IZUMI KATO－LIKE A ROLLING SNOWBALL
Dates : Hara Museum ARC (Gunma): July 13 (Saturday), 2019 – January 13 (Monday/national holiday), 2020
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo): August 10 (Saturday), 2019 - January 13 (Monday/national holiday), 2020
Untitled, wood, oil paint, acrylic paint, stone, 185 x 167 x 110 cm, 2008 Hara Museum Collection Photo: Ikuhiro Watanabe ©2008 Izumi Kato
The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art and Hara Museum ARC are proud to present solo exhibitions by Izumi Kato, an artist known for his powerful and mysterious depictions of human-like figures with a primitivistic air. Kato began his career as a painter in the mid-1990s and began making wooden sculptures from the 2000s. His participation in the Venice Biennale in 2007 and subsequent critical renown propelled his career on the international stage where he has enjoyed an ever increasing reputation within Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent years, attention has been focused on his newest endeavors, including the making of installations incorporating varied materials such as stone and fabric, and more recently, the making of prints. The exhibition at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Kato’s first major solo show at an art museum in Tokyo, features some 30 of his most recent paintings and sculptures. Originally a private residence, the museum offers a unique and intimate space in which to experience Kato’s works. On the other hand, his solo exhibition at Hara Museum ARC in Gunma Prefecture is a massive-scale retrospective of Kato’s 25-year career consisting of about 100 pieces that include many well-known pieces and never-before-shown items from the artist’s own collection. The unfolding of Kato’s career coincided with the Heisei imperial era in Japan which recently ended. With the start of the new Reiwa imperial era, the timing of these exhibitions represents an opportune time to re-examine Kato’s creative arc to date and to imagine what new developments lay ahead.
■Highlights: What to Look Forward To
At Hara Museum ARC: A Chance to Trace Izumi Kato’s Artistic Development from His Early Paintings to His Latest Works
By bringing together some 100 pieces ranging from his earliest works to his latest, including never-before-shown pieces, this exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of Izumi Kato’s career spanning a quarter of a century. The human-like forms that mark Kato’s work had already begun appearing in his paintings from the mid-1990s. The juxtaposition within the museum’s expansive and symmetrical galleries of representative artworks from each part of his career makes it possible to trace the evolution of this motif and the artist’s use of materials and methods over time. The focus at this venue will be Kato’s trademark large-scale wooden sculptures showcased within the museum’s main gallery featuring a 13-meter high ceiling, along with other sculptural works of various sizes made of soft vinyl, stone and other materials.
At the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art: A Chance to Ponder Izumi Kato’s Current and Future Developments through His Most Recent Works
The entire museum will be given over to 30 or so of Kato’s latest paintings and sculptures to provide insight into the most recent developments in Kato’s style, noted for his vigorous handling of pigments. This includes an installation in the museum’s atrium space, Gallery I, an example of the artist’s latest foray into the use of large pieces of fabric. This exhibition represents a unique opportunity to experience Kato’s work within the intimate atmosphere of the Hara Museum, formerly a private residence. In addition, Kato’s unique use of display cases at this venue underscores his meticulous attention to the configuration of space.
Born in Shimane, Japan in 1969, Kato is currently based in Tokyo and Hong Kong. He received a B.A. in oil painting at Musashino Art University in 1992. His success on the international stage was propelled by his participation in Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture at the Japan Society, New York USA in 2005 and the 52nd Venice Biennale International Exhibition Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense curated by Robert Storr, Italian Pavilion at Giardini, Venice, Italy in 2007. A list of his solo exhibitions includes KATO Izumi: Journeying into Each Day at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Kanagawa, Japan in 2010, SOUL UNION DELUXE at Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Kagoshima, Japan in 2012, Izumi Kato at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China in 2018 and Izumi Kato at Fundación Casa Wabi, Puerto Escondido, Mexico in 2019. Group exhibitions include Visceral Sensation – Voices So Far, So Near at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan in 2013, STANCE or DISTANCE? My Connection with the World at Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan in 2015 and Japanorama. A new vision on art since 1970 at Centre Pompidou – Metz, Metz, France in 2017. He has participated in public art projects at Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong (2018-2020) and Marunouchi Street Gallery in Tokyo (2018-2021).
*Details will be posted on the museum website.
□THE TETORAPOTZ Live Performance (with Special Guest SNATCH)
August 24 (Saturday) at Hara Museum ARC, Gunma
□Dialogue between Maha Harada and Izumi Kato
October 27 (Sunday) at Hara Museum ARC, Gunma
□Bus Tours to Hara Museum ARC
Bus tours to Hara Museum ARC from Tokyo will be conducted on the dates of the above-mentioned events.
□Meet the Artist: Izumi Kato
November 16 (Saturday) at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
■Merchandise for Sale during the Exhibitions
Original Izumi Kato products will be available during the exhibitions at the Museum Shop at the Hara Museum in Tokyo and Hara Museum ARC and SHOP@CAFE at Hara Museum ARC. These include the exhibition catalogue, a special limited-edition lithograph and a new series of soft vinyl figures.
The contents of the exhibition catalogue include installation views at both venues, a dialogue between Robert Storr and the artist, essays by Maha Harada and Kazuko Aono and an interview from the Chinese art magazine art world (interviewer: Zhichao Luan/published in March 2018).
Length: 160 pages
Language: Japanese, English, Chinese
Price: 3,800 yen (not including tax)
Publisher: Seigensha Art Publishing
Release date: Late September 2019
□Soft Vinyl Figures in Exclusive Hara Museum and Hara Museum ARC Colors
A soft vinyl male figure (a re-release of the figure sold out in 2011) and a newly launched female figure will be sold at both venues. They will be available in two color versions: one exclusive of the Hara Museum and the other to Hara Museum ARC. Price: 6,500 yen each (not including tax)
□Special Limited-edition Lithograph
Size: 44.5 x 35 cm
Edition: 300 (200 copies for sale)
Price: 58,000 yen (not including tax)
Publisher: Idem Paris
Hara Museum ARC July 13 (Saturday), 2019 – January 13 (Monday/national holiday), 2020
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art August 10 (Saturday), 2019 – January 13 (Monday/national holiday), 2020
- Organized by
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
- Special cooperation provided by
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Wednesdays until 8:00 pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Mondays (except August 12, September 16, 23, October 14, November 4 and January 13, 2020), August 13, September 17, 24, October 15, November 5 and year-end/New Year holiday.
General 1,100 yen; Students 700 yen (high school and university) or 500 yen (elementary and junior high); 550 yen for those over 70; Free for Hara Museum members, students through high school every Saturday during the school term; 100 yen discount for groups of 20 or more.