New York-based Japanese artist Noritoshi Hirakawa says he tackles provocative themes of religion, gender sexuality and human corporeality in the hope of awakening public interest in the relationship between the individual and society.

His work, which includes photography and installations, challenges viewers to consider the role of art in society, while his treatment of social taboos and seeming indifference to traditional aesthetic values have led many to view him as a conceptual artist.

Hirakawa’s artwork has been featured in more than 300 exhibitions worldwide. This is the first large-scale retrospective of his work in Japan; till June 10.

The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma; (027) 346 5560; 992-1, Watanukimachi, Takasaki, Gunma; Takasaki Station, JR Takasaki Line. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥ 600. Closed Mon. www.mmag.pref.gunma.jp/english/index.htm.

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