Kouichi Tabata

Kouichi Tabata was born in 1979 in the Tochigi prefecture. He received a B.A in Intermedia Art from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2004, where he also received an M.A. in Oil Painting in 2006. He currently lives and works in Berlin, having completed a residency with the Grant for Overseas Research supported by the Pola Art Foundation in 2011.

Tabata produces paintings that incorporate kinetic elements, and video works which have been composed under painterly constraints. Notable works include “bee” (2006), a video work created from countless images of bees that the artist had drawn until the ink of his pen ran out, and the “one way or another” series comprised of drawings and oil paintings where a single motif is depicted across two separate support mediums and then “shifted” to meet their completion. Through such “shifts” between media and the very support medium, Tabata enable the various imagery contained within the subject before ones eyes to carefully emerge. Instead of converging a single thing and its surrounding traces into one, he presents a perspective that connect to their different means of presence and movement in the context of a time and space that could have simultaneously lapsed.


Tabata’s recent exhibitions include, “marmelo and the two sides,” Yutaka Kikutake Gallery, Tokyo (2018); “one way or another,” Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo (2016), “Scape,” Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London (2015); and “trace of images,” Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo (2016).

He has participated in group exhibitions such as, “VOCA: The Vision of Contemporary Art 2018,” Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo (2018); “Art Meets04: Kouichi Tabata / Saori Miyake,” Arts Maebashi, Gunma (2017); “Drawing Biennial 2015,” Drawing Room, London (2015); “Temporal Measures,” White Rainbow, London (2014); “THE ECHO –SPREADING OF LIGHT,” Japanisches Kulturinstitut Köln, Germany (2013); “Trial Balloons,” Museo de Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2006); and “J’en rêve,” Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (2005). Tabata’s works are included in the public collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Tokyo), Toyota Art Collection (Aichi), and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo).