Isobe Yukihisa


Born in Tokyo in 1935. Since 1950s, the artist produced relief works featuring repeated patterns of badges in prints and wooden frames and gained attention in the 1960s. Moved to the United States in 1965. Explored sculpture using air, such as floating sculptures with parachutes and wind, and air domes filled with air in vinyl structures. Collaborated with visual artists using these as screens. Designed and contributed a giant air dome for events like the “Summer Happening” at the Phoenix House drug rehabilitation facility and the first iteration of the Earth Day as a space for debates and discussions, workshops, and music performances. Studied Ecological Planning under Ian L. McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on forming regional environments using resources such as weather, geology, topography, water, soil, plants, and cultural history. Returned to Japan and worked on ecological planning, environmental management plans, and environmental planning commissioned by national and local governments. In recent years, the artist has engaged in projects combining ecological planning with social and cultural anthropology methodology. The artist has been deeply involved with the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale since 2000, presenting works visualising and representing the historical and cultural connections between the Shinanogawa River, changes in river currents, traces of landslides, and history of Echigo-Tsumari and its people.

Scheduled for June 2024 in Philadelphia, US, the parachute canopy will be presented as part of Community of Images: Japanese Moving Image Artists in the US, 1960s-1970s exhibition organized by Collaborative Cataloging Japan, in partnership with Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and Philadelphia Art Alliance at the University of the Arts.

Other notable exhibitions include:
2022: “Les Êtres Lieux” at the Paris Japan Cultural Centre
2021-22: “Aerodream –Architecture, Design, Inflating Structures” in Paris
2020: “Things Entangling” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

1950-2020: Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine (Paris, France), Co-curated with The Centre Pompidou-Metz (France)
2018: World of Yukihisa Isobe – from code to environment: Yukihisa Isobe Memorial 
Echigo-Tsumari Kiyotsu Soko Museum of Art (Niigata)
2013: Solo exhibition at Ichihara Lakeside Museum (Chiba), Setouchi Triennale (Kagawa)
2000-2023 Various artworks including “Where Has the River Gone?” at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (Niigata)
2007: Solo exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (Tokyo)



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