Oscar Oiwa

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT)

Oscar Oiwa, born in Brazil in 1965 to Japanese parents, exhibited Whale I and Whale II, both 1989, in the 1991 Bienal de São Paulo. By comparing the great mammal’s bones to the equally expansive top view of a nuclear-propelled submarine, this pair of twenty-one-meter images painted on kraft paper presents one of his basic themes, the kinship between the organic and the mechanical. The year of the Bienal, Oiwa moved to Tokyo, arriving just as the bubble economy burst. He later spent nearly a year in London, and in 2002 he relocated to New York, where he now lives and works.

This full retrospective of the peripatetic artist included some eighty works, among them many recent immense multipanel paintings. Banana, 1984, with Brazilian scenes on a meter-long banana-shaped board, reveals a talented young painter who would eventually work in many styles: surrealism, with uncanny juxtapositions of

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