Keita Morimoto: Contrasting Memories

September 10 - October 1, 2022






Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce Contrasting Memories, an exhibition of new paintings by Keita Morimoto. The exhibition will open on September 10th and run until October 1st, with an opening day reception on Saturday, September 10th from 1 – 3 pm. This is Morimoto’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. 

Internationally renowned artist Keita Morimoto’s luminous cityscapes and portraits are painted in a classical technique that blends fantastical elements with real locations he finds in Tokyo and Toronto. His amplified use of colour and cinematic compositions transform everyday streets scenes into extraordinary worlds. While his paintings are dreamy, aesthetic tributes to storefronts, parking lots and other everyday urban encounters, underlying tones of isolation and displacement allude to concerns for the structural fragility and moral codes of contemporary life. 


When Morimoto returned to Japan in 2021 after spending 15 years in Canada, he found new resonance in the streets of Tokyo. He was especially drawn to the vending machines that are everywhere in the city and often in unexpected places. These illuminated boxes are a visual focal point in Morimoto’s paintings, like portals into another time and place and exemplify his interest in the historically symbolic motif of light. Using chiaroscuro, he combines its natural and sacred connotations with products of consumerist and industrial culture. 


Morimoto’s recent fascination with Japanese architecture and the juxtaposition of old and new buildings is conveyed in his large diptych at the centre of this exhibition, Contrasting Memories. The title, part of a quote extracted from Haruki Murakami’s novel 1Q84, reflects on people’s disparate memories and realities, co-existing in one place. The panoramic painting acts as a visual metaphor, depicting two adjacent streets in opposing architectural styles populated with figures engaged in concurrent but distinct narratives.