Contemporary Arts

NIWA Yoshinori

Born 1982 Aichi Prefecture (Japan), based in Tokyo.

Graduated from Tama Art University's Department of Moving Images and Performing Arts. Niwa's socially and historically interventionist works, on the street and in other public spaces, experiment with actions and propositions involving mainly impossibility and exchange. From such unproductive physical acts as transferring water with his mouth from a puddle in East Berlin to create a new puddle a short distance away in West Berlin, in 《Transferring Puddle A to Puddle B》 (2004), to putting himself in an unusual situation to undermine the reality of what we see and to expose the emptiness of systems that give an illusion of publicness, as when he walked in the opposite direction to people demonstrating against nuclear power generation after the Great East Japan Earthquake – 《Walk in the Opposite Direction of a Demonstration Parade》 (2011) – and 《Demonstration Proceeds from the Prime Minister’s Residence to the Summit of Mt. Fuji》 (2012), in which he extended a political act to a distant and unrelated spot more commonly associated with tourism. In recent years Niwa has taken an interest in the history of communism and moved on to projects that explore the nature of national history, like attempting to pick up and toss local communist party members in Romania, in 《Tossing Socialists in the Air in Romania》 (2010) and 《Searching for Vladimir Lenin in the Apartments of Moscow》 (2012), in which he searches the home an ordinary Russian family for images of Lenin years after the demise of the Soviet Union.

  《Walk in the Opposite Direction of a Demonstration Parade》2011
©Yoshinori Niwa
courtesy of Ai Kowada Gallery
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