Striving to be a real global art collection, the Taguchi Art Collection pays increasing attention to works by African and African diaspora artists. As part of its initiatives to promote African contemporary art in Japan, the Taguchi Art Collection launched the African Contemporary Art Book Collection (ACABC) in 2020. Curated by Nakamura Yuko, a doctoral student in African contemporary art, the ACABC collects exhibition catalogs of museums or biennials, academic books on art history and contemporary cultures, and art fair catalogs and market reports. On our website, we introduce the literature with commentaries on each item.

In recent decades, Africa has been expanding and has established its presence in the world of international art and decentralized contemporary art. Recently, new initiatives for developing local art ecosystems are active in the continent, and interesting programs by museums, art centers, and biennials are emerging one after another, decolonizing and updating art itself. With these trends under way, Africa will certainly play a significant role in 21st-century art.

The ACABC project offers the public audience basic information about must-read books, historically important exhibitions, power galleries, and key figures in the African contemporary art scene. Also, we aim at visualizing the strong presence of Africa in the contemporary art world, a history of the scene’s global expansion, and the development of the continent’s art ecosystem by presenting the list of books and commentary. In Japan, information and representations of Africa are still biased, and at the same time, information about contemporary art is still Western-centered. We hope this project contributes to decolonizing art discourse in Japan.


Nakamura Yuko

Nakamura Yuko is a Ph.D. student of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies. She received her B.A. in Law from the University of Tokyo. She studies modern and contemporary art using a method of art history and anthropology, with a focus on art infrastructure and the art ecosystem. Her scholarly interests include comparative research between Asia and Africa, ceramic history, and contemporary ceramics. She is a lecturer and author in multiple media. Her writings include “Fieldwork in the Art Scene: Places and People Surrounding African Contemporary Art,” Contemporary African Culture–Fifteen Perspectives (Eds. Oussouby Sacko and Shimizu Takao. Seigensha, 2020)

List of Books

Japanese Books
[Exhibition Catalogues]
An Inside Story: African Art of Our Time / Setagaya Art Museum, Japan, etc., 1995
AFRICA REMIX: Contemporary Art of a Continent / Mori Art Museum, Japan, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany, etc., 2006
A Fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui / National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan, etc., 2008
Yinka Shonibare CBE: Flower Power / Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, 2019

[Academic Books]
Contemporary Art from Africa: Seeking for a Site Where Multiple Narratives can Coexist, Yukiya Kawaguchi, 2011
Anthropology of African Arts: Arts, Practices, and Lives of Artists in Ile-Ife, Nigeria / Shirabe Ogata, 2017
Today’s African Contemporary Culture: exploring its present locality from 15 different perspectives / Oussouby Sacko, Takao Shimizu (ed.), 2020

Foreign Books
[Exhibition Catalogues]
Magiciens de la terre / Centre Georges Pompidou et Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris, France, 1989
Africa Explores: 20th Century African Art / Center for African Art, New York, US, 1990
Documenta 11, Platform 5: Ausstellung | Exhibition: Ausstellungsorte | Exhibition Venues / Kassel, Germany, 2002
Arts of Africa: The Contemporary Collection of Jean Pigozzi / Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, 2005
Magiciens de la terre Retour sur une exposition légendaire / Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, 2014
PANGAEA: New Art from Africa and Latin America / Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, 2014
PANGAEA II: New Art from Africa and Latin America / Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, 2015
Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko / Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France, 2015
Being There: South Africa, A Contemporary Art Scene / Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France, 2017
“The insiders”, a selection of works (1989-2009) from the Contemporary African Art Collection of Jean Pigozzi / Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France, 2017
Congo Stars / Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, etc., 2018
Ghana Freedom, Ghana Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia / Venice, Italy, 2019
Kinshasa Chroniques / La Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Paris, France, 2020-2021

[Art Fairs]
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2016
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2017

[Gallery Catalogues]
While The Harvest Rots: Possessing Worlds of Kudzanai Chiurai’s Art / Goodman Gallery, 2017
La Sfinge Nera II, Dal Marocco al Madagascar / Primo Marella Galler, 2018
Africa Universe / Primo Marella Gallery, 2019
Joël Andrianomearisoa / Primo Marella Gallery, 2020

[Books & Catalogues]
Angaza Afrika: Afrian Art Now / Chris Spring, 2008
Contemporary African Art since 1980 / Okwui Enwezor, Chika Okeke-Agulu, 2009
Kumasi Realism, 1951-2007: An African Modernism / Atta Kwami, 2014
Africa 21e siècle: La photographie contemporaine africaine / Ekow Eshun, 2020