Special ExhibitionTadashi Tonoshiki: the Source of a Compelling Reversal

Tadashi Tonoshiki (1942-1992), an artist born and raised in Hiroshima, embarked actively on a career as a painter at the age of 29. In the 1970s, he relocated his production base to Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture and there began producing paintings and print works that depicted in precise pointillism his own and his deceased parents’ experience of radiation exposure from the atomic blast. Thereafter, in the early 1980s, he took his style to an entirely new stage with experimental silk-screen works and installation-like methods of exhibiting. From the mid-1980s, he came to produce dynamic installations employing discarded articles and flotsam as media. His work of this period won acclaim for its creative critical thinking on today’s consumer society and environmental destruction, and he actively held exhibitions in Japan and abroad. Just when his work began to attract wide attention, he died at the age of 50.

In recent years, Tonoshiki’s artworks are being reappraised from the perspective of their engagement with social themes and collaborations with regional residents. Amid such renewed interest in Tadashi Tonoshiki, this exhibition looks comprehensively at his life as an artist profoundly associated with Hiroshima, 25 years after his death. During a career of less than 30 years, Tonoshiki changed his style with dizzying frequency and moved in new directions with impressive results. By tracing those transitions into his late years—when he was creating temporary installations that did not remain, so that we must rely on records and related materials—the exhibition will reveal the entire scope of Tonoshiki’s art.

“Reversal” is a word Tonoshiki used in his later years to describe his work. It referred to memories forgotten or thrust aside that forcibly “come back” in one’s consciousness, and to the subsequent “reversal” of one’s values and perceptions. What in Tonoshiki’s experience drove him to instigate such a reversal? What did he suffer, what did he struggle with that pushed him in that direction? Then, what manner of reversal might his life and works compel in us as viewers? This exhibition will illuminate the sources of Tadashi Tonoshiki’s art.

Exhibition flyer(PDF:1.6MB)

Date March 18 – May 21, 2017
Hours 10:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Closed Mondays (except March 20), March 21
Admission Adults 1,030 (820) yen, University students 720 (620) yen,
High school students and seniors [65 and over] 510 (410) yen
*Figures in parentheses: Advance purchase and groups of 30 or more
*Junior high school students and younger: Free admission
*May 5(Children’s Day): Free for children through high school
Organized by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chugoku Shimbun
Supported by Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima Municipal Board of Education, Hiroshima FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.,
Onomichi FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.

Hand, 1976, Shimonoseki City Art Museum

Shakukanryoshinshi(Iron Helmet), 1977, private collection

HYDROGEN BOMB (2), 1981, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

Numerials(Red) [detail], 1984, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

Tyre Bearing Tree [Plan.7], 1991, photo by S.Nakamoto