Natsuko Tanihara | Behold, This Beautiful World

Dates|December 3 – 25, 2022
Venue|MEM map
Open Hours|12:00 – 19:00  (The gallery will close at 17:45 on December 3rd for the talk event)
The gallery is closed on Mondays.
Phone Number|+81-3-6459-3205
Cooperation by|SGC Co., Ltd.

Speakers|Arata Hasegawa (Independent curator), Natsuko Tanihara (Artist)
Date & Hour|December 3,  18:00-19:30
Capacity| 20 seats by reservation only (*Japanese version only)
To make a reservation please visit:



We are pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Natsuko Tanihara.

The title of this exhibition, Behold, This Beautiful World, captures Tanihara’s unique aesthetic. Tanihara uses brightly colored paints and brilliant materials such as glitter and sequins on jet-black velvet, which absorbs rather than reflects light. These materials allow her to depict “a beauty that mixes memories of personal failures and the darkness of humanity.” Deep forests, back alleys, night seas, and fields at twilight imbue a sense of loneliness and ephemerality; these places are at once beautiful but also disquieting and dismal. Regardless, when a flash of beauty catches the eye and imagination and reality converge, that is the moment a work of art is born.

The two-dimensional screens filled with countless decorations and ornamentations of Tanihara’s early career have gradually changed. Her pictorial space has expanded to incorporate aspects of art history, subcultures, and contemporary customs. Tanihara was also recently invited as an artist-in-residence for the NIJL Arts Initiative organized by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, where she had the opportunity to peruse Japanese classical texts, which adds yet another element to her expression. This group of works is a potent mixture of enigmatic phenomena, reality, and historical events and figures.

The exhibition will include a triptych by Tanihara, her first endeavor inspired by Western religious altarpieces. Her narrative universe unfolds in a series of paintings framed in a panel covered luxuriously in gold leaf. The work deftly combines the form of the triptych, which has strong religious connotations, and the dark aberrant imagery of Tanihara’s paintings.

This exhibition will present seven new oil paintings and related drawings that showcase the new horizons of Tanihara’s evolution as an artist.



Artists Profile:

Tanihara was born in 1989, Saitama Prefecture. She graduated with a major in Oil Painting from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the Kyoto City University of Arts in 2016. She received her Doctorate from the same university in 2021. In 2015, she received the 7th Koji Kinutani Award and the Kyoto City Museum of Art Award. In 2016, she received the VOCA Shoreisho (second place prize). Tanihara’s fundamental mediums are oil and acrylic paint, but she also uses glitter, sequin and metal powders and black and red velvet as her support. She received the Gotoh Memorial Culture Newcomer Award in 2017 and from the fall of 2017 to the fall of 2018 she spent one year abroad in Paris on a research grant from the Gotoh Memorial Culture Foundation, a division of the Tokyu Foundation. She is currently based in the Kansai area and continues to paint. Her recent notable solo exhibitions include Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award Exhibition, Natsuko Tanihara: An Artist of the Floating World / A Castle on the Paper, Ueno Royal Museum Gallery, and MEM, in 2021. Her recent notable group exhibitions include Portrait of Our Generation, The Hiratsuka Museum of Art, in 2022.