Overview

I AM STILL ALIVE

Japanese artist On Kawara has based the entirety of his collection of books, paintings, and drawings on the arbitrariness and subjectivity of the way we measure time. Many of his projects are ongoing, making Kawara himself, as the recorder of time, one of the primary materials in his conceptual works.

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Biography

Kawara was a cryptic figure who never gave interviews or disclosed information about his past. Even on the biography page of the catalog, it gives no information. It’s a blank page stating only that he had been alive for 29,771 days.

On Kawara (1932 – 2014) was a Japanese conceptual artist who lived in New York City from 1965. Kawara belonged to a broadly international generation of Conceptual artists that began to emerge in the mid-1960s, stripping art of personal emotion, reducing it to nearly pure information or idea and greatly playing down the art object. Along with Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Hanne Darboven and others, Kawara gave special prominence to language. From January 4, 1966, Kawara made a long series of “Date paintings” (the Today series), which consist entirely of the date on which the painting was executed in simple...

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