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Shinkichi Tajiri (USA/Holland 1923‑2009)


To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 9 – 12 November 2021

Lot 12 Shinkichi Tajiri (USA/Holland 1923‑2009). Untitled. Bronze, Height 60 cm.

Executed in the 1960s.


150.000 – 200.000 SEK
€ 15.000 – 20.000


An Important Private Swedish Collection.

In context

Shinkichi Tajiri’s striking sculpture 

”In Amsterdam, 1956, I found a soft red firebrick used in constructing ovens. I carved and engraved the bricks – sometimes up to 100 pieces – and assembled them into one large mould. The mould was then filled with molten bronze and later broken open to reveal the sculpture”.

 – Shinkichi Tajiri

Shinkichi Tajiri was born in Los Angeles in 1923, as a child of first-generation immigrants to the USA from Japan. He was the fifth of seven children to Ryukichi Tajiri and Fuyo Kikuta, who had moved to the United States in 1906 and 1913. The Japanese attack on the US airfield in Hawaii in 1941, forced Tajiri’s family to evacuate to the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona. In an attempt to leave the camp, Tajiri volunteered for the army and joined the all-Japanese American regiment. The war experience inspired him to pursue a career as an artist and through his art he was able to transform his visions into reality. Tajiri’s first lessons in sculpture were received from Donal Hord, and from 1946 to 1948 he attended the Chicago Art Institute. Along with his studies, he worked for the sculptor Isamu Noguchi in New York. 

In 1949, Tajiri travelled to Paris where he studied with Ossip Zadkine and Fernand Léger. The same year he exhibited his works at the COBRA exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, after meeting artists Karel Appel and Corneille. Tajiri primarily worked as a sculptor during his life but also created award-winning films, videos, stereo and panoramic photos and works on paper.

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Jeanna Ahlin


Modern och samtida konst
Tel: 0734-32 41 45

Sofie Bexhed


Tel: 0705-22 61 62

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