Ohtake, Shinro

Shinro Ohtake (b. 1955) takes the world as his source, using journeys, dreams and diaries to examine the inner surface of his layered perceptions. He worked as an expressive painter and sculptor before a stay in London where he chanced to meet an old man who had obsessively collected matchbooks and glued them into pages of a notebook. Ohtake purchased the collection and began to create his own ‘street books’, intense travel scrapbooks crammed with discarded cultural artifacts-scavenged tickets, snapshots, tags, currency, newspapers and other mass-produced printed matter shrugged off by popular culture. His book works, both one-of-a-kind and multiples, are sculptural, multi-colored, excessive layerings of found images and objects that interact with his own painting and drawing before he seals them with coats of wax, stain, and varnish, plastic or fiberglass. Ohtake has exhibited internationally: his rapturous descriptions of contemporary society reflect cultures as varied as Europe, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, the United States and his own Japan.

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