Upcoming Exhibitions

AKI INOMATA: Significant Otherness

Sep 14th, 2019 - Jan 13th, 2020


Internationally Renowned Artist AKI INOMATA’s
First Solo Museum Exhibition in Japan to be Held at the Towada Art Center

AKI INOMATA is an artist whose creative process is an artistic collaboration with living creatures. The Towada Art Center is proud to present her first solo exhibition in Japan from 14 September 2019 to 13 January 2020. She is renowned for projects like ​Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?​, in which she uses a 3D printer to create city-like shells for hermit crabs. Through such inter-species collaborations, INOMATA uses humor to question the realities of life on earth.
The exhibition title, ​Significant Otherness,​ is a nod to science historian Donna Haraway and her proposal for a new form of human relationship with other species on earth. In addition to INOMATA’s signature hermit crab “shelter,” Significant Otherness will feature octopus- and ammonite-inspired works, works made from observing clams affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and works that find bagworms wearing scraps of women’s clothing. These works all highlight non-human perspectives and give visitors a chance to reflect on the flow of time, the environment, and the ecosystems of earth.
The exhibition will also see the debut of a new artwork based on the Nanbu breed of horse that once inhabited the region where Towada is located.

photo:Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs? -White Chapel-​, 2014-2015 *Reference image
© AKI INOMATA / Courtesy of Maho Kubota Gallery


Born in 1983. AKI INOMATA graduated with an MFA in Inter-media Art from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008. Her creative process centers around transforming collaborations with living creatures into artworks. These works include ​Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?​, where 3D-printed hermit crab “shelters” are given to the crustaceans who go on to inhabit her ornate creations, and ​I Wear the Dog’s Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair​, in which the artist and her dog wear capes made out of the other’s hair.
Her recent exhibitions include ​Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival at The XXII Triennale di Milano; Thailand Biennale Krabi 2018; AKI INOMATA, Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs? (Musee de Nantes, France, 2018); ​Coming of Age (Sector 2337, Chicago, 2017); KENPOKU ART 2016; ​Eco Expanded City (WRO Art Center, Wroclaw, Poland, 2016); ​emergencies! 025: AKI INOMATA Inter-Nature Communication (NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo, 2015); Digital Choc 2015: la fabrique du réel (Institut français du Japon, Tokyo, 2015); and ​Ars Electronica (Linz, 2014). In 2017, she stayed in New York on an Individual Fellowship Grant from the Asian Cultural Council.

photo: Kenshu Shintsubo



AKI INOMATA: Significant Otherness


Sep 14th, 2019 - Jan 13th, 2020


Towada Art Center


9:00-17:00 (Last admission 30 minutes before closing)


except for National Holidays, in which case the museum is open on the holiday and closed the following Tuesday
*Closed December 28, 2019 through January 1, 2020 for year-end holidays


Towada Art Center


Exhibition + Permanent Collection: 1,200 yen Exhibition only: 800 yen
100 yen/ticket discount for groups of 20 or more High school students and younger: Free

Organized by

Towada Art Center

Endorsed by

To-o Nippo Press, The Daily-Tohoku Shimbun Inc., Aomori Broadcasting Cooperation, Aomori Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd., Asahi Broadcasting Aomori Co., Ltd., & Towada City Board of Education


Kodama Kanazawa

sistant Curator

Sayaka Mitome


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