Tomoaki Ishihara

Tomoaki Ishihara was born in 1959 and graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts in 1984. In the 1980s he produced self-portrait photographs printed onto spindle-shaped canvases with photosensitive emulsifiers painted on them as well as huge stitched leather sculptures. His artwork traverses through different mediums such as photograph, painting, and sculpture questioning the framework of art media and the structure of what it means to see. For example, he often digitally converts parts of his body into physical media. Ishihara says that he is experimenting to augment the finiteness of the “body.” In this exhibition, we would like to present 60 works which are self-portraits from 34 years ago which he has printed again as gelatin silver print. The exhibition of more variants of this series are planned.

Ishihara held solo exhibitions in Tochigi Prefectural Art Museum in 1998, Otani Memorial Art Museum in 2004 and he participated in the Venice Biennale’s Aperto section in 1988. His most recent exhibitions include his 2017 solo exhibition, Mirror Behind Hole – Photography into Sculpture at gallery αM in Tokyo; a group show, Japanorama New Vision on Arts in Japan Since 1970 at The Centre Pompidou Metz in France; a group show in 2018, Starting Points: Japanese Art of the ‘80s. at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; a traveling solo exhibition 34 LIGHT YEARS at MEM gallery in Tokyo; and in 2021, a group show Photographic Distance at Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts.


May 6 – June 14, 2003


“Aura, Ectoplasm”
June 21 – July 28, 2013


“The Invisibility of Hair that has Fallen from an Invisible Woman’s Head”
November 29, 2014 – January 18, 2015


“Extension / Mineral / Body”
November 26 – December 25, 2016


July 14 – August 12, 2018

“Flies and Frankenstein”
Dec. 4 – 29, 2021


Further readings