Exhibition Upcoming – NAVATE

27 March - 27 July 2025

Yukinori Yanagi

Curated by Vicente Todolí with Fiammetta Griccioli

Yukinori Yanagi (Fukuoka, 1959; lives and works in Momoshima, Japan) is one of Ja­pan’s most influential contemporary artists, known for exploring complex issues of sov­ereignty, globalization, and borders through large-scale, site-specific installations. His work also delves into Japanese history and nationalism, evoking intricate systems of symbolic imagery that shape our understand­ing of space and identity. Creating provoca­tive multimedia artworks that dissolve the stasis of symbolic signs into organic forms, Yanagi’s practice often exposes precon­ceived patterns of political and national op­pression. More recently, he has also focused on developing large-scale public art projects aimed at revitalizing abandoned spaces. One of the most ambitious of these projects is the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum—a former local copper refinery in Inujima, Okayama, preserved and transformed into a muse­um—which features several of his permanent site-specific installations that address the ef­fects of modernization.

The exhibition at Pirelli HangarBicocca will be the first major survey of the art­ist’s practice in Europe, and will include a wide selection of both iconic works from the 1980s and 1990s, such as The World Flag Ant Farm Project, that gained international recognition on the occasion of the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, for which he won the ‘Aperto 93’ award, as well as more recent works. Yukinori Yanagi will recontextualize some of his most important monumental installations, which have been exhibited worldwide throughout his career, re­sponding specifically to the post-industrial space of Pirelli HangarBicocca. The exhibition will offer immersive paths to explore the trajectories and worlds cre­ated by the artist’s oeuvre.

Yanagi has exhibited at numerous major institutions such as Tsu­nagi Museum, Kumamoto (2019); Bank ART 1929, Tokyo (2016); Inujima Art House Project, Okayama (2010); Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, Okayama (2008); Fukuoka Art Museum (2005); Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (2000); Universi­ty Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine (1998); Chisenhale Gallery, London, Beaver College Art Gallery, Philadelphia, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (1997); Capp Street Proj­ect, San Francisco (1996); Queens Museum of Art, New York, Ki­rin Plaza Osaka, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, University Art Museum, University of California at Santa Barbara (1995); Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Japan (1992); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions – LACE (1991).
His works have also been included in many group shows, such as Setouchi Triennale, Japan (2022); Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, Saudi Arabia (2021); 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018); Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2017); Busan Biennale, South Ko­rea (2016); Liverpool Biennial (2012); Fukuoka Triennale, Japan, Gwangju Biennale (2002); Whitney Biennial, New York (2000); Biennale de Lyon (1997); Asia-Pacific Triennial, Brisbane (1996); Nagoya International Biennial, Japan, Venice Biennale (1993).
In 2012, Yukinori Yanagi established Art Base Momoshima, an art center on the small island of Momoshima in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea, by renovating a former junior high school and 1950’s movie theater into a contemporary art museum. The museum exhibits his work as well as works by internationally re­nowned artists.

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