Untitled 無題

KOJIMA Nobuaki 小島 信明

A man in white shirts and blue trousers is standing. He covers his head and torso with a piece of red-and-white striped cloth which looks very much like the Star-Spangled Banner. The combination of red, white, and blue is so intense, the work catches the eye from quite a distance. But, contrary to the bright simplicity of first impression, it is not totally open to us. It hides what most interest us as the viewer, that is, the man’s face, what he looks like, or what he is thinking about. This makes us very uneasy. Then again, this makes us intrigued. The artist of this work attracted much attention for his Happening which involved presenting himself as a part of his work in “The Yomiuri Independent Exhibition” in 1962. In the Happening, he stood the whole day stopped inside an oil drum placed in front of red and white drapes. On that occasion, a man became a sculpture. In this work, the sculpture has become a man, and is performing a Happening. The man who covers himself in brightly colored cloth seems to be asking us this question: In today’s world where superficial stimuli keep us excited, aren’t we actually deprived in some way, having forgotten somewhere along the way the spontaneous and creative inner life and our individuality?
Collection of
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Artist Name
KOJIMA Nobuaki
Material / Technique
Lacquer paint on polyester resin
175.4(Height)×109(Width)×47.5(Depth) cm
Acquisition date
Accession number

Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (5506)