Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jesus Christ Yamagiwa Electric Corporation Ltd.

Title: Jesus Christ/Yamagiwa Electric Corporation Ltd.
Artist: Tadanori Yokoo
Medium: Printed four color poster
Size: 73.0 x 102.9 cm
Date: 1974
Location: Various; Edition of 1974.

John 14:1-30 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” [...] Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you [...]”

This poster was used as a window display by an electric light company, and for the simple reason that it was produced in 1974, exactly 1,974 copies were printed. The sacred triangular symbol above the head of Christ is taken from the Tantra Art. As always, Yokoo is perfectly willing to use one religion’s sacred symbol to express the idea of another religion. In Tantrism a triangular shape with the apex pointing downwards represents the feminine creative energy of the universe, yet Yokoo’s inclusion of the triangle here, it has been given no more significance than a Christian symbol representing the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Tadanori Yokoo (June 1936) is a Japanese graphic designer, illustrator, printmaker and painter. Born in Nishiwaki, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, he is one of Japan's most successful and internationally recognized graphic designers and artists. He began his career as a stage designer for avant garde theatre in Tokyo. By the late 60s he had already achieved international recognition for his work and was included in the 1968 "Word & Image" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Four years later MoMA mounted a solo exhibition of his graphic work organized by Mildred Constantine.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your thorough background explanation of this amazing image by Tadanori Yokoo. A friend referred me to it because the pink triangle is also a symbol of the gay and lesbian community -- and I do a blog about LGBT Christian art. I hope to blog about this artwork in the future.

    You might enjoy visiting my blog, the Jesus in Love Blog. For example, I just completed a major series on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by artist Douglas Blanchard, which shows Jesus as a gay man in a modern city. I also post many icons of queer saints.