Press Release

Optional Art Activity is an exhibition without works that has been held annually at Take Ninagawa since 2011. Kyongfa Che and Fumio Inoue (CAMP) are collaborating as the organizers of this third iteration. Participants will investigate the uncertain legacy of a Japanese painter who is said to have influenced Cambodia’s art history.

Only a few people in Cambodia remember the man called “Suzuki.” During the 1940s, he taught at the School of Cambodian Art in Phnom Penh (now the Royal University of Fine Arts). It is said that he came to Cambodia after studying art in France in the 1920s, and remained there for the rest of his life. There is much about him that is unknown and probably will never be known, and this situation is deeply linked to Cambodia’s recent history.

Why did he move to Cambodia? What did he see there? Did he continue to make work there? And why did he stay there for the rest of his life? Starting from the historical gaps in the narrative of “Suzuki,” each participant will expand the scope of speculation about issues like the time in which he lived and the relations between historical accounts and the imagination, and share their ideas with the audience through displays, talk events, and performances.

Asako Iwama + Miho Shimizu (Artist), Fumio Inoue (CAMP), Sen Uesaki (Art & Archive Theory), Che Kyongfa (Curator), BARBARA DARLINg (Artist), Futoshi Miyagi (Artist)

Special thanks to:
Roger Nelson (Art historian and curator), Motoyuki Shitamichi (Artist), Masahiro Ushiroshoji (Professor, Kyushu University), Lyno Vuth (Artist and curator)