Current Exhibitions

Oscar Oiwa: Dreams of a Sleeping World
January 10, 2020 – April 26, 2020


About the Exhibition / The immersive art of Oscar Oiwa: Dreams of a Sleeping World asks visitors a poignant question indicative of this historical moment: What do we do when we are paralyzed by the chaos of our times? Oiwa is concerned that when the noise of our everyday world impedes our radiant minds, we shut down. In this gravitational pull of “sleep” we look to our dreams to reset, searching our subconscious for nourishment and hoping for wisdom to better face the dysfunction of our world. To that end, Oiwa invites visitors to enter his 360° dreamscape to transform the clenched fist of our hearts into open hands. Scheduled to debut at the USC Pacific Asia Museum on January 10, 2020, this exhibition features an installation of a new immersive space, created specific for USC PAM, and large-scale artworks for which Oiwa is renown.

Immersive Dreamscape Dome and Exhibited Artworks / The public will be invited to enter into and become part of this new Oiwa Dreamscape. Installed at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the inflatable artwork requires 2 weeks of work and 120 sharpie markers, as Oiwa draws alongside his artisan assistant and four MFA students from USC. Complimenting this immersive experience is a dynamic installation of Oiwa’s large scale paintings shedding light on his surrealist and imaginative dreamscapes.

Bio / Oscar Oiwa is a Japanese artist born in 1965 in São Paulo, Brazil. Now an American citizen, Oiwa lives and works in New York City. Oiwa graduated from the School of Architecture and Urbanism in São Paulo in 1989 and was influenced by comics and illustration from an early age. He is known for his giant canvases and large frescoes. Oiwa has exhibited internationally and his work is included in renowned private and public collections. Important solo exhibitions since 1990 include the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Mori Museum of Art, Tokyo; Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ and the House of Culture of Japan in Paris. His work has been included in group exhibitions at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Busan Museum of Art, Busan, South Korea; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan; Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan; Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA;  Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan; Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex, Kiev, Ukraine; Phoenix Museum of Art, Phoenix, AZ; Shoto Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Takamatsu Art Museum, Takamatsu, Japan; Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA; and WhiteBox, New York, NY. Oiwa received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1997 and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2001.

Following the Box
September 13, 2019 – February 2, 2020

Following the Box is an art exhibition inspired by a collection of found photographs by guest curators, Alan Teller and Jerri Zbiral, taken in India by an unknown U.S. serviceman towards the end of WWII.

The exhibit features:

  • 30 vintage 4×5” photographs, a selection from the 127 images in the collection.
  • The creative work of 12 contemporary artists—2 American and 10 Indian—inspired by the old photos. Artistic disciplines include painting, photography, film, mixed-media, installation, graphic arts, graphic novel, book art and folk art.
  • A documentary film that would be screened at selected times during the exhibition.
  • A series of public lectures on the strong historical and cultural relationship between India and the United States; on the implications of a cross-cultural look at historical imagery; on the stories that can emerge from exploring family album photos; on the impact that digital technology will have on the future’s visual understanding of the past.
  • Workshops with several of the participating Indian artists, all experienced teachers.

Following the Box employed a unique collaborative approach that involves the curators as working artists—participant conduits—whose artistic efforts are shown alongside that of their Indian colleagues, a self-reflective exploration of historic images using a cross-cultural perspective. Each artist was given digital and/or print copies of the photographs and asked to incorporate the images directly into their work; deconstruct them; or simply use the images as a catalyst for their imagination.

Photographs are both windows to another time and place and mirrors of ourselves and the diverse worlds in which we live. The curators’ goal is to explore different methods of understanding the images, opening a dialogue about the ways in which American and Indian perspectives and memories might vary. At a time when different interpretations are often feared, this exhibit rejoices in those differences.

Following the Box is a visual conversation between Americans and Indians across space, time and culture, a mystery tale of old photographs and a celebration of new artistic interpretations. For more information on the exhibition, visit:

Participating Artists: