Hagoromo Okamoto

from: 01.05.2017   to: 31.07.2017

Multi-media artist Hagoromo Okamoto works across disciplines, focusing on performance and installations which incorporate photographs, films and videos.

His video/performance pieces express the residues of Japanese cultural constraints, coded theatricality and symbolism, transposed to contemporary realms. In his art, he works through the cultural and personal influence of the “father figure,” its presence and its absence; exploring and revealing the “signs of anxiety, repressed emotions and potential violence of men” he discerns in society.

Believing that visual media include not only physical properties but also some inherent essences, Hagoromo aims to leave the interpretation of his imagery more undefined and up to the imagination, in a way that allows people to conjure their own reminiscences and imaginations, expanding upon his concept of “textural memory.” Realizing that memory is constantly re-imagined, his way of working through images and memory offers a possibility at overcoming trauma and complexes.

My interests these days build on that experience by considering how photography and film can involve not only physical properties, but also the “essences” inherent in the images, everything from elements of folklore to personal conversations to scenes from films, poems, or novels. My aim is to place traces of these in space, but in a way that leaves the images more undefined and up to the imagination.

Hagoromo Okamoto, Artist’s Statement

July 29 and 30 2017 Okamoto will present his installation “Ich habe noch nicht mal gefrühstückt,” at SomoS. By way of drawing a psychogram of a distinctly East-German brand of authoritarian paternalism, it applies a Japanese gaze to German-style anxiety.


Born in Nagano, Japan 1990, Okamoto obtained his BA in Contemporary Sociology, majoring in Philosophy, from Wako University, Tokyo. Afterwards, he spent three years working at Zeit-Foto Salon in Japan, a photography gallery, where he deeply cultivated his interest in images and thus decided to pursue his Master of Fine Art at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Okamoto has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions. In 2013 and 2015, he respectively presented his solo projects of “Possible Existence” at Domatotoko, Tokyo and “Blue tarp and forlornness” at art space YORU, Tokyo. Some of his key group exhibitions feature “Aoki Kaoru and Hagoromo Okamoto” at Kimura ASK Gallery, Tokyo in 2013, “Harf-Understood, Harf-Collapse, Harf-Open” at Chinretsukan Gallery, Tokyo University of the Art in 2015, as well as “Art in Yujyuku” at Gunma, Japan in 2016.


Hagoromo Okamoto homepage