Tokyo Contemporary Art Award (TCAA): Winner

Haji Oh

17 Jan 2024

Established in 2018, the Tokyo Contemporary Art Award (TCAA) is dedicated to supporting mid-career artists, including aiding in expanding their careers into international arenas. For the TCAA 2024-2026, Lesley Ma, Associate Curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, joined the selection committee. After thorough studio visits and interviews by the six-member committee, Umeda Tetsuya and Oh Haji were selected as the award winners. The award ceremony and symposium are scheduled for Saturday 17 February 2024.

Haji Oh’s work stands out for its balanced emphasis on both the broad strokes of history and the nuanced stories of individuals often overlooked in grand historical narratives. Her textile creations, through the mediums of dyeing and weaving, represent the intricate tapestry of geopolitics, women’s history, and the narratives of migration and immigration. Oh’s extensive research into textile techniques and materials, viewed as elements of material culture, her high level of craftsmanship, and her conceptual approach to subject matter have earned her considerable acclaim. Her current body of work is also highly commended not only for highlighting the lives of individuals but also for its intersectional approach to examining class and labor, which has the potential to forge connections with history, as well as with contemporary issues related to gender, migration, and environmental concerns.

TCAA was established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Arts and Space (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) in 2018 as a contemporary art award for mid-career artists active in Japan whose work, including work developed overseas, inspires expectations of potential for even greater achievements. Particular importance is given to the need to provide the best possible support at the optimal time in the artists’ career. The selection process includes research on the artists and visits to their studios by members of the international selection committee, to deepen their understanding of the artist’s thinking, style, and career stage.
The winners will receive several years of continuous support, including, in addition to funding for overseas activities, the opportunity to show their work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and the publication of a monograph. To enrich the support for artists, from this year we have upgraded the support for overseas activities and extended the supporting periods.