YOSHIO KITAYAMA, From Form Forms Form, 2022. Bamboo, paper, copper wire, acrylic, pencil, copper, 165 × 185 × 55 cm. © Yoshio Kitayama, courtesy MEM.

Yoshio Kitayama works with painting and sculpture, with each practice often informing the other. To make his new painting History = Reason ( ) Emotion (2023), for example, the artist followed a ritualistic process, first painstakingly filling the picture plane with renderings of his clay sculptures of human figures and then, once the work was complete, destroying the sculptures and proceeding to make them anew. Aside from the Icon series, to which the aforementioned work belongs, Kitayama continues to make his abstract Universe series. Although works in this series initially portrayed forms reminiscent of actual stars and planets, the most recent additions simply consist of countless millimeter-sized circles and dots covering the entirety of the paper. Kitayama, who works on this series every day, says that each circle depicts a single universe and that the totality of the composition is also another single universe. Through his approaches in both the Icon and Universe series, Kitayama continues his sweeping inquiry into the birth of our world and the endless chain of life.

From September 17 to October 9, 2023, MEM exhibited Kitayama’s drawings. This exhibition focuses on his sculptures.



  • E3
  • Ebisu

NADiff A/P/A/R/T 3F
1-18-4 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku

Tel. 81-(3)-6459-3205

MEM (Multiply Encoded Messages) was founded in Osaka in 1997 and moved to Tokyo in 2010. The gallery serves as an intersectional zone between artists and the public: a collaborative arena where experimental projects and artworks are conceived and exhibited, and where the multiplication of encoded messages can inspire new thinking.

Initially, MEM represented established artists who emerged in the 1980s in the Kansai region and were using new mediums such as video and photography, including Tomoaki Ishihara, Yoshio Kitayama, Chie Matsui, Kimiyo Mishima, and Yasumasa Morimura. Upon relocating to Tokyo, the gallery extended its program to add emerging artists, such as Ayano Sudo and Natsuko Tanihara. It also strengthened its focus on photography by organizing exhibitions for Antoine d'Agata, Ken Kitano, Katsumi Omori, and other contemporary photographers.