (BankART Studio NYK, Kanagawa, 2015), INVENTO – The Revolutions That Invented Us (OCA Museum, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2015), and We can make another future: Japanese art after 1989 (Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, 2015).


Looking at the Sky through the Eye of a Needle

Early in the morning, after hauling works of art into Shibuya Sky, I gazed at Mount Fuji, towering in the distance, from a deserted observation deck.
Although I could not have seen it from the ground, the tops of the skyscrapers in Tokyo provide a bird’s eye view of everything. I could see the signs of companies below and Mount Fuji way in the distance. I felt as if I were surveying the landscape portrayed by Hiroshige in his Suruga-cho with my own eyes.

I suddenly remembered hearing that measures taken to combat Covid-19 had reduced air pollution, and that the Himalayas were visible from northern India for the first time in decades.

The landscape struck me as one resulting from the coupling of our real globalized world and a discontinuous, parallel world of invisible microorganisms in this world.

Takahiro Iwasaki


Looking at the Sky through the Eye of a Needle, the title of this exhibition, is a metaphor for attempting to judge things by viewing them solely from your own narrow perspective alone.
It is a humorous expression that brings to mind the image of ourselves, little existences on this earth, looking up into the universe through a needle’s eye. Nevertheless, the miniaturization and view from the sky like a bird’s, which are characteristic of Iwasaki’s work, also hold a centrifugal vector for linkage from a certain landscape to the world itself.

Tectonic Model (Pascale Cossart “La nouvelle microbiologie”) 2020 ©Takahiro Iwasaki

Constellation, one of the works displayed in this exhibition, appears to depict a nighttime sky filled with countless sparkling stars. In reality, however, it is a picture of a nightscape mapped with actual positional data for corporate logos for convenience stores, fast food restaurants, automobile manufacturers, large retail chain stores, and other business that are actually in the Shinagawa area. These are combined with the “stars” made by tracing the droplets ejected into the air by sneezes. The scale changes along with the perspective in this work, which presents a layered world with both visible and invisible strata.

In Countryside, The Future, an exhibition currently being held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas conveys the current shape and possibilities of countrysides (areas other than big cities), which are agilely accomplishing radical transformations tailored to the unique personality of the locale, in contrast to cities, which are becoming increasingly uniform with the progress of globalization.
The pandemic has had the effect of slowing down the destruction of ecosystems due to factors such as enormous urban sprawl, overcrowding, and mass movement. This has improved air quality and consequently brought back starry skies and beautiful vistas. Similarly, the reduction in noise has enable us to hear the chirping of birds. In this way, we are experiencing new interludes and sensations.
Iwasaki’s portraits of cities and suburbs in transformation is a visual rendering of the change in lifestyles and human environments as human groups shift to the “new normal.” It asks us where we came from, and where we are going.

This solo exhibition will be held simultaneously with that by the maestro Chu Enoki, a rare artist whom Iwasaki reveres as his mentor, and for whom he has worked as an assistant.

We would also like to note that FOCAL DISTANCE, another solo exhibition by Iwasaki, is now being held at Sky Gallery, on the 46th floor of Shibuya Sky, an observation deck facility in the Shibuya Scramble Square.

We hope you will take this opportunity to see both of these exhibitions.


Out of Disorder (Looking at the Sky through the Eye of a Needle) 2020 ©Takahiro Iwasaki


Takahiro Iwasaki Artist page

Notification of precautions and requests


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of visitors, artists, staff, and the community in compliance with the government’s health guidelines, please take a moment for the following requests upon your visit.


To avoid three C’s (Closed and Crowded place, Close contact), please refrain from visiting the gallery in large groups.

Visitors are asked to wear masks and sanitize hands before entering the gallery. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance.

Please refrain from visiting the gallery if you have symptoms such as a fever (37.5°C or higher) or cough.


Our staff will have temperatures taken before coming to work to check health conditions every day, and will guide you by adopting frequent hand hygiene and wearing masks.

The entire space will be regularly ventilated and we will disinfect the high-touch areas.


Please check our website or SNS for the latest information about opening hours, as we may change it or close the gallery in unpredictable circumstances.

We appreciate your cooperation.