Nobutaka Aozaki

Artist Files Fellow

Nobutaka Aozaki is a multi-media artist inspired by his experience of immigrating to New York City from Japan. He creates exchanges with people he meets in the city and collects traces of this contact, such as drawings used to give directions, portraits drawn on plastic smiley-face bags or Starbucks cups with names and coffee orders, and re-presents them as evidence of himself in space with others. Aozaki relies on making the artist invisible, so that the people he encounters are unaware of their participation in an art project. By diminishing his role as author of his own works, he is able to give and receive as an ordinary person, transforming a familiar, throwaway item into a memento of human contact.

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