photo: SUEMASA Mareo

Kita Senjyu

ArtistOIWA Oscar
Material/ Techniqueoil on canvas
Size/ DurationH227×W444 cm
Copyright Notice© OIWA Oscar
Year of acquisition/ donation2015
DescriptionBorn in São Paulo, Brazil in 1965. Lives and works in New York, USA.

Bor n in São Paulo, Brazil to Japanese immigrants, Oscar Oiwa graduated from the School of Architecture and Urbanism at São Paulo University before moving to Tokyo at the age of 25, where he pursued his art practice while involving himself in area redevelopment projects. In 2002 he moved to New York, which was still suffering the after-effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and is currently engaged in a wide range of activities there. Oiwa confronts the urban spaces and environments in which he lives, depicting the world’s various aspects with rich narrativity, humor and abundant imagination.

Based on Oiwa’s own experience of living in Tokyo’s Kita Senju district in the 1990s, this work portrays from multiple points of view the district’s wooden dwellings and the lifestyles of their inhabitants. The door at the end of the back street on the floor of the restaurant’s kitchen is the entrance to the residence where Oiwa once lived. On the bottles in the bar can be seen the names of the other members of The Group 1965 (AIDA Makoto, ARIMA Sumihisa, OZAWA Tsuyoshi, Parco Kinoshita, MATSUKAGE Hiroyuki), and from the animated nature of the picture plane it is clear that for Oiwa, Kita Senju was not simply a location on a map but a place where he laid the foundations of his artistic practice and made a living. Even today, whenever Oiwa visits Tokyo he meets with his colleagues in Kagaya, the bar depicted in this work, to talk about art. One could say that for Oiwa, who captures with a keen eye the various social phenomena arising from globalization, this work represents the re-recognition of his own creative roots.