NEMOTO Takashi "Ocean of Trees”(TOKYO)

13 December - 24 December 2017

Mizuma Art Gallery is pleased to announce NEMOTO Takashi’s solo exhibition “Ocean of Trees”, opening on Wednesday 13th December.


The “Ocean of Trees” that forms the exhibition’s title is a major piece Nemoto has been working on for over half a year since May 2017,which at 333.3 x 788 centimetres is almost exactly the same size as Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. The site of its creation was BUCKLE KOBO, a corner of the Suda Ironworks on the island of Keihinjima in Tokyo’s Ota-ku. Amidst the reverberating echoes of hammering and sharpening of steel, this work was created as an ongoing development of Nemoto’s “Guernica Project”.


The work was first exhibited in conjunction with the “Iron Island Fes” which took place on Keihinjima on 1st October this year, involving live performances and DJ sets by musician acquaintances of Nemoto including NANAO Tavito, PBC, ISHINO Takkyu and KISHINO Yuichi. Until that point Nemoto’s new work had been tentatively entitled “New Guernica” - but on the same day he announced it would take the title “Ocean of Trees”.


Nemoto Takashi’s “Ocean of Trees”: whether gazed at from a distance, or its details observed at close range - or in fact, by moving little by little from far away to close up to the work – we may enjoy its gradual transformations… When we lose ourselves in the ocean of trees before our eyes, we seem to see the tracks of a “karmic railroad” (the unofficial translation of one of Nemoto’s major works) running through it. 


In response to the oft-asked question “Is there no more chance to see ‘Ocean of Trees’?” came the impetus for holding this exhibition at Mizuma Art Gallery. Together with the work itself, a filmed record of the production of the work over the course of half a year, as well as various documents pertaining to its creation, will also be exhibited.


Despite the relatively brief exhibition period of 12 days, we invite you not to miss this precious opportunity to view this epic work “Ocean of Trees”. 


NEMOTO Takashi

Born in Meguro, Tokyo, in 1958, he made his debut as a manga artist with 「青春むせび泣き」, published in the September 1981 edition of manga magazine Garo. Since then he has pursued the self-titled path of “Tokushu Manga” or “Unique Manga”, and has earned an unparalleled position within the manga world. Nemoto has vast numbers of dedicated supporters and followers not only in the realms of manga but also of music and of art, and is one of the most significant figures in the alternative scene. His major works include 『生きる』(pub. Seirindo, 1986 / Seirinkogeisha, 2001); 『天然』(pub. Seirindo, 1988 / Suiseisha, 1998); 「タケオの世界」, 『豚小屋発犬小屋行き』(pub. Seirindo 1991 / Seirinkogeisha, 2010),「ミクロの精子圏」and「未来精子ブラジル」 amongst others. He has participated in exhibitions including the 1995 “909 / Anomaly 2” exhibition (Rö嚴tgenwerke, curated by Noi Sawaragi), the 1999 exhibition “Body Temperature of the Times ART / DOMESTIC” (Setagaya Art Museum, curated by Takashi Azumaya), and the two simultaneous exhibitions “MANGARO” and “HETA-UMA” held in southern France in 2014. The words 「でも、やるんだよ!」(“demo, yarun dayo!”) from his 1993 book 『因果鉄道の旅』(pub. KK Best Sellers, 1993 / Gentosha Bunko, 2010) were included in an NHK Educational TV feature on the history of postwar Japanese subculture, and were hugely influential in Japan in the 1990s.


NEMOTO Takashi “Guernica Project” Executive Committee: 

AIDA Makoto (Materials Advisor); EMORI Yasuyuki (Photography); Nico Nicholson (Manga); HOBARA Shunji, IWANE Shoko and ARAKI Yoshinori (Production); UMEDA Yoshihiro (DJ); HAYASHI Risako, IWABUCHI Teiya (Supervisors)

In collaboration with: ITO Haruka (BUCKLE KOBO)

Supported by: TURNER Colour Works Ltd., SIGMA






Related Event *

Saturday 23rd December (a public holiday) 18:00 ~

YAMAZAKI Harumi (Convulsive Poet) Recitation: “Trembling the ‘Ocean of Trees'” [in Japanese]

Public interview with NEMOTO Takashi by AIDA Makoto

Reservations not required

Free admission




Writer, editor and vocalist for “Gaseneta” and “Taco”, Yamazaki was born in Osaka in 1958. After making his debut in Rock Magazine in 1976 he has contributed writing to a huge variety of magazines, beginning with the vending-machine magazines Jam, HEAVEN and Takarajima. Every month he participates in public recitals in front of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as part of the activist group JKS47. His work is currently featured in the manga magazine Ax and the lyric magazine GEKKŌ . His literary works include Textiles / Discharges / Gifts from HEAVENCollected Works of YAMAZAKI Harumi 1976-2013 (pub. Kawade Shobo Shinsha), and the jointly edited work Jajuka: Morokko no Fushigi-na Mura to sono Majutsu-teki Ongaku (Ohta Books). He has appeared together with AIDA Makoto in live discussions at the events “Yagi ni Kiku?” and “Komura Gaeru Yoru”. He has known NEMOTO Takashi, who is the same age, since the early days of the Loft/Plus One live discussion house in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Recently, whilst the latter was in the midst of working on “Ocean of Trees”, Yamazaki commissioned a portrait of musician ECD by Nemoto.