Keiichi Tanaami
The Room of Menace

26 Mar - 27 Apr 2019



AISHONANZUKA is pleased to announce “The Room of Menace” a solo exhibition with Keiichi Tanaami, as the first time in five years of his new works to be shown at the gallery.

Keiichi Tanaami was born in Tokyo in 1936 and graduated from Musashino Art University. He has been active in graphic design, illustration, film and fine arts since the 1960s, never heeding the boundaries of mediums or genres but instead continuing to aggressively traverse them through his unique practice.Tanaami has recently presented solo exhibitions such as “No More War” (Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin, 2012) and “KILLER JOE’S (1965 – 1975)” (Fondation Speerstra, Switzerland, 2013), with participation in numerous group exhibitions including “Ausweitung der Kampfzone: Die Sampling 1968 – 2000” (Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2013), the large-scale pop art retrospective “International Pop” (Walker Art Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA, 2015-2016), “The World Goes Pop” (Tate Modern, London, 2015),the two-person show “Oliver Payne and Keiichi Tanaami” (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2017) and a new artist collaboration project by world-class sports fashion brand, adidas Originals “Tanaami x adidas Originals,”(NANZUKA,tokyo, 2019). Furthermore Tanaami continues to receive increasing international acclaim for his work, with renowned museums around the world such as MoMA (USA), the Walker Art Center (USA), The Art Institute of Chicago (USA), M+ Museum for Visual Culture (Hong Kong), the National Portrait Gallery (USA), Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof (Germany) in recent years newly welcoming his works to their collections.

In recent years Tanaami has drawn influence from scenes that permeate within his own memories and dreams to engage in creating so-called “mandala paintings” that serve to articulate his personal history spanning over 80 years. Tanaami’s latest works, while seemingly presenting themselves as uncanny yet pop renditions of supernatural demon illustrations, convey various memories related to Tanaami’s real-life experiences. USA bomber planes referenced from American comics and the personified bombs that shed radiant rays of light, are profoundly related to the memories of war that Tanaami had actually witnessed as a child.

Alongside such memories and dreams, works by Tanaami’s favored artists such as Chirico, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Jakuchu, and Escher make appearances throughout his new series of works. Such acts of citation are perhaps a natural progression that manifests as a positive efficacy for Tanaami, who continues to evolve through converting his fear towards “death” as well as traumatic experiences into energy. Tanaami enlists these works with an almost jokingly explanation that they are, “the world that he himself would live in after death.” That which is depicted here, is a solitary realm that attempts to transcend all means of art from pop, the psychedelic, to surrealism.

The exhibition will feature approximately 5 new paintings. Also to be presented is Tanaami’s dream diary series “Dream Diary Drawings” An opening reception will be held on 26th March from 18:00-20:00.



Exhibition view