His paintings have appeared in his films, particularly Hani-bi, but at the Fondation Cartier, Takeshi Kitano was given entirely free rein to construct whatever exhibition he wanted. In response he has created a site-specific show that is half-art installation, half-children’s playground. “With this exhibition I was attempting to expand the definition of ‘art’, to make it less conventional, less snobby, more casual and accessible to everyone,” he says.
Installation views, photos: Grégoire Eloy
The exhibition arose from a meeting with the Fondation’s director, Hervé Chandès, and is specifically geared towards children, including various pieces that audiences can interact with, including a store where visitors can hire paintball guns to fire at the large dinosaurs in the space. Also part of the show is a giant sewing machine and various funfair attractions, including a marionette theatre and a waffle stand.
Preparatory sketches for the exhibition
All this jollity may seem surprising to those familiar with Takeshi Kitano’s film ouevre, which tends towards the darker sides of life. But paintings and other imagery related to his films also form part of the exhibition, alongside excerpts from his Japanese TV comedy shows. Fun for all the family.
Top image: Imperial Army Elephant, 2010; bottom image: Hippopotamus-ranchu, 2010. Photos: Yoshinaga Yasuaki. All images shown © Office Kitano
Gosse de peintre by Beat Takeshi Kitano is on show at Fondation Cartier throughout the summer, until September 12. More info is at fondation.cartier.com.