Yoshinori Niwa “The Communities We Must Have Imagined”

Satoko Oe Contemporary

poster for Yoshinori Niwa “The Communities We Must Have Imagined”
[Image: Yoshinori Niwa “All Japanese Players Boycott at the Tokyo Olympic Games” (2017–2020) video still]

This event has ended.

The current exhibition deals with the Tokyo Olympics approaching in 2020, and comprises a group of works centered on a fake documentary Niwa is producing from 2017 until just before the Olympics. The premise is that “The Communities We Must Have Imagined”

The work turns its attention to the Games’ enthusiastic welcome from the business community, based on the dramatic postwar economic growth that accompanied, or coincided with, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. However, after a series of historic national crises, the radioactive contamination from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and immigration-related issues accompanying internationalization, it is clear that Japan’s situation has changed since then. In this project, Niwa edits together film addressing the Olympics from various perspectives, including interviews with athletes and team managers in the context of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, archival footage of the 1964 Games, and political speeches by Prime Minister Abe, to create a fictional future documentary with a premise that nobody believes possible: a boycott of all events by Japanese athletes. By creating discrepancies between the video’s overall narrative content and statements made by those appearing in it, the work provokes thought on what ideologies are linked to the future we expect or hope for, what generates this future, and whether it truly reflects the future we anticipated, while re-examining the modern history of postwar Japan thus far.



from July 24, 2019 to September 06, 2019


Yoshinori Niwa



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