Tadaaki Kuwayama is born in Nagoya, an industrial city in central Japan. Though a graduate from Tokyo National University of Art in traditional nihonga (Japanese) painting, he finds himself uninterested in the strict nihonga practice, neither the contemporary Japanese art of the time. In 1958, he moves to New York with his wife and fellow artist, Rakuko Naito. He discovers the contemporary art scene in America and creates his own distinctive style. Throughout the 1960s, Kuwayama focuses on creating square and monochrome works, each subdivided by vertical and horizontal metal strips. He fabricates the allusion to artificial colors and industrial materials, by varnishing the surface and adding a glossy layer. In 1970, Kuwayama starts to make large-scale works in rectangular sections. He moves on from vivid colors to metallic colors, sometimes alternated with pale colors fields, such as pink and beige. The following decade marks a period of renewed experimentation for the artist, as he explores oil paint and new three-dimensional textures. While his body of works in the 1980s differs from what came before, his works still contain elements of his early practice, such as interweaving paper strips. During the 1990s, Kuwayama’s experiments of industrial productions, further remove human traces in his works. Kuwayama’s utilization of metallic and reflective materials direct viewers’ attention to the spatial environment. With his work, the artist intends to present a purified form of beauty and deliver a pure art experiment. Recently, Kuwayama’s works are on display in National Gallery Singapore’s ongoing exhibition ‘MINIMALISM: SPACE. LIGHT. OBJECT’. alongside the artists, Marko Rothko, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, etc. Kuwayama’s has been the subject of numerous major exhibitions at significant museums, including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the Chiba City Museum of Art.

Selected Artworks

  • Untitled 9/10

  • TK1360-18

  • TK259-3/4-18