Yoshiaki Kaihatsu

Solo Exhibition

Kaihatsu Rediscovering, Vol.2, 3

2022.7.16(Sat) - 8.6(Sat)

Open on Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri. and Sat., 12:00-18:00
Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and holidays

Opening reception with dame Panda*1): 2022.7.16 (Sat.), 18:00 – 20:00

Talk event: 2022.7.30 (Sat.), 17:00 – 19:00
Speaker: Yoshiaki Kaihatsu, Hikari Odaka (curator of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)

Closing event: 2022.8.6 (Sat.), 15:00 – 18:00 – Kaihatsu Ennichi/147801 Series*2)

Lightcar, 2006
“Kunstherbst Berlin 06”, Exhibition view at Mercedes-Benz showroom, Berlin, 2006 ©︎Yoshiaki Kaihatsu

We at ANOMALY are pleased to announce an upcoming solo exhibition of works by Yoshiaki Kaihatsu. Titled Kaihatsu Rediscovering, Vol. 2, 3, it will run from July 16 (Sat.), 2022 to August 6 (Sat.), 2022.

The Kaihatsu Rediscovering series is focused on the genres of art by Kaihatsu, who has continued to produce an enormous number of works by all sorts of approaches. This exhibition is a follow-up to Kaihatsu Rediscovering, Vol. 1, which was held at ANOMALY in 2019 and probed the essence of the artist by displaying a cluster of video works he made in the initial phase of his artistic activities in the 1990s. Vol. 2 encompasses everything from the work he made for his graduation from the university to his very latest pieces. It shows how fluorescent lights, which he used merely for lighting at first, were actively transformed into functioning parts of artworks later on. It is a large-scale display giving visitors a look at about 20 titles, including the early work Lightcar (2006) and new ones whose subject is the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Vol. 3 is a re-creation of an exhibition held in 2008, and grew out Kaihatsu’s participation in the 2004 Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition. Seeing the Japanese pavilion (designed by Takamasa Yoshizaka), which had undergone repeated remodeling for exhibitions, he proposed a work of his own incorporating the functional beauty inhering in architecture as a project born of his wish for restoration of the pavilion to its original form. Its display was accompanied by video footage of an interview with concerned parties.

Incorporating Nature – Project for Restoration of the Venice Biennale Japanese Pavilion, 2008
“TOKYO MiLKY WAY 2008”, Exhibition view at SPICA art, Tokyo, 2008 ©︎Yoshiaki Kaihatsu


Left: Wall of entrance exam, 2019, “Now, it’s time to play”, Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019
©︎Yoshiaki Kaihatsu, photo:Haruyuki Shirai
Right: Politicians’ Home, 2012, Minamisoma, Fukushima, 2012 ©︎Yoshiaki Kaihatsu

Yoshiaki Kaihatsu is a creator of witty and sophisticated works such as a tea house made of shiny white pieces of waste styrofoam and the Future Post Office, which delivers letters a year late. He also holds viewer-participation workshops and sometimes appears in programs costumed like a mole*3), panda, or other original mascot. Because his mode of expression is so natural and open, we are apt to encounter him with our defenses completely down. In the process of viewing his works, we are confronted with doubts about society that he routinely bears in mind, and with our own stereotypes and fixed ideas. The late Osamu Ikeda, who formerly headed BankART 1929, stated: “Democracy is not the movement organized by a group of people acting under a single motto but the chain reaction where one person’s specific action causes other people to act,” and called Kaihatsu a “one-person democracy.” Today, we find ourselves in a situation that is colored by uncertainty, dizzying change, and an information glut, and clouded by developments such as the Covid pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine. Surely Kaihatsu’s works will usher in new perspectives for us under these circumstances.


On increasing occasions during my residence outside Japan, I went from being looked at as an artist to being viewed as a Japanese national who was an artist. Beginning with my early works, I utilized the technique of imparting double-entendres to words and images. I think this became even more pronounced after my experience of studying abroad.
For this exhibition, I added several new works taking war as their theme. I produced a work titled Mariupol while pondering the meaning of presenting a perception of a war unfolding before the eyes of the world as could only be done now and leaving it behind for future generations, as Picasso did with Guernica. With its intertwined cords and intermixed colors that are turbid, the work is definitely not beautiful to look at. In making it, I adhered to a rule requiring the mixture of prescribed colors using fluorescent lights. The resulting colors spreading over the whole canvas were consequently produced in a manner out of my control. My intention was to manifest the current state of a chaotic world out of control. I hope it will be the kind of work that prompts each person who views it to contemplate and think about the subject.

Yoshiaki Kaihatsu

Left: Mole TV, 2014 ©︎Yoshiaki Kaihatsu
Right: 147801 series, 2019, “Art-Live 2019 ‘AREKORE KAIHATSU FACTORY PICASSO FACTORY’”
Exhibition view at THE HAKONE OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, 2019 ©︎Yoshiaki Kaihatsu


*1) Costumed as a panda, the artist does performances that do not proceed as they were supposed to. The free-wheeling dame (“no-good”) panda engages in behavior that betrays the expectations of the audience.
*2) Throughout his life, Picasso reportedly produced a total of around 147,800 works. Kaihatsu began this series with the idea of surpassing Picasso at least in respect of the number of works produced. Viewers may take home works they like from the display. If they take a photo of the work back home and send it to the artist, the photo is recognized as another Kaihatsu work.
*3) The artist performs in Mole TV, a work in the format of a talk-show program. Costumed as a mole, he invites various guests to appear on the show at a specially constructed underground studio. He also pops up in various places to hold workshops and other programs.


Yoshiaki Kaihatsu

Yoshiaki Kaihatsu was awarded a Master’s degree from Tama Art University’s Graduate School of Art and Design in 1993. He has energetically continued to create and show works since the 1980s. He has produced works during periods of residence in New York and Berlin, and taken part in numerous exhibitions outside as well as inside Japan. In 2004, he was selected to be one of the artists exhibiting at the Japanese pavilion in the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition, and attracted considerable attention with his styrofoam series, which constitutes one of his signature works. The occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 prompted him to launch Dailyly Art Circus, a project in which he loaded works of art onto a truck and made the rounds of communities in the affected areas to show them. He also built Politicians’ Home in the city of Minamisoma after the catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and sent invitations to 750 Japanese politicians encouraging them to visit it. In more recent years, he created a stir with his solo exhibition “8th Grade Syndrome” (2016) at Ichihara Lakeside Museum (Chiba) and exhibition “Now, it’s time to play” (2019) at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, where he displayed a large-scale installation, among other works. In addition, he has participated in many art festivals including Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (Niigata) and Ichihara Art×Mix (Chiba) for many years, and is known for his amusing pieces that find favor with many viewers. At present, he is showing works made in collaboration with Evangelion in a temporary enclosure on the former site of the famed Shinjuku Milanoza theater.


Yoshiaki Kaihatsu News Archives



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