Installation view from “wavering” at Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008
 ©Hideaki Kawashima


The portraits that Hideaki Kawashima keeps on painting may seem like an abstract image of human soul that lost flesh and blood. We feel the serene comfort as if we are in a place for worship, while at the same time feel the strain of being stared, like the deepest part of your heart goggled at ; all the while we are intrigued by the emphatic gaze and the juxtaposed lightness of the head, afloat in a monochromatic void. Kawashima who undertook two years of Tendai sect of Esoteric Buddhist training at the Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, chose painting to be his daily routine. The artist paints the androgynous heads that are like someone possessed by the facial expression ghost, “as if they were my portraits”. These portraits, repeatedly and obstinately painted as they metamorphose in various semblances, could be the artist’s chronicle of looking intently at “self,” this demon which can never be obliterated no matter how one pursued the universal truth.


We will be showing 8-10 new paintings. According to the artists, “(They) seem to act out these various expressions, keeping more distance (from me) in this new series.” The title “wavering” is a word with a nuance that suggests one’s staggering mind, or being in the shaky state. Please come see the secretive experiments of the artist whose work may seem like a product of him posing at the mirror inside of his heart.

Artist Profile

Hideaki Kawashima

Hideaki Kawashima was born in Aichi, Japan in 1969. After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 1991, Kawashima undertook two years of training in Buddhism at the Hieizan Enryakuji Temple from 1995, thereafter commencing his career as an artist in 2001. Kawashima has presented his work in numerous exhibitions internationally and domestically. His major exhibitions include, “Japanese Experience Inevitable” (Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria, 2004), “LIFE” (Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan, 2006), “Idol!” (Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan, 2006), and “Little Boy” (curated by Takashi Murakami, Japan Society, New York, 2006). In 2007 he took part in the “Pocheon Asia Biennale,” followed by a solo exhibition at the Kukje Gallery (Seoul, South Korea) in 2009, and two solo exhibitions at the Richard Heller Gallery (Santa Monica, USA) respectively in 2011 and 2014.