Ei Arakawa

Ei Arakawa, Harsh Citation, Harsh Pastoral, Harsh Münster, 2017. Installation view at Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge

Ei Arakawa, Harsh Citation, Harsh Pastoral, Harsh Münster, 2017. Installation view at Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge

Ei Arakawa (b. 1977, Fukushima, Japan) currently lives in New York, USA. Arakawa works in performance, sculpture and installation, often making hybrid and multimedia works that are situated within or spun off from live, choreographed events. His complex and multilayered performance works are typically collaborative and subvert conventions by breaking the boundaries between audience and performer, resulting in spontaneous live actions. Sometimes incorporating other artists’ works as source material, his projects rethink traditional notions of authorship, subjectivity, temporal and geographical context, while also interrogating the politics of collaboration. Arakawa’s recent experimentations with the form of musical theatre involve the staging and choreography of art-historical research, as well as the production of spectacular 'paintings' made with LED lights and digital sound.

Ei Arakawa will produce a new LED painting for Liverpool Biennial 2018. The work will be based on paintings by Silke Otto-Knapp, whose large-scale canvases will be presented at Bluecoat and Victoria Gallery & Museum in the framework of the Biennial. Arakawa is particularly interested in performance, and will collaborate with Otto-Knapp to communicate the dancers depicted in her work through his pixelated painting. An audio component will create a sound show that attracts visitors from afar. Rejecting traditional ways of making and presenting paintings, Arakawa opens new potentials for the classical medium in today’s world. 

Recent exhibitions include Skulptur Projekte Münster, Germany (2017); 9th Berlin Biennale, Germany (2016); Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany (2015); Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2014); Whitney Biennial, New York, USA (2014); Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, USA (2013); 55th Venice Biennale, Italy (2013); Tate Modern, London, UK (2012); 30th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2012); and MoMA, New York, USA (2012).