TANADA Koji “Apart, From Here On”
26 October - 26 November 2022
Mizuma Art Gallery is proud to present a show by TANADA Koji titled “Apart, From Here On” beginning on Wednesday, 26th October.
As the world slowed to a stagnation from the pandemic, and it seemed as if all of us were forced to confront with something in our life every day, Tanada continued to be restless with his hands and persistent in spending time with his works. At the exhibition that was held at National Art Center in Tokyo titled “Timeless Conversations 2020: Voices from Japanese Art of the Past and Present”, the works by Enku and Tanada were placed side by side in the same exhibition room, where the encounter between these artist’s works transcending time and space showcased the tradition of wood sculpture passed down from generation to generation, as well as providing proof of rich possibilities for the future. In November of this year, three of Tanada’s works, along with a work by Misawa Atsuhiko is planned to be exhibited as a permanent installation in a new government building designed by the architect Kuma Kengo, in Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture. The camphor trees that were cut down in order to reconstruct the new government building are utilized and transformed into artworks which then are to be returned to the city hall. In addition, Tanada’s career to date as an artist have been recognized by the recently announced 30th Denchu Hirakushi award, which was given to him in recognition of his “high-level of fusion between tradition and modernity in wood carving.”
For this exhibition, “statue of space” and “2020: Nuda Veritas” which were both produced during the pandemic, are shown together. A single large camphor tree was split into two, out of which two female figures were created; one of the half having a sharp point like that of a spear that aims towards the sky, and the other half that seems to hold a reflection of truth, with a deep gaze as if looking down on a faraway horizon. As the title of the exhibition, “Apart, From Here On” might seem to forebode, the world is in constant transformation through repeated fragmentation and merging. This is a reality that we can all experience in our daily lives, not only in the changes we are witnessing in nations, societies, and ideas, but also fading of things that were so normal as to be taken for granted, as well as willful separation from each other. When we are forced to make a choice between the two divided worlds, or when we are conflicted of choices, Tanada’s works seem to appear in the ambiguity that takes neither sides, and show us that there exists a world in between.
In addition, we will also be exhibiting the new series “Portrait of Defiance”. Along with plumes of missiles and rockets, these are canvas works featuring portraits of female artists such as Carolee Schneemann and Hannah Wilke. Until now, carvings of Tanada have been made with certain distance that avoids direct involvement with current events, but the pictures drawn this time reveal a different perspective of Tanada himself: how he lives and what he sees in the present. For Tanada, who has created many matured female nude figures in recent years, drawing portraits of feminist artists who used their bodies to express themselves and demonstrate the openness of art is not only a way to look at the fundamental issues of present human beings, such as gender and sexuality, but also an approach based on sculpture to uncover how to affirm the nudity of the human body.
This exhibition, which happens to be his 10th solo show at the gallery since 1999, will allow viewers to fully enjoy the ever-changing and deepening world of Tanada Koji’s work from a broader perspective. We hope you will take this opportunity to visit the show.
You can enjoy a virtual 3D walkthrough of TANADA Koji “Apart, From Here On”.
Please visit the following link.