Based in New York since the 1990s, Tam Ochiai embraces a freedom of imagination that eschews conventional rules and formal modes of thought and language. Ochiai's primary medium is drawing, but his practice constantly surprises in terms of the variety of media he chooses, from film to installation. His works often feature child-like renderings of stylish, urbane female figures. Japanese art critic Midori Matsui refers to this trend among contemporary Japanese artists born in the later 1960s and 70s as "Micropop." Ochiai exemplifies the fundamental attitude and methods of Micropop art, which is defined as a "small-scale, avant-garde" approach that attempts to create a new aesthetic consciousness through everyday experience.
Image rights: Courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery, © Tam Ochiai
About Tam Ochiai
Tam Ochiai’s practice is constantly surprising in terms of his approach and chosen mediums, which to date include film, artist books, drawing, painting, installation, photography, and sculpture. He is also known for eschewing a single personal style. Some of his better-known works are drawings featuring child-like renderings of human, and usually female, forms. When Ochiai installs his drawings, he will use the walls of the exhibition space as a continuation of the picture play. Other works are more research-based—such as a video documentation of his trip between the first and last cities listed in a dictionary—or deconstruct objects and texts in order to rearrange and represent them.
Japanese, b. 1967, Japan, based in New York, NY and Tokyo, Japan