This is how Taro Okamoto thought about art and he employed every possible channel to try and bring art into the lives of the people. His range of expression included a huge range of genres, from the Tower of the Sun to tiepins. One of the characteristics of his work was that he engaged positively with mass production to create large numbers of works, such as: tables, chairs, clocks, lighters, bags, carp streamers, skis, cups, ties, scarfs, playing cards, etc. His pièce de résistance was a ‘face glass’ that came free with a bottle of whiskey. Those around him were very against him producing this, saying it would harm his career, but he overrode their objections and was happy to create this kind of giveaway product. Underlying this stance was his belief that ‘Art should not belong solely to enthusiasts or rich people, but rather to the general public.’ The reason why he created numerous works of public art to be placed throughout the country or small items to be handed out for free, was all due to his belief that ‘art is part of life.’ One media that Taro concentrated on to achieve this was prints. He probably felt that prints would be able to find their way into the lives of the common people and utilized a variety of techniques including lithograph, etching, silkscreen, woodblock, etc., leaving a huge range of print works. This special exhibition focuses on his prints for the first time and we hope that you will enjoy it.
Akiomi Hirano, Director,
Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum