marking one of the largest retrospectives ever held in japan of christian boltanski, the national art center, tokyo presents lifetime, displaying work from the french contemporary artist’s 50-year-long career. designed by boltanski, who describes himself as a ‘spatial artist’, the exhibition is arranged not in chronological order, but as one large-scale installation combining individual works in unique ways.

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

 

 

after making short films in the late 1960s, boltanski (b.1944) worked extensively with photography in the 1970s, garnering attention for works dealing with his own memories and those of others. in the 1980s, the paris-born artist began producing installations utilizing light and exploring religious themes, for which he earned international acclaim. since then, he has continued producing and exhibiting works worldwide under the themes of history, memory, and the vestiges of human existence.

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

 

 

lifetime introduces the artist’s diverse world with a total of 47 pieces, including his latest work, which, in recent years, has focused on the theme of narratives handed down from person to person. tracing his activities over the past 50 years, the retrospective is presented ‘as a single work of art,’ according to boltanski, where visitors are invited to experience it with the map distributed at the venue.

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

 

 

although having been extensively exhibited in japan since the 1970s, boltanski’s exhibition at the national art center, tokyo is among his largest retrospectives held in the country thus far. previously, the artist has participated in the echigo-tsumari art triennale and the setouchi triennale, as well as in solo exhibitions at ICA, nagoya and art tower mito (1990-91) and the tokyo metropolitan teien art museum (2016).

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
photo by noriko yamamoto, courtesy of the asahi shimbun

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
misterios 2017 / video projection (hd, approx. 12h.) and 3 screens / collection of the artist
© christian boltanski / adagp, paris, 2019, photo © angelika markul

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
le manteau 2000 / coat, sockets and light bulbs / collection of the artist
© christian boltanski / adagp, paris, 2019, courtesy power station of art, shanghai, photo by jiang wenyi

christian boltanski presents his 'lifetime' exhibition at the national art center, tokyo designboom
christian boltanski at grand palais © christian boltanski / adagp, paris, 2019, photo by didier plowy

 

 

 

 

 

exhibition info:

 

exhibition title: ‘christian boltanski — lifetime’

location: the national art center, tokyo (kokuritsu-shin-bijutsukan), special exhibition gallery 2E(roppongi)

duration: wednesday 12 june – monday 2 september,  2019, (closed on tuesdays)

opening hours: 10:00-18:00, every friday and saturday 10:00-21:00

organized by: the national art center, tokyo; the asahi shimbun

with the support of: ambassade de france / institut français du japon

cooperated by: agnès b. japan inc.