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Tetsuya Ishida: Self-Portrait of Other

Oct 3–Dec 14, 2019

Download the Fall 2019 exhibition guide.

For more information about Tetsuya Ishida: Self-Portrait of Other, please visit the Museo Reina Sofía.


Organized by the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Tetsuya Ishida: Self-portrait of Other, travels from Spain to Wrightwood 659 and will be on display from October 3 – December 14, 2019.

The work of Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida (Yaizu, Shizuoka, 1973–Tokyo, 2005) gives the experience of the contemporary subject a face as it explores the uncertainty and desolation of Japanese society, drastically altered by the technological advances and successive crises that have affected economies and politics the world over. More specifically, Ishida portrays, with descriptive precision, the mood of his generation, defined by the bursting bubble of finance and real estate and the mass lay-offs that plunged the country into a deep recession in 1991.

Across a short ten-year career, Ishida produced a formidable body of work centered on isolation and alienation in a world dominated by uncontrollable forces, where recurring images of school children and office workers would become a platform for asserting a forthright critique of education and labour systems driven by the imperatives of productivity and competitiveness. The metamorphosis of the human body merges with different insects, technological devices and means of transportation; claustrophobic situations see the body become physically trapped in holes and constructions or become part of an assembly line, like cogs in a machine; the search for identity, bound to the elementary need to return to childhood and a repressed eschatological component; the lost glow of amusement parks and the sadness that pervades wastelands, working to form a backdrop to the apathy of a society which has yielded to the machinery of production and infinite consumption.

Tetsuya Ishida: Self-Portrait of Other is organized by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, in collaboration with the Halsted A&A Foundation at Wrightwood 659. Works on display have been generously loaned by the Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company, the Hiratsuka Museum of Art, LYC Collection, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, SCAI The Bathhouse, the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum Y++ Wada Fine Arts, the artist’s estate, and private collections in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and the United States.

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