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A work made of one gelatin silver print and two chromogenic prints.
© Koji Enokura.

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  • A work made of one gelatin silver print and two chromogenic prints.




Koji Enokura
Japanese, 1942-1995

About this artwork

Koji Enokura was one of the leading practitioners of Mono-ha, the Japanese art movement that began in Tokyo in 1968 and continued into the early 1970s. Roughly translated, Mono-ha means “school of things” and references the materials, both natural and man-made, used by the artists affiliated with the movement. These “things” included dirt, glass, grease, oil, paper, plastic, rope, stone, and steel. Defining Mono-ha by materials alone denies a crucial aspect of the movement: the arrangement and placement of objects in space, and the object’s relationship to the viewer as well. As Enokura stated, “making the viewer become aware of his position in relation to the work is also something which the Mono-ha artists aimed for.”

Connections can certainly be made between Mono-ha and its western counterparts of Conceptualism, Minimalism, Process Art and Earthworks. Mono-ha artists influenced by Eastern philosophies, aimed for more subtle effect than many of their Western counterparts. Indeed, much of their work relied on temporal—often ephemeral—propositions. Unlike many of the artworks of the west, they were not intended to last a lifetime. As such, photographic documentation became extremely important to Mono-ha artists. For Enokura it was crucial. He had no desire to recreate his original installations, and as time went on, the photographic document invariably (by default) became the work of art.

Symptom, 1973 is a triptych that is recorded in a similar fashion. For this installation Enokura used soil or clay to create a form that traverses a museum wall, creeping over a picture rail and an air vent in the process. One large black and white photograph captures the entire event, while two smaller color Polaroids provide supplementary evidence—one can be seen as a study for the larger black and white and the other is a detail of the intervention between form and space.


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Photography and Media


Koji Enokura



Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



One gelatin silver print and two chromogenic prints


Gelatin silver print: 43.2 × 35.9 cm (17 1/16 × 14 3/16 in.); Chromogenic prints, each: 8.8 × 8.8 cm (3 1/2 × 3 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Claire and Gordon Prussian Fund for Contemporary Art; Contemporary Art Discretionary Fund

Reference Number



© Koji Enokura.

Extended information about this artwork

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