Shusaku Arakawa (Japanese / American, 1936–2010) was born in 1936 in Nagoya, Japan. He briefly studied medicine at the University of Tokyo and also attended the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Arakawa became active as an artist and activist in 1960, joining a Neo-Dada group in Tokyo and protesting against American military bases in Japan. He moved to New York in 1961 where he met and married the American poet and philosopher, Madeline Gins, his lifelong collaborator. Arakawa also met and worked closely with Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, and other esteemed innovators in conceptual art. By 1970, Arakawa was exhibiting internationally and creating works in many different forms. He continued to produce work, especially collaborations on large-scale projects with Madeline Gins throughout his lifetime. Arakawa passed away in 2010.
Arakawa is known for his prints, paintings, drawings, and other philosophical and conceptual works. He collaborated on many large-scale projects with Madeline Gins including architectural constructions and their foundations, the Architectural Body Research Foundation and the Reversible Destiny Foundation. His works center on topics of human awareness, the mechanics of human perception and knowledge, and the avoidance of mortality. Arakawa produced performance art, conceptual art, architectural projects, and philosophical texts to explore these themes. His graphic art often features color, text, diagrams, and iconography. Arakawa’s work is included in the collections of many prestigious museums and institutions internationally.