Paintings- From the Dazaifu Tenmangu Art Collection

2023.12.09 - 2024.05.06
Simon Fujiwara Mika Tajima

Sugawara Michizane (also known as Tenjin) has long been venerated as the deity of learning, culture, and the arts. The foremost art and culture from every era have been gathered around Tenjin in a collection of more than 10,000 documents and art objects, including Michizane’s calligraphic work, his sword, and the “Hanyuan (Kan’en)”, a national treasure.

In order to convey and pass down the legacy of Tenjin as the patron deity of culture and the arts to the modern age, Dazaifu Tenmangu launched the Dazaifu Tenmangu Art Program in 2006. This program exhibits the diversity of contemporary culture and, by assembling talent from both Japan and abroad, it gives rise to unique pieces of art. The shrine also actively collects contemporary artworks, regardless of nationality or genre.

We are also pleased to announce that the “anonymous collection” has donated to the shrine a work called “Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Ritual, Purple, Quad)” by Mika Tajima. This work, which was realized at the shrine by the artist, is very important to the shrine.

In addition to the unveiling of this work, we will introduce a wide variety of paintings by Japanese and international artists from our art collection.

Courtesy of the artist

Simon Fujiwara

Born in 1982 in London, U.K. He holds a BA in Architecture from Cambridge University and studied Fine Art at Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt, Germany. Fujiwara is known for his multimedia installations typically involve markedly performative lectures, architecture, and various literary forms, allowing for creative self-invention and an evolving exploration of the history of his family (the mother British, the father Japanese), and the nature of human history.
He won the Cartier Award in Frieze Art Fair in 2010. He held the large scale solo exhibitions including ‘Simon Fujiwara : Since 1982’, Tate St Ives, U.K. in 2012; ‘Grand Tour’, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany, in 2013, etc. On the other hand, he was invited to numerous international exhibitions such as ‘Roppongi Crossing 2013: Out of Doubt’, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; ‘Imagineering Okayama Art Project’, in 2014; ‘Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Art’, in 2015, etc.

Courtesy of the artist

Mika Tajima

Born in 1975 in Los Angeles, USA
Lives and works in New York, USA
Tajima is known for her work in a variety of disciplines including sculpture, architecture, music, and performance. In Japan, she has participated in the ‘Roppongi Crossing 2013: Out of Doubt’, show at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, in 2013, and received high acclaim for her installations combining works by the modern architect Le Corbusier and her own works. Her solo exhibition ‘Spectral’ at TARO NASU will be held from May 21 to June 18, in 2022.
Her major solo exhibitions have included: ‘ÆTHER’, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey, 2018; ‘Touchless’, TARO NASU, Tokyo, 2017; ‘Meridian (Gold)’, Sculpture Center, New York, USA, 2016; ‘Human Synth’, TARO NASU, Tokyo, 2015; ‘Pyramids and Pineapples’, Aspen Museum of Art, Aspen, USA, 2012; ‘After the Martini Shot’, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA, 2011; and ‘The Double’, Bass Museum, Miami, USA, 2010. She also participated in the ‘Hawai’i Triennial 2022’, Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii, USA, 2022; ‘Okayama Art Summit 2019: IF THE SNAKE’, Okayama, 2019; ‘Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018’, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, 2018; and ‘Today is Not a Dress Rehearsal’ with Charles Atlas New Humans, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA, 2009.