Tokyo Contemporary Art Award



Born in Okayama in 1978
Based in Kagawa

photo by IMAZU Satoko


  • March 16 – October 6, 2024
    George Eastman Museum, New York
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  • March 29 – Jun 30, 2024
    “Nothing to Waste,”
    Jeonbuk Museum of Art, South Korea
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  • June 22– September 22, 2024
    “Floating Worlds: From Japonisme to Contemporary Art from Japan,”
    Les Franciscaines, Deauville, France
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Graduated with a BA in Painting from Musashino Art University in 2001.

Recent exhibitions

  • 2024 Solo Exhibition “A Ship Went Up That Hill,” FIGYA, Osaka
  • 2023 “Tsunagi Art Museum The Contemporary Art Collection” Tsunagi Art Museum, Kumamoto
  • 2023 Solo Exhibition “Setouchi ‘Naoshima Bukatsushi’ Archive” Miyanoura Gallery 6, Kagawa
  • 2023 Solo Exhibition “FLOATING MONUMENTS,” Alison Bradley Projects, New York
  • 2023 “Renewal Open Special Exhibition Before/After,” Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
  • 2022 “Latent Scenery,” Arts Maebashi
  • 2022 “Setouchi Triennale 2022”
    Solo Exhibition “Setouchi ‘Nakamura Yoshinobu and Naoshima Donguri Club’ Archive”
    Solo Exhibition “Setouchi ‘Slag Landscape’ Archive”
    Miyanoura Gallery 6, Kagawa
  • 2022 “Renewal opening exhibition – Cross Border: the perspective opened by guest artists and permanent collection,” Gallery Terra-S, Kyoto
  • 2022 Solo Exhibition “A Ship Went Up That Hill,” Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark
  • 2021 “Collections,” Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi
  • 2021 Solo Exhibition “Setouchi ‘Slag Landscape’ Archive,” Miyanoura Gallery 6, Kagawa
  • 2021 “Somewhere Between the Odd and the Ordinary,” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
  • 2021 “Compassionate Grounds: Ten Years on in Tohoku,” Composite, Melbourne
  • 2021 “Local cultures assisting disaster revitalization: 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake,” National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
  • 2021 “Imagined Boundaries: Contemporary Art in Obu,” allobu, Aichi
  • 2020 Solo Exhibition “Setouchi ‘100 Years Tourism’ Museum,” Miyanoura Gallery 6, Kagawa
  • 2020 “Exhibition in Japan of the Japan Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Cosmo-Eggs,” Artizon Museum, Tokyo
  • 2020 “ ‘Time’ in contemporary art,” Takamatsu Art Museum
  • 2019 Solo Exhibition “Floating Monuments,” Ohara museum of art / yurinso, Okayama
  • 2019 Solo Exhibition “Setouchi ‘Yoichi Midorikawa’ Museum,” Miyanoura Gallery 6, Kagawa
  • 2019 “Intimate distance. Masterpieces from the Ishikawa Collection,” MO.CO. Hôtel des collections, Montpellier, France
  • 2019 “58th La Biennale di Venezia,” Japan Pavilion, Venice
  • 2018 “MOVING STONES,” KADIST, Paris
  • 2018 “Our Everyday―Our Borders,” Tai Kwun, Hong Kong
  • 2018 “Gwangju Biennale 2018,” Korea
  • 2018 “Takamatsu Contemporary Art Annual Vol.07,” Takamatsu Art Museum
  • 2017 “MOT Satellite,” Various locations in Kiyosumi-shirakawa, Organizer: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
  • 2017 “Immortal Makeshifts,” Mullae Studio M30, Seoul
  • 2017 “Moving/Image,” Arko Art Center, Seoul
  • 2016 Solo Exhibition “Open yourself to the landscape,” Kurobe City Art Museum, Toyama
  • 2015 Solo Exhibition “Mother’s Covers,” Toyota Municipal Museum of Art [Library], Aichi


  • 2015 “Photo City Sagamihara prizes for newcomer professionals”
  • 2013 “The 6th Okayama Prefectural Mr.I Development of Rising Artists Award,” Grand Prize
  • 2012 “Gwangju Biennale,” Noon Award, (Emerging Artist)
Shitamachi Motoyuki spent four years researching and photographing gun batteries and hangars for military aircraft throughout Japan, publishing the results in the Remnants series (2001-2005). He then traveled to America, Taiwan, Russia, and Korea to shoot Japanese shrine gates remaining from Japan’s colonial period for his masterpiece Torii series (2006-2012). Shitamachi, known for creative activities based on extensive travel and fieldwork, produces works that, while documenting landscapes, are not an archive of historical facts. They are evidence of stories forgotten in everyday life or so routine as to seem trivial, brought to life through photographs, events, and interviews, edited to restore their reality, and shown to us today to be events beside us, that continue to affect life today.

Chair of the Selection Committee, Maria LIND Comment

The jury of the TCAA award spent three exciting days together in Tokyo and Kyoto exploring the work of 7 artists, all nominated for the TCAA award. After intensive and interesting discussions we concluded that Kazama Sachiko and Shitamichi Motoyuki were the winners. Both of them have strong practices and are at a moment in their work where the possibility to spend time abroad can be very fruitful.

In Shitamichi Motoyuki’s sensitive work, borders are often transgressed. Whether with photography, videos, objects, interviews, workshops or other social situations, he is observing and connecting things which are apart. Drift bottles on the island of Okinawa, toriis in Japan’s former colonies, and a giant tsunami boulder lying alone since 1771 on a sandy beach, far from its geological companions – they all operate slowly over longer periods of time.

Reasons for the Award

In most of this artist’s works, the theme touches on the nature of boundaries and on relations between humanity and nature through the medium of those boundaries. Long, careful observation informs the lyrical quality of the process by which these works are created. Connections between relationships are precisely and carefully executed, using a unique creative vocabulary that underlies each work. The artist stands in the middle of a map, his work connecting point to point. With this award, we hope to add new impetus to this artist’s work, allowing him to dig even more deeply into the meaning of “connectivity” that will lead him to new developments.