Chu Enoki

Kirin Plaza Osaka

Documenting his public performances and site-specific sculpture since 1970, through photography, video, and drawings, this first retrospective of the sixty-two-year-old avant-garde artist Chu Enoki conveyed the intensity of an independent artistic commitment sustained by efforts to invent new ways of perception, suggesting Enoki’s significance as an important precursor for artists who emerged in the ’90s.

Enoki’s first public performance, Naked Happening, 1970, demonstrates an inadvertent affinity with the Situationist International. Enoki walked in the middle of a Ginza street on a Sunday, shirtless, with the Expo ’70 logo sunburned onto his bare chest—a protest against the seductive “spectacle” of Expo’ 70, the landmark world fair that trumpeted Japan’s postwar economic recovery, and against the public policy of the Pedestrian’s Paradise that kept congested city streets “open to pedestrians”

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