‘JR: Could Art Change the World?’


by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

A self-described “photograffeur,” French artist JR’s artwork is based on flyposting giant photographic images in public spaces to offer a form of social commentary. In “Portrait of a Generation” (2006), he brought attention to the community in Montfermeil, France, by flyposting portraits of teens and young adults, a generation that was too often unfairly associated with the 2005 riots. His 2008 “Women are Heroes” paid tribute to the local women of a favela in Rio de Janeiro, a community whose women have often fallen victim to crime, rape, religious conflicts and other social injustices.

This is JR’s first-ever solo exhibition and it showcases several of his projects chronologically, including one that highlights the resilience of Japanese locals who survived the disasters of March 11, 2011; till June 2.

Watari-um, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art; (03) 3402-3001; 3-7-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Gaienmae Station, Ginza Line. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (Wed. till 9 p.m.). ¥1,000. Closed Mon. (except April 29, May 6). www.watarium.co.jp.