mystery of tail

installation view at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2004 ©Tam Ochiai


Ochiai’s first exhibition with Tomio Koyama Gallery since 1999, will include new paintings, drawings, and video. In the summer of 2003,Ochiai visited and filmed the summer-only amusement park, Tivoli, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ochiai’s theme may be understood according to the following key words and phrases:’mathematician’, Taking a walk, Everday, Inspiration and Calender. The exhibition includes series of drawings entitled Floccinaucinihilipilification, 29 letters long, the word is one of the longest found in the world. Floccinaucinihilipilification means literally no meaning or no value. The drawings present a mathematician meditating in a simple landscape. Like the random flow of numbers running in the mind of a mathematician, the letters of Floccinaucinihilipilification communicate the pattern Ochiai’s inspiration. The exhibition will also include an artist?ユs book that Ochiai has been attempting to publish for some time. Entitled Tail Tale, the book concerned with fantasy and the tale of tails. For Ochiai, drawing becomes language.

Artist Profile

Tam Ochiai

Tam Ochiai was born in Yokohama, Kanagawa in 1967. He moved to the United States in 1990 after graduating from Wako University, and completed his M.A in New York University in 1993. He currently lives and works in New York.

His major exhibitions include, “Criterium 16: Tam Ochiai ‘Shopping bags’” (Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan, 1995); “MOT Annual: Fiction? Painting in the Age of the Virtual” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, 2002), “Flashback” (Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, 2005); “The Door into Summer –The Age of Micropop” (Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan, 2006); “Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art” (Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo [touring Japanisches Kulturinstitut, Cologne, 2009, and numerous other venues]; “spies are only revealed when they get caught” (WATARIUM Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2010); and “Yokohama Triennale 2011: Our Magic Hour” (Yokohama Museum of Art, NYK Waterfront Warehouse [BankART Studio NYK], Kanagawa, Japan). For the 2016 exhibition re wild(e) (ARATANIURANO, Tokyo), Ochiai engaged in new attempts such as his work with film director Hiroyuki Oki in which the two collaborate in the production of drawings, video, and onsite three-dimensional works. The “Ashtray Sculptures” presented at this exhibition were also featured in his 2017 solo show Tarragon, Like a Cat’s Belly at Team Gallery in New York, attracting much attention.

Ochiai’s works are housed in the collections of The National Museum of Art, Osaka, The Japan Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Deutsche Bank, and the Takahashi Collection.