February 26, 1911|
|Died||January 7, 1996(aged 84)|
|Field||Painter, Sculpture, Töpfer|
Taro Okamoto is the son of cartoonist Ippei and writer Kanoko Okamoto. He studied at Panthéon-Sorbonne in the 1930s, and created many works of art after World War II. He was a prolific artist and writer until his death, and has exerted considerable influence on Japanese society.
Among the artists Okamoto associated with during his stay in Paris were André Breton (1896–1966), the leader of Surrealism, and Kurt Seligmann (1900–62), a Swiss Surrealist artist, who was the Surrealists' authority on magic and who met Okamoto's parents, Ippei and Kanoko Okamoto, during a trip to Japan in 1936. Okamoto also associated with Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Robert Capa and Capa's partner, Gerta Taro, who adopted Okamoto's first name as her last name.
In the 1950s, he received a commission from the Oriental Nakamura department store in Nagoya to create a large mural on the main facade of their flagship store. The mural was demolished after Oriental Nakamura was bought by Mitsukoshi in the 1970s. In 1964 Tarō Okamoto published a book titled Shinpi Nihon (Mysteries in Japan). His interest in Japanese mysteries was sparked off by a visit he made to the Tokyo National Museum. After having become intrigued by the Jōmon wares he found there, he journeyed all over Japan in order to research what he perceived as the mystery which lies beneath Japanese culture, and then he published Nihon Sai-hakken－Geijutsu Fudoki (Rediscovery of the Japan－Topography of Art).
One of his most famous works, Tower of the Sun, became the symbol of Expo '70 in Suita, Osaka, 1970. It shows the past (lower part), present (middle part), and future (the face) of the human race. It still stands in the center of the Expo Memorial Park.
After being lost for 30 years in Mexico, on November 17, 2008, his mural "The Myth of Tomorrow", depicting the effects of a atomic bomb, was unveiled in its new permanent location at Shibuya Station, Tokyo. In it, a human figure burns and others appear to run from flames. The work was made for the Hotel de Mexico in Mexico city by Manuel Suarez y Suarez.
- "Okamoto Taro: Nuclear Proliferation, Tradition, and "The Myth of Tomorrow". (D. Wood & A. Takahashi - Kyoto Journal #77.)
- "Instalan en Tokio mural de Okamoto perdido 30 anos en Mexico". (Consultado el 10 de Agosto de 2010.)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tarō Okamoto.|
- Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki (English)
- Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum (Japanese)
- Gendaigeijyutu Atelier (Japanese)
- Institute of Esthetic Research (Japanese)
- Taro Okamoto's grave (English)