Born in 1946 in Yokosuka and currently based in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture, Noriyuki Haraguchi graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Nihon University College of Arts in 1970. In a career spanning over fifty years, Haraguchi has come to be known as one of the foremost representatives of Monoha, a Tokyo-based art movement active during the late 1960s to the early 1970s which took the ‘thing itself’ as the starting point for artistic production. While carrying on the spirit of Mono-ha, he has continued to produce innovative work which ranges from installations and sculptures to paintings, using a variety of industrial materials including rubber, honeycomb board, polyurethane, car parts and wood. As evident in works such as A-4E Skyhawk (1968-1969), a life-size sculpture of a fighter jet created in the early years of his career, and Oil-Pool (1977), a large steel pool filled with spent oil which he presented at Documenta 6 in Kassel as the first ever Japanese artist to be selected for participation, Haraguchi’s oeuvre exudes a powerful presence stemming from a steadfast engagement with the sheer ‘materiality’ of the materials; and while minimalist in appearance, his work is endowed with a conceptual versatility that gestures toward a wider social context.
Recent solo exhibitions, including his first major retrospective, have been held at Statdtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich, 2001), BankART Studio NYK (Yokohama, 2009), the Yokosuka Museum of Art (Yokosuka, 2011) and Fergus McCaffrey (New York, 2015). His work has also been featured in various group exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg, 2007), Blum & Poe (Los Angeles, 2012) and The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 2012).