Main Program

Tomoko Konoike
Earth Baby
Main Program

Approx.2.2 x 2.5 x 2.2m
Mirror, Wooden frame, mixed media

May 10 (Wed) – 28 (Sun), 10:00-18:00
*Part of the early viewing exhibition program
*Open from 10:00-20:00 on Fridays, Saturdays
*Closed on Tuesdays
May 27 (Sat) 10:00-22:00, 28 (Sun) 10:00-18:00
The National Art Center, Tokyo
Konoike has repeatedly drawn impressive eyes that stare at the viewer since she started her creative activities. Here, a giant baby that looks like something out of a myth is looking up and screaming with urgency. The shards of glass that cover the surface diffuse and reflect light in all directions, combined with the effect of rotational motion. Our eyes cannot see anything without light, but we lose sight of objects when we are dazzled by light. In Genesis, the birth of the world begins with the separation of light and darkness. Since ancient times, humans have been fascinated by light, transcending regional and cultural differences, and have revered its magical effects, sometimes using it as a symbol of power. The face of a newborn baby is filled with the primordial sense and tension of a human being who pursues light.

The pelt underneath is from a wolf that was exterminated in Mongolia more than 20 years ago. The oldest manufacturing technology known to mankind, tanning, has made it possible for traces of animals to enter our daily lives. After setting up Earthbaby, the artist improvised and placed a wolf skin here as if to create a kind of balance.


Tomoko Konoike

Tomoko Konoike continues to question the fundamentals of art through a variety of media including painting, sculpture, and performance, as well as site-specific expressions realized through travel.
Recent solo exhibitions include Fundamental Violence (2016), Kanagawa Prefectural Hall, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma / Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Art Encouragement Prize; Fur Story (2018), Leeds Arts University; Hunter Gatherer (2018), Akita Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Chukagari (2020), Artizon Museum / Mainichi Art Prize; Birth of Miru (2022), Takamatsu City Museum of Art.
Group exhibitions include Temporal Turn (2016), Spencer Museum of Art / University of Kansas Museum of Natural History; Japan-Spirits of Nature (2017), Nordic Akbar Museum of Art; ECHOES FROM THE PAST (2018), Sinka Art Museum; Story-makers (2022), Japanese Cultural Centre Sydney. Her publications include Animal Words and picture books (Hatori Shoten).