Meiro Koizumi, Battlelands, Installation view at White Rainbow, London, 2018 © Meiro Koizumi. Courtesy White Rainbow, London Photography: Damian Griffiths


Meiro Koizumi, Battlelands, Installation view at White Rainbow, London, 2018 © Meiro Koizumi. Courtesy White Rainbow, London Photography: Damian Griffiths


Meiro Koizumi, Battlelands, Installation view at White Rainbow, London, 2018 © Meiro Koizumi. Courtesy White Rainbow, London Photography: Damian Griffiths


Meiro Koizumi, Battlelands, Installation view at White Rainbow, London, 2018 © Meiro Koizumi. Courtesy White Rainbow, London Photography: Damian Griffiths


Meiro Koizumi, Battlelands, Installation view at White Rainbow, London, 2018 © Meiro Koizumi. Courtesy White Rainbow, London Photography: Damian Griffiths


Meiro Koizumi, Sleeping Boy, 2015 © Meiro Koizumi. Courtesy White Rainbow, London Photography: Damian Griffiths

Meiro Koizumi


22 November 2018 – 12 January 2019

White Rainbow is proud to announce Battlelands, a solo exhibition of film, photography and sculpture by Japanese artist and filmmaker Meiro Koizumi (b. 1976, Gunma, Japan). This is the artist’s first UK solo exhibition.

In his compelling and challenging body of work, Koizumi examines a range of complex issues: power dynamics on scales both familial and national; the tension between staged and authentic emotion; and the conflict between duty and desire. Koizumi’s artistic practice is shaped by and often directly addresses the political and military history of his native Japan, and its impact on culture and society in the present. Japan’s Peacetime Constitution – a reaction against the brutal militarism of Japanese imperialism – has seen pacifism become central to Japanese identity. Yet the imagery of war looms large over the Japanese psyche today, with on-going debates in the media over how long the peacetime order will hold. This is the context in which Koizumi has worked for the last ten years.

In Koizumi’s provocative performances and constructed scenarios, the artist employs techniques of disruption, repetition and manipulation of his subjects to create extreme emotional reactions. Koizumi intervenes in his works whether directly or indirectly to reveal the fragility of the human psyche and the multi-layered relationships between the voices of power and the multitude or the individual, challenging conventional and official accounts.

At the centre of Koizumi’s white rainbow exhibition is Battlelands (2018): an expansive new body of work four years in the making, which developed on from the artist’s work surrounding the history of Kamikaze pilots and the psychology behind such radical action. Spanning a new single-channel film and still photography, the project sees Koizumi work for the first time with non-Japanese subjects, engaging United States veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Five veterans recount traumatic experiences during these past military conflicts, while wearing body-cams that record images of their current domestic spaces and landscapes in the US. Koizumi seeks to capture banal and ordinary images from his subjects’ daily lives, attempting to construct another kind of image of war. The work articulates how traumatic memories of conflict impact the everyday for these individuals.

The soldiers interviewed came of age at the time of 9/11, and all strongly believed in the political justification for the wars they fought in. As Dave Grossman notes in his book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, only 2% of soldiers feel no guilt after killing an enemy combatant. Battlelands looks at the long-term consequence of warfare: how the experience of being on the battlefield involves putting one’s body in a space outside of our ‘normal moral system’, as the artist has stated. Consequently, many veterans suffer in the transition from the reality of war to civilian life, which can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), whether diagnosed or not. For Koizumi, video is most able to articulate these veterans’ lives, as it can: ‘represent the complexity of multi-layered physiological states in tangible form.’ The film recasts the imagery of a soldier from visions of heroism in popular culture into a more vulnerable portrait of a civilian living with past horrors.

A sense of dread suffuses the lone work installed in White Rainbow’s smaller gallery space. Sleeping Boy (2015) is a rare foray into sculpture for Koizumi, which was made following the birth of the artist’s son. Just as the threat of flashbacks haunt the military veterans, Koizumi was plagued by fear of his son dying. He realised he had a primal instinct to protect his son. To deal with his anxiety, every night Koizumi copied the shape of his son’s head, hands, and feet, subsequently producing a clay sculpture.

For Koizumi, medals are the only way to celebrate military personnel, which in turn value heroism, bravery and sacrifice. What goes unrewarded is the struggle with weakness and vulnerability after the fact. Koizumi tries to redress this here in his poetic portrait of military veterans, and in his own deep psychological fears surrounding the safety of his family.

Meiro Koizumi (1976, Gunma, Japan) investigates the boundaries between the private and the public, a domain of specific importance to his native Japanese culture. His videos are often based on performances and constructed scenarios. He places characters, played by himself or others, in awkward situations. Often starting harmoniously he gradually heightens the tension manipulating the situation from humorous to painful. His performances focus and enlarge the moment when a situation gets out of control, becomes embarrassing or breaks social rules.

b. 1976, Gunma, Japan
Lives and works in Yokohama, JP

Solo Exhibitions
2018 Battlelands, White Rainbow, London, UK
2018 Battlelands, Perez Art Museum, Miami, USA
2016 Air, MUJIN-TO Production, Tokyo, Japan
2016 Today My Empire Sings, De Hallen, Haarlem NL
2016 In Between the night and sleepwalkers, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2015 Arts Maebashi, Maebashi, JP
2015 Portrait of a Failed Silence, MUAC – Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico
2015 Trapped Voice Would Dream of Silence, Arts Maebashi, Gunma, JP
2014 Testsite, Austin, Texas, USA
2014 Theory on the Desk, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, FR
2014 Double Projection, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2013 BMW Tate live: Performance Room, Tate Modern, London
2013 Art Projections, Annet Gellink Gallery, Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL
2013 Museum of Modern Art, New York, US
2012 Defect in Vision, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2012 Centro de Arte de Caja de Burgos (CAB), Burgos, ES
2012 Human Opera, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, VN
2011 Broken Heroes, Beautiful Afternoons, Artspace, Sydney, AU My voice would reach you,
2011 LOOP ART FAIR, Barcelona, ES
2010 Total Ecstasy, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2010 Alon Levin presents Art Shows: Meiro Koizumi, KLEMM’s projectroom 7d5e, Berlin, DE
2010 The Love Supreme, Gallery Raku, Kyoto Zokei University, Kyoto, JP
2009 The Corner of Sweet and Bitter, Open Satellite, Bellevue WA, US
2009 My Voice would Reach You – A Survey of the First Ten Years, 2000 – 2009, Hedreen Gallery, Seattle, WA, US
2009 MAM Project 009, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
2008 Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, US
2007 XXX: Trilogy, Dicksmith Gallery, London, UK
2006 Portrait of M., Zinger presents, Tilburg, NL
2006 Annet Gelink Gallery, The Bakery, Amsterdam, NL
2005 Mary Mary, Glasgow, UK
2005 Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo, BR
2005 Jap, Window Gallery, Antwerp, BE
2004 Powerlessly Hardcore, The Dicksmith Gallery, London, UK

Group Exhibitions
2018 Visions of Exchange, Mercedes – Benz Art Scope Award 2018 2009 – 2017, Daimler Contemporary, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
2018 Art Basel, with Annet Gelink Gallery, Basel, CH
2018 10th Asia Art Biennial, Taiwan Museum of Art, Taiwan
2017 Faits alternatifs, FRAC Poitou – Charentes, Angoulême, FR
2016 Theatre Dreams of a Beautiful Afternoon – Part 2, Manifesta Office, Amsterdam, NL
2016 Theatre Dreams of a Beautiful Afternoon – Part 1, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2016 The Time is Out of Joint, SharjahBiennial, (United Arab Emirates)
2016 Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection ― From Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer ― Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan
2015 Trans – Northeast Asia, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
2015 Jakarta Biennale, Jakarta, Indonesia
2015 Manual to the Reality, DigiArt Gallery, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei
2015 Stance or Distance?, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan
2015 inToAsia: TBA Festival 2015 (screening), Queens Museum, New York
2015 Don’t Follow the Wind, Non – Visitor Center, Exclusion Zone of the nuclear disaster site, Fukushima, Japan
2015 Demarcation – Akira Takayama + Meiro Koizumi, Ginza Maison Hermès Le Forum, Tokyo
2015 Beyond Hiroshima: The Return of the Repressed, Genia Schreiber University Gallery, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
2015 La chose/The Thing, Centre d’Art Contemporarian la Synagogue de Delme, France Chercher le garcon, Musée d’art contemporain du Val – de – Marne (MAC VAL), France
2015 The Subtle Triangle, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
2015 Invisible Energy, ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2014 Amsterdam Drawing Extended, Annet Gelink, Gallery, Amsterdam, NL Emoties, Gemeentemuseum Helmond, Helmond, NL
2014 Ten Million Rooms of Yearning. Sex in Hong Kong, Para Site, Hong Kong, CN
2014 Shenzhen Biennale, Shenzhen, CN
2014 Wehaveneverparticipated, 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, Shenzhen, CN
2014 Affekte (Affects), Kunstpalais in Erlangen, Erlangen, DE
2014 Will happiness find me?, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2013 Kazeiro no Hana (Dialogue with Future), Arts Maebashi, Gunma
2013 Unknown Forces, MSGSU Tophane – i Amire Culture and Arts Center, Istanbul, TR
2013 KAdE, Now Japan, Amersfoort, NL
2013 If you will it, it is not a dream, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
2013 Roppongi Crossing, Mori Museum, Tokyo
2013 Shame, Fundacion Especial Caja Madrid, Madrid
ArtBO International Art Fair Bogota, CO
2013 Agenda Santiago, En El Cab – CAB Centro de Arte Caja Burgos, Burgos
2013 Move on Asia, Towards a New Art Network 2004 – 2013, City Gallery Wellington, NZ
2013 Move on Asia, video art in Asia 2002 – 2012, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2013 Out of Doubt, Roppongi Crossing, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
2013 Nissan Art Award, Yokohama, JP
2013 Future Generation Art Prize, Venice, IT
2013 Unattained Landscapes, The Japan Foundation, Venice, IT
2012 15th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh 2012, Dhaka
2012 Her name is Abstra, Daido Warehouse, Kyoto
2012 Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize 2012, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, UA
2012 9th Shanghai Biennale, Bandung Pavillion, collaborative work with Duto Hardono
Identity VIII, Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, JP
2012 Experimenta Speak to Me, 5th Biennale of Media Art, Melbourne, AU
2012 Project Liquido, Fundacion Alumnos 47, Mexico City
2012 Emotional Blackmail, Kitchener, Waterloo Art Gallery, Canada
2012 Journey to the West, Japan Foundation in Lalit Kalat Academy, New Delhi, IN
2012 Tokyo Story, Tokyo Wondersite, Tokyo, JP
2011 Impersonale, Miro Foundation in Mallorca, Spain (Performance)
2011 OK Video, 5th Jakarta International Video Festival, Jakarta, ID
2011 After Humanism, Alternative Space LOOP, Seoul, KR
2011 Emotional Blackmail, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, CA
2011 Art Scope 2009 – 2011: Invisible Memories, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo JP
2011 Super 8, Christopher Grimes Gallery, Los Angeles, US
2011 Silent Narrator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, JP
2011 Unknown Sight, Maebashi Museum Pre – event, Gunma, JP
2010 Liverpool Biennial 2010, FACT, Liverpool, UK
2010 Media City Seoul 2010, The 6th Seoul International Biennale of Media Art, Seoul, KR
2010 Yellow Gate, Sangrok Gallery of Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, KR
2010 Last Words 2, 4A Center for Asian Contemporary Art, Sydney, AU
2010 Aichi Triennale, Nagoya, JP
Resonance, Suntory Museum, Osaka, JP
2009 A Blow to Everyday, Osage Gallery, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Hong Kong, CN
2009 Japan Video Window, Galerija Duplex, Sarajevo, BA
2009 Bivouac, Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, US
2009 Re : Membering – Next of Japan, Alternative Space LOOP, Seoul, KR
2008 3rd Nanjing Triennal, Nanjing, CN
2008 Artificial Nature, Shanghai MOCA, Shanghai CN
2008 Life Stories, Gallery TPW, Toronto, CA
2008 Brotherhood of Subterranea, Kunstbunker, Nuremberg, DE
2008 Rehab ! Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal with Christina Jankowski and Meiro Koizumi, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, NL
2008 Persona Non Grata, One in the Other, London, UK
2007 Tussle in Shorthand, Punch Gallery, Seattle, US
2007 It Is Not A Question Of Knowing Whether This Interests You But Rather Whether You Yourself Could Become More Interesting Under New Conditions Of Cultural Creation, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, US
2007 De ontdekking van de traagheid, KW 14, ‘s- Hertogenbosch, NL
2006 War and Nature, Virgile de Voldere Gallery, New York, US Work, Kunstfort, Vijfhuizen, NL
2006 Sexy Politics, Alpha M Project 2005 / vol 8, Art Space Kimura ASK, Tokyo, JP
2006 Hiscox Art Award, Arti et Amicitae, Amsterdam, NL
2005 Hotspots, Essl Collection, Vienna, AU
2005 videoDictionary, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, ES
2005 Relocated Identities/ Part I – Overexposure, Public Space with a Roof, Amsterdam, NL
2004 No Pre / No Con, Galeria Moriarty, Madrid, ES
2004 Mediarena, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, NZ
2004 Old Habits Die Hard, Norwich Gallery (UK),
Kunstnernes Hus, NO
2004 Out the Window, Japan Foundation Forum (Tokyo), Project Space Zip, Seoul, KR
2003 Group VS Show, The Dicksmith Gallery, London, UK
2003 Please Don’t Make Me Cry, Emily Tsingou Gallery, London, UK
2001 Beck’s Futures 2 – Student Film and Video Award, ICA, London, UK
2001 Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK
2001 I Goo Goo, Hothaus, London, UK

Selected screenings and events
2017 IDFA – International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL
2014 Meiro Koizumi: Human Opera xxx VideoGud, Videokonstnätverket , April 24 – May 14 Gävlebor, Uppsala. Dalarna, SE
2014 Meiro Koizumi: FUSEBOX, April 16 – April 27, Austin Texas, USA
2014 Meiro Koizumi on the Fine Line between Humor and Cruelty, April 22, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
2013 Meiro Koizumi: TATE LIVE, June 13
2012 Screening and talk, Goethe Institut Hanoi, February 17, VN
2011 Performance Autopsychobabble # 2, Impersonate, Fundacio Pilar I Joan Miro a Mallorca, Mallorca, ES
2011 Performance Autopsychobabble, Art Basel 42, June 17th, Basel, CH
2011 Panorama, Impakt Festival 2011, Utrecht, NL
2008 Asian Hot Shots Berlin, Festival for Film and Video Art, Berlin, DE
2008 To – Lo Video Screening: Recent Video Art from Japan, The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London, UK
2007 Idiot Joy Showland, The IFC Centre, New York, US
2007 Video Art Screening Vol. 5 – After the News, BankART1929, Yokohama, JP
2007 Art Summer University, Tate Modern, London, UK
2007 Japanese Video Art Screening, Heine Onstad Kunstsenter, NO
2006 Galleries Show, Extra City, Antwerp, BE
2005 Video Art Screening Tokyo Vol. 4 – Dreaming bodies, Asahi Art Squre, Tokyo, JP
2005 Panorama, Impakt Festival 2005, Utrecht, NL
2004 All Tomorrow’s Déjà Vu, Island Art Film and Video Festival 04 (London), Video Mundi, at Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, US
2004 Move on Asia, SBS 1st Floor Atrium,Seoul,KR
2004 Video Art Screening Tokyo Vol. 3 – Paradise Views, Tokyo International Forum Hall D1, Tokyo, JP
2003 In Different Spaces, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, JP
2003 Blowing up Film and Video Festival, The Clerkenwell, London, UK
2002 Not Addressed, Pump House Gallery, London, UK
2002 SCRAMBLE, Brunei Gallery, University of London/Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

Awards, grants and residencies
2018 Residency at MAC VAL, Paris
2014 Kadist Art Foundation, Paris. FR
2013 Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Center – People’s Prize
2012 Residency San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, VN
2010 Art Scope
2009/2010 Daimler Foundation in Japan (DFJ), Berlin, DE
2009 Open Satellite, Bellevue WA, US
2005 Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Jp
2003 Arcus Project, Ibaraki, JP
2001 Beck’s Futures 2 – Student Film and Video Award, 1st prize, London, UK

M+, Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Tate Modern, London, UK
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL
Museum De Hallen, Haarlem, NL
Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, FR
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, JP
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, South Brisbane, AU
FRAC Poitou – Charentes, Angouleme, FR
Takashi Murakami, Tokyo, JP
Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem, NL
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, NL
Caldic Collection, Wassenaar, NL

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