Brain Wave, 2020
Colour pencil on postcard.

Toru Otani uses the back side of sandpapers, empty cigarette packages and vintage maps as a canvas and guide for his interventions. The objects, such as prewar textbooks, used notes and postcards, which become the foundation for his works are often sourced in internet auctions. Attracted to enigmatic marks and images such as human hand, the sun, eyeballs, etc., Otani uses colored pencils to erase the excess elements and information which might identify the marks’ meaning. Otani says this process reminds him of “the feeling of seeing an abandoned billboard for a brief moment while driving down a national road, but somehow you cannot get it out of your head”. For Otani, an artwork is something like this; it's hard not to look at and think about, even though you don't understand the importance of its existence.

Born in Kanagawa, Japan, 1988

Lives and works in Tokyo
2015 MFA, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo 2013 BFA, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo