Kishio Suga

installation view at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008 ©Kishio Suga

» Introduction:

Suga is one of the artists of Mono-ha, a movement that swept the Japanese art world during the end of 1960s and 1970s. After studying with Giju Saito at Tama Art University, Suga began using various methods to combine wood, stone, metal, and glass, and deployed these combinations in exhibition spaces.
We can perceive a piece of wood on many levels – from its surface to its cross section, from the whole to only a part, from its silhouette to its cellular makeup. In some sense, the wood doesn’t even exist until we perceive it. In a single stone pulses the logic of countless stones. A cosmos dwells within every piece of matter. Suga draws out these hidden currents and unites them, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in conflict, and opens up a light, free-flowing channel within the space. With a consistent focus on our surroundings, Suga brushes aside our constant search for symbolic meaning in the things we see and conjures unfamiliar relationships between things. Via everyday stuff, he raises the curtain on a new world, and in liberating us from usual habits of thought, gives us a fresh set of eyes.

» Concept:

On two gallery floors, we will present an entire body of Suga’s new works, made between 2007 and 2008.The most prominent feature of this exhibition is the artist’s deliberate use of color. Through expanses of vivid color interrupted by painterly depressions, created with a grinder, on large wood panels, his new Complexification series radiates tension. Including sculpture and drawing, nearly twenty new works will be on display.
We urge you to take this opportunity to see the fruits of Suga’s recent experiments.


Artist Profile

Kishio Suga

Kishio Suga was born in Morioka city, Iwate Prefecture in 1944. In 1968 he graduated from the Department of Painting at Tama Art University, and served as a central member of the art movement Mono-ha that took place from the late 1960s to the 1970s. For over 50 years since, Suga has continued to pursue a consistent philosophy and actively develop his artistic practice, paving his own unique path as one of the leading figures of Postwar Japanese art in our times. Even in recent years when the reevaluation of Mono-ha has been gaining much international recognition, he persists in further deepening his contemplation, with his unfaltering passion and enthusiasm for his practice serving to define the presentness of his work.

Since his first solo exhibition in 1968, Suga has presented work on over 400 occasions in numerous exhibitions both within Japan and abroad. Recent years in particular have seen remarkable developments and achievements in his career. In 2016 he held solo exhibitions at Pirelli Foundation’s HangarBiocca in Milan and Dia: Chelsea New York, in addition to a two-person exhibition with Karla Black at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. He was selected for the 57th Venice Biennale, “VIVA ARTE VIVA” in 2017, receiving high acclaim for Law of Situation in which he recreated of one of his early representative works in the form of an installation floating on water. In that same year Suga participated in the group exhibition “Japanorama: New Vision of JAPAN from 1970,”curated by Yuko Hasegawa that was held at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France.

Suga’s works are also housed in numerous prominent museums throughout the world including the Centre Pompidou, Dia: Chelsea, the Tate Modern, Dallas Museum of Art, M+, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

  • installation view at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008 間の集 collection of space, 1983, 石の仕切り stone partition, 1981 ほか, ©Kishio Suga
  • installation view at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008 ©Kishio Suga
  • installation view at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008 ©Kishio Suga
  • installation view at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008 ©Kishio Suga