photo: KIOKU Keizo

What's yours is mine. What's mine is mine.

ArtistYOKOO Tadanori
Material/ Techniqueoil on canvas
Size/ DurationH194 × W194cm
Copyright Notice© YOKOO Tadanori
Year of acquisition/ donation2010
DescriptionBorn in Hyogo, Japan in 1936. Lives and works in Tokyo.

After working as a graphic designer at the Kobe Shimbun newspaper and Japan Design Center, Yokoo Tadanori went i ndependent i n 1964. Stepping into the limelight with his posters for the Situation Theater (Jokyo Gekijo) and other theater troupes, he worked in wide-ranging media in the 1960s and ‘70s and became a symbol of youth culture in Japan. In 1981, after seeing a PICASSO retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), he announced his retirement from commercial work to become a painter. Yokoo feeds into himself all he sees and hears, and sublimates it in his art. This method he employs to explore the myriad facets of his own subjective world. His works and his stance as an artist have influenced a wide range of people.

This is one work created in live painting performances held at this museum prior to the exhibition, “Tadanori Yokoo Incomplete – What’s yours is mine. What’s mine is mine” (2009). With powerful brushstrokes, Yokoo has depicted the figures of two people seemingly about to be swallowed up by water, amid reflected letters floating quietly on the water’s surface. Yokoo, who at the time was creating a series concerned with letters and characters, found inspiration in Leandro ERLICH’s permanent work at the museum, "Swimming Pool", and fused its image with one of his own. Taking, as materials, a photograph snapped from above "Swimming Pool" and the mirrored sentences of the exhibition title, “What’s yours is mine. What’s mine is mine,” Yokoo completed this painting during several hours as an audience watched. The painting, which presents the characteristic feature of a Yokoo painting – his borrowing or composite use of an existing image, communicates the tension and energy of a live performance.