Yasumasa Morimura was born in 1951 and graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts. He made his debut in 1985 with self-portrait works based on his personal interpretation of Vincent Van Gogh. He has since produced a number of self-portraits in forms of staged photographs and video works that identify with art-historical images, famous film actresses, and iconic figures from the 20th century.
He took part in the seminal group show Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky (Yokohama Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1994–95), which is the first historical survey of postwar Japanese avant-garde art.
The Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale, having witnessed the dramatic change in the Japanese consciousness since experiencing the consequences of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, states the reason for appointing Morimura as follows: “…an effort has been made to access the flexible concepts and views of the artists, whose attitudes and ideas have the potential to help us reexamine our way of living and thinking.” Yokohama Triennale 2014 will be held “to pursue new values that are essential to the current era through the medium of art” with the world view of an artist.
Yasumasa Morirmura has held numerous solo exhibitions in Japanese public museums including the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Yokohama Museum of Art. His most recent touring solo exhibition includes A Requiem: Art on Top of the Battlefield (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and others, 2010–11) and Produced by Morimura Yasumasa MORIENNALE (Takamatsu City Museum of Art and others, 2010–12). Major overseas museum shows of his work have been organized in the United States, France, Spain, Australia, Thailand, and India.
His works are collected in major national and public institutions in Japan and also overseas, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.