|Title||Izumi Kato: The Asia Art Center Collection|
|Dates||June 17 – July 30, 2023|
|Reception||4:00 pm, June 17, 2023 (Sat.)|
Asia Art Center (Taipei) | 1F, 128, Lequn 3rd Rd., Taipei City 104050, Taiwan
Izumi Kato: The Asia Art Center Collection
Asia Art Center is pleased to present the exhibition “Izumi Kato: The Asia Art Center Collection,” which will be held at its Taipei space starting from June 17, 2023. The exhibition showcases the works of renowned Japanese artist Izumi Kato, who exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2007. The exhibition features 12 pieces created between 2003 and 2020, including sculptures and paintings. The exhibition will be on view until July 30.
Shimane Prefecture, Izumi Kato’s hometown, is known for folk legends and ghost stories elaborated and carried forward by the Greek-Japanese writer Koizumi Yakumo (1850-1904). Kato’s imagination roams in the world of ghosts, and his artistic expression transcends the boundaries of painting, sculpture, and soft sculpture. By combining diverse materials, he creates harmonious forms and evokes an eerie atmosphere, fully showcasing the profound skill of an artist.
Kato graduated from the prestigious Department of Oil Painting from Musashino Art University; however, in his youth Kato dreamed of becoming a musician and also worked as a construction worker. He kept accumulating energies in those fields, and then fully unleashed his artistic potential in the field of fine art when he turned thirty. He once said, “If I understand what I am doing, I will lose my motivation to make it and the purpose of creation will be lost.” That being said, he makes art purely because he is motivated and thinks it is interesting. Moreover, he does not believe in clear boundaries between two-dimensional paintings and three-dimensional sculptures. He even stated, ” I think it is important to not know whether it is a painting or a sculpture. This is the manner in which my works are made.” This concept is commonly found in contemporary art, but Kato excels for his extraordinary technical implementation. His fusion of diversified elements makes his works exude a sense of mystery and charm naturally. It is apparent that his sculptures bear a slight resemblance to the Japanese Jōmon period (ca. 13,000 BC to 400 BC) clay figurines, combined with the rustic appearance of African art. These disproportionate humanoid sculptures appear as otherworldly creatures. He focuses more on the exploration of materials than details and without a grain of realism. The stone-embedded eyes create the effect of a visceral stare into the souls of the humans observing them. Some figures are risen on stands or seated on wooden bases crafted by the artist. He not only uses various materials such as wood, acrylic, plastic models, soft vinyl, leather, and stainless steel to create sculptures but also employs a collage approach in the composition and juxtaposition of canvas panels, embodying the artist’s concept of freely flowing among genres, materials, and forms.
About the Artist
Izumi KATO was born in Shimane Prefecture, Japan in 1969. He graduated from Musashino Art University, Department of Oil Painting. He creates oil paintings and wood sculptures featuring organic forms, with primitive and anonymous life forms as the main motifs, reminiscent of fetuses, insects, children, plants, and humans. His important exhibitions include ” The Child” (Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan, 2006), Venice Biennale 52nd International Art Exhibition “Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind (2007), “MOT Annual 2007 – From a World as Large as Life” (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, 2007), ” Japanorama: New vision on art since 1970″ (Center Pompidou-Metz, Paris, France, 2017). One of his major solo exhibitions is “Criterium 46 – Izumi Kato” (Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Japan, 2001). Kato currently lives and works in Japan and Hong Kong.