Kuroda - Aki in a few words

In his atelier, in 2019
Aki Kuroda is a Japanese artist who lives and works in Paris.

He was born on October 4, 1944 in Kyoto and began painting at the age of three. As a child, he was fascinated by the surrealist magazine Minotaure that his father received from Paris. Raised in a cultural environment, one of his ancestors was the first Japanese to visit Vincent van Gogh in his Parisian studio.
Aki Kuroda exhibited for the first time at the age of 10. He likes to say that he has been painting since he could hold a brush.
Aki, 5 years old, Kyoto 1950.
In his youth, he met James Lee Byars who pushed him to compose his first performances. Aki studied art history, travelled, stayed in New York and then in Paris where he definitively settled in 1970.
He rarely visited museums, preferring the atmosphere of the city, the cafés, the streets. He stores up images of places that fascinate him, Carnac, the squares of Rome, the palace of the Facteur Cheval, the phantasmagorical garden of Bomarzo, the bullring and the Corridas of Seville... But above all, he likes to analyze the movement of passers-by in Paris.

Kuroda, installation, Nagoya, 1983
In the 1970s, in Paris, he created installations with dried beans, pieces of wood and fragments of plaster to which he gave the shape of pebbles that he painted and then scattered in large boxes placed on the ground. Without an audience, he clandestinely realized a nightly performance in the Luxembourg Gardens.
Aki Kuroda's first solo exhibition took place in 1978 in Germany. In 1980, he was selected for the 11th Paris Biennial and in 1994 for the Sao Paulo Biennial.

Kuroda for the European Summit in 1987
His works are regularly the subject of major exhibitions: Doland Museum in Shanghai, Museums of Modern Art in Tokyo and Osaka, Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, Museum of Imperial City in Beijing, National Museum in Bratislava, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin, Centre d'Art Bouvet-Ladubay in Saumur, Casa França-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, as well as various art centers and galleries in Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Denmark and the United States...

Installation in the Chapel of the Hôtel Dieu in Troyes, 1989
Masterful public and private commissions mark his career. Aki Kuroda has created murals for architects Tadao Ando, Pistre & Valode, Studio Nikken Sekki and Richard Rogers. Works for the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, the National School of Customs in Tourcoing (work listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments), the Leonardo da Vinci University Center in La Défense, the House of Culture of Japan in Paris, the Mauboussin building in Tokyo, the Otemae Univerity in Japan, the Tokyo Dome City Hall or in a street in Paris, with a monumental painting in front of the Ministry of Culture.
Kuroda for the Museum of Strasbourg, the restaurant.
Aki Kuroda is intimately linked to the literary world. Marguerite Duras accompanies his first exhibition at the Maeght Gallery with an original text. From 1985 to 1994, with Yoyo Maeght and Didier Ottinger - now deputy director of the Centre Pompidou in Paris - they published Noise, an art magazine proposing a confrontation of original works of contemporary artists made in lithography and unpublished texts of poets, writers and philosophers, review to which participated, among others, Jacques Derrida, Michel Serres, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Anne Tronche, Yves Simon, Michel Foucault, Philippe Sollers, Pascal Quignard, Marcellin Pleynet. In 1992 Noise received the Vasari Prize for the best art journal.

Hamlet illustrated by Aki Kuroda for Gallimard, 2017
In 2017, Éditions Gallimard gave him free rein to illustrate Shakespeare's Hamlet in a large volume enhanced by 50 original drawings.
Aki Kuroda plays with space-time, the cosmos, the universe or reality. To feed his imagination, he has not hesitated to get closer to great scientists, astrophysicists like Hubert Reeves, and continues his research with the designers of the Ariane rocket.

Aki Kuroda, Show "Passage de l'heure bleue" Centre Pompidou, 1989

In parallel to his pictorial work, Aki Kuroda creates performance shows in which he mixes different artistic forms. He designs sets for ballets such as Parade, which was taken over by Angelin Preljocaj for the Paris Opera and the Avignon Festival, or Passage de l'heure bleue for the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris.
He says he is a man of passages between cultures, between East and West, between the purified calm of the Zen universe and the swarming of graffiti, between the soul and the body, between archaic myths and the future to be invented.
Aki Kuroda develops freely and in all forms his artistic research, as much in painting, photography, sculpture, architecture, scenography, installation, performance or happening.
Aki Kuroda, "Parade" for the Opéra Garnier de Paris and the Avignon Festival, 1993