Shinro Ohtake’s oeuvre includes drawing, painting, sculpture and photography, as well as large-scale assemblage pieces, experimental music and videos, but his activity of collage is most characteristic of his artistic express. Ohtake uses found objects, images and scraps from urban culture and mass media and is best known for his ongoing series Scrapbooks, of which he has completed more than 60 to date. With over 700 pages examining layered perceptions, memories and archaeology, these books are visual recollections of his experiences. An extensive presentation of Scrapbooks was shown at the 2013 Venice Biennale, as part of the “Encyclopaedic Palace”.
During his residency, he created works with striking neon yellow. Referencing uranium (“yellowcake”) and radiation following the March 11th Great East Japan earthquake and Fukushima disasters in 2011, the works act as recordings of radioactive contamination and can be seen as a response to concerns it raised around nuclear energy, threats from nature, considerations of the earth and the universe, and relations between families and homes affected by the disaster.
Public and private collections include the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Benesse House, Naoshima; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In 2010, Ohtake completed a site-specific commission for Benesse Art Site Naoshima titled the Naoshima Bath “I♥湯”.