December 10th, 2019

Yuki Okumura at Keio University Art Space, Keio University Art Center Archive


Artist: Yuki Okumura

Venue: Keio University Art Space, Keio University Art Center Archive, Tokyo

Exhibition Title: The Man Who, An Ephemeral Archive

Date: November 9 – November 22, 2019

Curated By: Hitoshi Kubo and Yohko Watanabe

Note: Two versions of the scanned exhibition leaflets can be downloaded here and here.

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.






Yuki Okumura, The Man Who, 2019. HD Video, 116 minutes 15 seconds (Japanese subtitled version)

Installation images courtesy of Keio University Art Center, Tokyo, photographed by Calo works Co. Ltd. Film stills courtesy of the artist and MISAKO & ROSEN, Tokyo. Scanned photograph by Jean-Hubert Martin, 1993.

Press Release:

When stating that somebody is an interesting person, or a boring person, one is actually reducing various behaviors of that person into a flat image and entrenching her or him in this thin plate. However, of course, that person’s behaviors are not always interesting or boring, but just different each time. Above all, the defined character one applies to the person depends purely on one’s perspective and standpoint.

This solo exhibition by Yuki Okumura revolves around his latest film entitled The Man Who (2019), which comprises nine people’s recollections about somebody they call “him.” It is Okumura’s attempt to untangle the rigidly fixed bundle to which diverse aspects of “him” have been put together, multilayering the image through a series of procedures reminiscent of overlaying different photographic plates one after another. Here, “he” indeed emerges as a singular man every time the pronoun is pronounced, but also turns into plural men as the nine interviewees deliver their stories. This duality tears apart the man/men toward two poles, namely their most general states and their most specific states, between which we encounter countless versions of “the man who” — each is simultaneously “him” who looks very much like anybody and a similitude of “him” who looks absolutely like nobody.

This exhibition also includes an act of placement of a collection of three reference items related to the film into the archive of Keio University Art Center, lasting just for the show’s duration.* Along with The Man Who, which is at once an artistic film work and an oral historical referential material, this intervention is to provoke fresh discussions as to what a material really is for an archive and what kind of possibilities archival materials can open up today. Indeed, as shown by the nine individuals narrating their memories with “him” in the film, each of us has a body that is an archive on its own, established in this physical world and accessible only for a fleeting moment.


* Open to any researcher but a preliminary online reservation is necessary. Please make a reservation here.

Special viewing on Saturday, November 9


13:00 Screening: The Man Who (2019 | HD video | 116 minutes 15 seconds) *

15:30 Discussion: “The Process of Doubles” (Yuki Okumura x Yusuke Minami x Yohko Watanabe x Hitoshi Kubo) **    

* Not on view during the discussion. Screened continuously on other exhibition days.

** Japanese only.


Yuki Okumura

A man who was born in Aomori, 1978, and now lives in Brussels and Maastricht. Artist. In many of his projects, Okumura inserts his own life and fantasy in a specific area of recent art history, reactivating it in the present timeframe as a site of uncertainty that develops through ever-changing interpersonal relations, driven by his belief in the essential parallelity of worlds and the ultimate interconnectedness between individuals. Recent solo exhibitions include Hisachika Takahashi by Yuki Okumura (2016 Maison Hermè Le Forum, Tokyo. Curated by Reiko Setsuda), Na(me/am) (2018, Convent, Ghent. Organized by Jeroen Staes and Wouter De Vleeschouwer) and 29,771 days – 2,094,943 steps (2019, LA MAISON DE RENDEZ-VOUS, Brussels. Presented by MISAKO & ROSEN).


Hitoshi Kubo

A man who was born in Tokyo, 1977 and now lives in Kanagawa. Archivist, among other activities. Departing from certain archives or specific referential materials and montaging various spatiotemporal perspectives that they encompass, many of his projects shed light on not only events that occurred but also those that could have occurred, fundamentally as a way for him to explore possibilities to redesign conditions of human experiences as variable circuits by means of observation, analysis, and construction of montages employed in films and other artistic works, driven by his trust to the world, which in his eyes essentially stands as a process of self-generation and flickering. Recent writings include Montaging Penumbra: on a Motif of Archive (report for JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research 26580029 | 2017) and “A Case of a Studio: Shuzo Takiguchi and a Laboratory,” NACT Review, no. 5 (2018 | National Art Center Tokyo). At Keio University Art Center, he has directed a project to reconsider archives, called Pleating Machine (2018–). 


Yusuke Minami

A man who was born in Tottori, 1959 and now lives in Yokohama and Nagoya. Curator. Director of Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art since April 2017, after working at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), and the National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT). His curated exhibitions are mainly related to contemporary art and 20th century art. The former ones include solo exhibitions of Natsuyuki Nakanishi (1997), On Kawara (1998), Takashi Murakami (2001) and Tadanori Yokoo (2002) at MOT as well as Kazumi Nakamura (2014) and Yayoi Kusama (2017) at NACT, along with group exhibitions such as “MOT Annual 1999: Modest Radicalism” (1999) at MOT and “Artist File 2008” (2008), “The Light: MATSUMOTO Yoko / NOGUCHI Rika” (2009) and “Given Forms: TATSUNO Toeko / SHIBATA Toshio” (2012) at NACT. The latter ones include group shows such as “Living in the Material World: “Things” in Art of the 20th Century and Beyond” (2007), “Le Surrealisme: Exposition organisee par le Centre Pompidou a partir de sa Collection” (2011) and “American Pop Art From the John and Kimiko Powers Collection” (2013), as well as large-scale retrospectives of Picasso (2008), Man Ray (2010), Magritte (2010) and Dalí (2016), all at NACT. 


Yohko Watanabe

Born in 1961. Professor, Keio University Art Center. Curator. As the Vice Director of Keio Museum Commons, she is engaged with establishing a new vision of a university art museum. All of her organized exhibitions are characterized by a consistent curatorial attitude despite their smallness in scale and marked by her belief that working in tandem with an artist’s work in the real sense means looking at each piece sincerely and meeting the artist and encountering the profound depth of the artistic realm through such commitment. Her curated shows at Keio University Art Space includes the 2012–2015 series entitled “Contemporary Eyes” (iteration I being “Hamish Fulton: Five Walks,” II “from here: stanley brouwn and Daniel Buren,” III “Sunrise and Sunset: Bruce McLean, 1985 – 90,” IV “The Light Dwells: Imi Knoebel” and V “Blinky Palermo”) and a new series since 2017 called “Standing Point” (iteration I being “Yoko Terauchi and II “Ana Mendieta”).

Link: Yuki Okumura at Keio University Art Space, Keio University Art Center Archive

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