Kota Ezawa

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Kota Ezawa
Born1969 (age 49–50)
Cologne, Germany
EducationKunstakademie Düsseldorf
Alma materSan Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), Stanford University

Kota Ezawa (born 1969, Cologne, Germany)[1] is a Japanese-German artist and educator,[2] based in San Francisco, California. He is best known for his computer animated films featuring re-contextualized historical events, that are communicated with flatten, stylized images influenced by pop art.


Ezawa grew up outside Stuttgart, Germany and[3] attended Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1990 until 1994.[4] He graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1995 from San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). In 2003 he received his Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University.[4]

Since 2000, Ezawa has produced his own abstracted computer animations.[5] His work often juxtaposes seemingly contrary videos, politics and celebrity recounting historical events, reminding the viewer that history is through an interpretative lens.

He is an Associate Professor of Film and Fine Arts at California College of the Arts (CCA).[6] In 2006 he received the SECA Art Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[7]

Kota Ezawa has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at Chrysler Museum of Art (2015), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2013), Wexner Center for the Arts (2009), St. Louis Art Museum, Artpace (2006) and the Wadsworth Atheneum and many others.[8][9]


  • Simpson Verdict (2002):[10] Ezawa took three years to create the 3 minute animation of the O.J. Simpson’s verdict.[11][3] The animation reduces the international event to an exaggerated, simple cartoon. This work is in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) permanent collection.[12]
  • Lennon, Sontag, Beuys (2004): Animation features three politically active artists.[13]
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being (2005): Animation about the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy produced with old news footage and with the 1915 film Birth of a Nation.[11] The name of the film is taken from a book of the same title by Milan Kundera.
  • LYAM 3D (2008): Animation recreating Alain Resnais′ 1960s French New Wave film ′Last Year at Marienbad′ and adding 3D features.[14]
  • Choco Drink TV (2012): Sculpture of a mechanical television made from found objects such as wooden spoons and a Nesquik can, the images on the screen are of Kota's work. Channels can change by moving the wooden spoon.[15]


  1. ^ "Kota Ezawa". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  2. ^ "Past Exhibitions". San Francisco Center for the Book (SFCB). Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  3. ^ a b Fischer, Jack (2010-07-01). "Reality Twice Removed". Stanford Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  4. ^ a b "Kota Ezawa Biography". artnet. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  5. ^ "Bio: Kota Ezawa". UC Berkeley Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  6. ^ "Kota Ezawa". California College of the Arts. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  7. ^ "2006 SECA Art Award". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  8. ^ "Offsite: Kota Ezawa". e-flux.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  9. ^ "Kota Ezawa". Artadia. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  10. ^ Meacham, Steve (2008-03-21). "Southern Exposure". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  11. ^ a b "Kota Ezawa". The warhol. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  12. ^ "Kota Ezawa. Simpson Verdict. 2002". The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  13. ^ "Kota Ezawa: Re-Animating History". Williams College Museum of Art. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  14. ^ "Artworks Search Results Kota Ezawa". americanart.si.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  15. ^ "Choco Drink TV by Kota Ezawa". americanart.si.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-16.

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