Nobuaki ITOH "Fiction / The most beautiful moment in my life"

9/15 (Sat.) - 10/14 (Sun.), 2018
Opening Reception : 9/15 (Sat.) 6:00 - 8:00pm

*We are open on Wed to Sat. 12-7pm and Sun. 12-5pm
*Closed on Mon., Tue. and National Holidays
*Opening Reception : 9/15, Saturday, 6-8pm with artist present
Installation View
single channel video with sound, 12min.27sec.
video still
The most beautiful moment in my life
single channel video with sound, 8min.
video still
Press release

Tokyo, Japan – WAITINGROOM is pleased to announce Nobuaki ITOH Solo Exhibition, Fiction / The most beautiful moment in my life, which is the artist’s second solo exhibition in two years at our gallery. ITOH has been exploring the issue of body, life / death, and spirit, which are not avoidable for human being, and creating video and installation works in this theme. He also develops his own theory about “Fiction” and often mixes up the techniques of fiction, non fiction and meta fiction in his work. In this exhibition, he will present his latest video work, Fiction, which is a road movie based on his own production theory of “Melting of Fiction” and “Cracking by Fiction” that was declared in his doctoral dissertation in 2016. In addition to that, he will also present his other latest work, The most beautiful moment in my life, as a video installation format using multiple monitors and tablet devices. It is a video work showing about 20 men and women in the early 20s, posing like a Mona Lisa, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, in front of camera, declaring that “It is the most beautiful moment in my life” to the audiences after thousand years.

Left: Solo Exhibition “The most beautiful moment in my life” 2018, Installation view (Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts Gallery, Kyoto)
Right: Solo Exhibition “Art and Artist” 2016, Installation view (WAITINGROOM, Tokyo) Photo by Ujin Matsuo

About the artist, Nobuaki ITOH

Born in 1981 in Nara, currently lives and works in Nara and Kyoto. He graduated from Kyoto University of Arts and Design in the major of Fine Art in 2006 and obtained a Ph.D. in Art at Kyoto City University of Arts in 2016. His recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition “The most beautiful moment in my life” (Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts Gallery, Kyoto, 2018), group exhibition “CANCER – THE MECHANISM OF RESEMBLING” (EUKARYOTE, Tokyo, 2018), solo exhibition “Ato and Artist” (WAITINGROOM, Tokyo, 2016), group exhibition “S-HOUSE Museum Memorial Exhibitions” (S-HOUSE Museum, Okayama, 2016-2026), a solo exhibition “A¯to” (APMoA Project, ARCH vol.13: Nobuaki ITOH, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, 2015), group exhibition “GRAVEDAD CERO” (Matadero Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 2015), solo exhibition “Artist and Prophet” (HAGISO, Tokyo, 2014), “Ushimado Asia Triennale” (Setouchi City Museum of Art, Okayama, 2014), group exhibition “Me’tis – fighting art -“ (Gallery @KCUA, Kyoto, 2012), group exhibition “RESONANSE” (Suntory Museum, Osaka, 2010) and many others.

Artist Statement

“Reality” and “Fiction” are not the opposite concepts. Fiction has always been made based on the reality as its materials. When the fiction and fiction in other forms are mixed together, audience have difficulties in discerning the “fictions in other forms” from the “fiction” itself and this is called “Melting of Fiction”. “Melting of Fiction” causes “Cracking by Fiction”: the fictions leak into a real world, transgressing the media, and eventually the audience begins to confuse fictions with realities. In case “Cracking by Fiction” occurs, audience have strong emotional reactions, such as surprise, laugh, anger, fear, trembling, unpleasant, irritation etc., toward the artworks, the same reactions as we touch the leaking water. Some of these reactions are similar to the ones that existed before “Cracking by Fiction”, others are different from previous ones. However, the common feature they could share is their “strength”. The “Fiction” after the “Cracking by Fiction” occurred has become different phenomenon. The phenomenon that is used to be the “Fiction” has changed to something variant that is hard to look straight and hard to live with and be thrown into the world.

Nobuaki ITOH

Making it to “Fiction” and destroy it.

In ITOH’s doctoral dissertation he wrote when he completed his Ph.D. program at Kyoto City University of Arts in 2016, he named his techniques used often from his maiden work till then as “Melting of Fiction” and “Cracking by Fiction”. He analyses both techniques through taking some cinema works for example and then demonstrates them through his own work at the end. In the last chapter, he explained his experience of working at the funeral company as a full-time worker for several years after graduating from grad school. During his experience, he felt that the funeral is the ritual to “Fictionize” the death in order for us to accept its death. Why does he stick with the “Fiction”? He says that it’s because he is fascinated by the universal and fundamental questions of “where are we coming from? Who we are? Where are we going to?” as an artist and also as a human being. After we come into the world until we die, what do we feel, for what reason, and for which destination we are going while living in this world? ITOH puts all these questions into the framework of the “Fiction” once and then destroys them after so that the audiences can realize these questions strongly through his work.

It was his doctoral dissertation that he wrote about his work and thoughts as a discussion, and it is his latest video work, Fiction, that he visualizes his discussion and contents of the dissertation once again, and he is presenting this work as the main piece for this exhibition. Furthermore, he is also presenting other work, The most beautiful moment in my life, as a work that is mutually resonant each other and created by the theory used in Fiction.

Left: “Art (Spain Ver.)”, 2015, Single channel video with sound, 10min.5sec.
Right: “Alive / Not alive (2014.8/Ushimado)”, 2014, Single channel video with sound, 9min.32sec.

Nobuaki ITOH