Japan's official pariticipation to the Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2014

Logo of Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2014

As the organizer of the country's official participation, the Japan Foundation will present artworks of a Japanese artist collective at Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2014, the international contemporary art exhibition held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, from December 1 to December 31, 2014.

Read an interview of Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, and Toshinori Mizuno of Chim↑Pom and Mizuki Takahashi in Wochi Kochi Magazine

Outline of the Biennale

Date Monday, December 1, 2014 - Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Venue Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
Organized by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy

Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh
Among the Asian international art exhibitions, Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh is one with the longest history, the first edition of which was held in 1981 with having participation of 14 Asian countries. The organizer is Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts), which is a state-sponsored national cultural center attached to the Ministry of Culture, Bangladesh. In the 15th edition, 224 artists from 34 countries, mostly from Asian region, have participated.

Outline of Japan's Official Participation

Official Curator Mizuki Takahashi (Senior Curator, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito)
Participating artists Chim↑Pom
Japan's official participation organized by The Japan Foundation

As requested by the government of Bangladesh, the Japan Foundation has been organizing the Japan’s official participation and showcasing works of Japanese artists since its first edition in 1981. In the 16th edition, having Senior Curator at Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Mizuki Takahashi as an official curator, we will present works of a Japanese artist collective Chim↑Pom. Two works by them will be exhibited: one is their painting using robot cleaners entitled Paradox of Downtown, and the other one is their new video installation entitled It’s the wall world.

Photo of artwork titled Paradox of Downtown by Chim↑Pom
Paradox of Downtown

Photo of artwork titled It's the wall world - Bangladesh by Chim↑Pom
It's the wall world - Bangladesh

Introduction of Artworks

Chim↑Pom will present two works at the Biennale.
The first work Paradox of Downtown will be a massive painting made by robotic vacuum cleaners. Instead of cleaning up, they will leave a smear of red, blue and yellow paint (=draw a picture) on the floor of the exhibition venue, and this will create an abstract painting. This work refers to action paintings by American artist Jackson Pollock, as well as ones by Kazuo Shiraga, a member of a Japanese avant-garde group, the Gutai Art Association. However, the agents of the actions are no longer humans, and are instead the vacuum cleaning robots equipped with artificial intelligence. Through this work, Chim↑Pom throw a question about a paradox of humanity in art and society, while uniquely showing differences between domestic labor and creative activity, and the rivalry in creativity between human and machine.

The second work is a new video installation that is in the middle of production in Japan and Bangladesh. The work is comprised of two parts: a jigsaw puzzle made of pieces cut out from a temporary wall of the venue, and a video documenting the group members who exchange these pieces of the puzzle with local peoples from various places in the two countries. Unlike ordinary products, this jigsaw puzzle has no sample image and an image will emerge only when they assemble all the pieces they have brought from the places together. By breaking down a wall of an art exhibition space into puzzle pieces, they can be exchanged with pieces of wall all over the world. This enables to connect various places together. Also, the pieces exchanged will take on a new role different from their previous role as a part of a wall at the Biennale. Through this action of exchanging jigsaw puzzle pieces brought from various places, the group will search potential for art that bring empathy beyond differences in cultures, languages and religions.

Mizuki Takahashi

Participating Artist


Photo of Chim↑Pom
photo: Leslie Kee

Chim↑Pom is an artist collective formed in 2005 in Tokyo with Ushiro Ryuta, Hayashi Yasutaka, Ellie, Okada Masataka, Inaoka Motomu and Mizuno Toshinori and all in their twenties at the time. Responding instinctively to the "real" of their times, Chim↑Pom has continuously released works that fully intervene in contemporary society with strong social messages.Using video as a primary discipline, their expressions freely cross over a range of media from installation to performance. While based in Tokyo, they develop their activities globally in exhibitions and projects in various countries. More recently, they have expanded their activities further to include the direction of art magazines, and exhibition curation. They have published numerous books in Japanese, including Naze Hiroshima No Sora Wo PIKA! To Saseteha Ikenainoka [Why Can’t We Make the Sky of Hiroshima “PIKA!”?] (co-edited with Abe Kenichi, MUJIN-TO Production, 2009), ChimPom ( Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2010), Geijutsu Jikkohan [Art as Action] (Asahi Press, 2012), SUPER RAT (PARCO Publishing, 2012) and Ellie wa Itsumo Kimochiwarui [Ellie’s sick all the time] (Asahi Press, 2014).

Official Website

Solo exhibitions held at (2013-2008):

Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum (Tokyo), PARCO Museum (Tokyo), PROJECT FULFILL ART SPACE, (Taipei), Maruki Gallery For The Hiroshima Panels (Saitama), MoMA PS1 (New York), etc.

Group exhibitions held at (2013-2009):

Shibuya PARCO (Tokyo), Kirishima Open-Air Museum (Kagoshima), Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (Tokyo), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Tokyo), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito (Ibaraki), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Ishikawa), Hara Museum (Tokyo), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima), Sendai Mediatheque (Miyagi), etc.

The 9th Shanghai Biennale – REACTIVATION, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (China), Project Daejeon 2012: Energy, Daejeon Museum of Art (South Korea), Get Up, Stand Up, Seattle Art Museum (USA), Double Vision: Contemporary Art from Japan, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia, later traveled to Haifa Museum of Art, Israel), The Fire that Doesn't Go Out Richard D. Baron Gallery (USA), Life, no Peace, only Adventure, Busan Museum of Art (South Korea), CITY-NET ASIA 2011, Seoul Museum of Art (South Korea), Mildura Palimpsest #8 – Collaborators and Saboteurs, Arts Mildura (Australia), Invisibleness is Visibleness: International Contemporary Art Collection of a Salaryman-- Daisuke Miyatsu, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (Taiwan); The 29th São Paulo Biennial – There is always a cup of sea to sail in, Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavillion, Ibirapuera Park (Brazil); Asia Art Award, SOMA Museum of Art (South Korea); Urban Stories: The X Baltic Triennial of International Art, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (Lithuania); KITA!!: Japanese Artists Meet Indonesia Jogja National Museum (Indonesia), etc.


Mizuki Takahashi
Senior Curator
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito

After studying Art History at Waseda University in Tokyo, Mizuki Takahashi completed MA in Art History and Japanese Ethnology at SOAS, University of London. She currently works at Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito. Her curated exhibitions are KITA!! Japanese Artists Meet Indonesia (held in Indonesia, hosted by the Japan Foundation, 2008), 8 Days - Beuys in Japan (Art Tower Mito, 2010), Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics Today (Art Tower Mito, also held in Seoul, Manila and Hanoi, hosted by the Japan Foundation, 2010), Tadasu Takamine's COOL JAPAN (Art Tower Mito, 2012), Darren Almond Second Thoughts (Art Tower Mito, 2013), etc. She is the author of Jibun wo Kirihiraku aato (Art-Provoking Yourself) (Film Art, 2009).

Official Website


“Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2014 Report on Japan's Participation”

Contributors of texts: Mizuki Takahashi, Chim↑Pom (Ryuta Ushiro, Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, Ellie, Motomu Inaoka and Toshinori Mizuno)
Published by : The Japan Foundation
Total pages: 15 pages
Language: English, Japanese

Cover of Report on Japan's official participation to the Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2014

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