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Tatsumi Orimoto

Updated: Apr 26



Filmed and directed by David Bickerstaff

Produced by David Bickerstaff, Julia Waugh and Mark Waugh

HD video | 16:9 | 30 min


This film is a personal portrait of the controversial Japanese artist Tatsumi Orimoto who is globally famous for his 'Breadman' performances and a series of deeply intimate works made with his elderly mother Odai, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Orimoto is constantly making new work and thinks of daily life as art itself. Told in his own voice, Tatsumi's extraordinary story raises difficult questions about what art can be and how we respond to it. Through his highly individual and thought provoking work, he uses the power of drawing, sculpture and performance to challenge the fine line between private life and public action.


In the early 70s Orimoto spent time in New York taking part in the Fluxus movement along side with other artists such as John Cage, Yoko Ono and Joseph Beuys. The performances of Orimoto that follow his return to Japan are a translation of ideas from these international origins but they speak intimately to the local post war context of Japanese culture. When his father died, Tatsumi took on the responsiblity of caring for his elderly mother who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Over a period of 22 years, he collaborated with his mother to make a series of powerful photo and video works called 'Art Mama'.


With unique access to record Tatsumi at work in his studio and at home in Kawasaki City, this film gives an unique insight into one of Japan's most enduring and inventive, contemporary artists.


Contributions byTatsumi Orimoto, Odai Orimoto and Noritoshi Motoda.


All images courtesy of Art Mama Foundation with special thanks to Aoyama Meguro Gallery, Marq Bailey, Port Eliot Estate, and Julia Waugh.

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