Nobuaki ITOH "Anyway, it's always the others who die."
1/30 - 3/7/2021
Nobuaki ITOH

This page introduces the exhibition archives and artworks of Nobuaki ITOH’s solo exhibition “Anyway, it’s always the others who die.” held at The 5th Floor in December 2020.

Nobuaki ITOH Solo Exhibition “Anyway, it’s always the others who die.”
Dates : 12 December – 27 December, 2020
Venue : The 5th Floor (Hanazono Alley 5F 3-3-9 IkenohataTaito-ku Tokyo)
Organised by : The 5th Floor
Co-organised by : HB.
Curated by : Yuu TAKAGI
In cooperation of : WAITINGROOM, Watanabe dental clinic, Isukura
Details :

[The 5th Floor]
The 5th Floor is a new alternative art space in East Tokyo, Japan, specialised in unique and experimental curating, founded in February, 2020.

In Japan, there are not many spaces for independent curators to work creative and more diverse to invite emerging and/or not-yet introduced international artists.

Therefore, we have decided to create a space to be a playground for curators. From next year onwards, we are planning to invite curators and artists from Japan and the globe to plan curatorial projects.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi
[Exhibition Statement]
“Anyway, it’s always the others who die”.

This inscription suggests the end of the “story”. There should be no such thing as a never-ending “story”. The conjunction “yet” is imbued with sorrow and despair over Duchamp’s death. The inscription is heartbreaking for us who read it.

Nobuaki Ito has been working around themes such as “Death and Life”, “Spirit”, and “Art”, all of which are ritualised and institutionalised in the torrent of modernisation. By removing these hooked brackets and freeing them from their ritualistic context, Ito has evoked vivid emotions in his viewers.

In this exhibition, “Yet Yet It’s Always Other People Who Die”, Ito will present three works: “Time Cannot Go Back” (2020), which focuses on the irreversibility of all events; “0099” (2008), which explores the gap between déjà vu and unseen experience of landscape; “Fiction” (2018), a narrative theory of artistic expression In addition to “Death” (2010), “Remembrance of Remembrance” (2010), which attempts to contact the invisible and insubstantial “death”, and “Candle / Cut Flowers / Sleep / Smoke” (2020), in which the artist divides and re-accumulates his own body.

Throughout these works, the artist “de-hooks” rituals and institutionalised events to address fundamental and non-substantial themes such as death and life, self and time. These events with ” ” are stories created by human beings. The characteristic of the “story” is the nature of the “time” contained in the “story”. Time” in the Narrative is reversible, and it is possible to create a variety of different tenses. However, in reality, time as an individual human being is irreversible and behaves in a linear fashion with an end. We human beings have resisted against this aspect of “time” with modernisation, industrialisation, and all kinds of technologies. However, we have not yet been able to overcome them – to overturn them with reality. That is why human beings still create “stories” and enjoy “life” within them. It is often said that the never-ending story will never end, and we will never be able to live our lives turning away from the end of the story.

“Time” is not a unitary element in the “story”. All the events swallowed up by “time” are realities. The “story” is made into a narrative in ” ” and it acquires a ” ” and substance. But we must not forget that fiction is inextricably linked to that substance. The role of the narrative, which rebels against time, is to evoke what lies outside of “,” that which has not been recognised or seen.

“Anyway, it is always the others who die”.

‘Your death can only be someone else’s death for me, of course, but with an unexpected sense of loss – and with you, I am in a loneliness that seems to be missing a part of me.’

In his eulogy for Shuji Terayama, Yamada Taichi said People die. Stories always come to an end. An individual human being cannot see the end of his or her own “story”. The same can be said of the artist Ito. This exhibition invites us to the “stories” spun by Ito.


For a limited time (January 30th to March 7th), three of the exhibited works can be viewed below. The works are available for sale, so if you are interested in them, please contact

2013, single channel video with sound, 24min 11sec
along with a drawing, Open Edition

“Time Cannot Go Back”
2020, single channel video with sound, 19min 14sec
Ed.10 (A.P.2)
Ed.1-3:120,000JPY+Tax (The price will step up from Ed.4)

“Candle / Cut Flowers / Sleep / Smoke”
2020, single channel video with sound, 60min
Ed.10 (A.P.2)
Ed.4-5:180,000JPY+Tax (The price will step up from Ed.6)

Installation View
Photo by Jukan Tateisi

Candle / Cut Flowers / Sleep / Smoke
single channel video with sound, 30min.
single channel video with sound, 24min.11sec.
Time Cannot Go Back
single channel video with sound, 19min.14sec.