Genta Ishizuka and Akane Saijo by ARTCOURT Gallery

2021. 9. 29 [wed] - 10.17 [sun] Venue: CADAN YURAKUCHO, TokyoTue.-Fri. 11:00-18:00 / Sat., Sun. 11:00-17:00 / Closed on Mondays

Through urushi (Japanese lacquer) and ceramics, these two artists have garnered attention with their formative expression, where the self and physical sensations combine. We are proud to present the new works of Genta Ishizuka (born 1982) and Akane Saijo (born 1989) in a new exhibition at CADAN Yurakucho. Based in Kyoto, they are recipients of various accolades such as participating in the 4th Triennale of KOGEI in Kanazawa in 2019, KOGEI as Contemporary Craft: Transcending Boundaries. Both are promising up-and-coming artists in the crossover between craft and fine arts.

The graceful, curved surfaces and the vibrant freshness of their works seem to invite our consciousness from the surface to the interior. It is from that interior that the random tumescent bumps swell and the course of the hollow tunnels into. Reflections of shadows overlap on the base material and sound reverberates in the space between body and interior. It is from there and the material itself that images arise to be captured and work created. For Ishizuka, urushi is the material that serves as the basis to layer his expression and thought whereas Saijo creates a positive narrative with her criticism of the framework and production process of ceramics. The surface and the interior as well as the work and space are synthesized with various feelings. The works becomes the intermediary to create new relationships, person to person and person to object.

In this exhibition, we have drawn a parallel between their artistic worlds, with their mysterious gravitational pull, and the human body. We will introduce the works through the keywords “membrane and viscera.” We hope you visit this exhibition in dialogue with daily life and the physical body, and enjoy with all five senses.

Genta Ishizuka – Through traditional urushi art, Ishizuka’s abstract works pursue consciousnesses and sensitivities that can only be found at the boundary of the “membrane” of urushi . For his series, Surface Tactility, he wrapped spheres of Styrofoam in elastic cloth, and employed Kanshitsu (“dry lacquer”) technique on the bumpy curved surface. The works are a manifestation of the luster that dwells in the urushi. They also point to the connection between the deep history of urushi as a material and faith. The artist continues to bring attention to the potential of the existence of this “membrane” so that the viewer’s perception is transcended by tapping into our unconscious and imaginations.
With “membrane and its distance” as a theme, beginning with his large-scale semi-sculptural works that can be hung on walls, we will present his new direction where the texture that is within is brought to the surface.

Akane Saijo – Highlighting the fictionality of the framework and process of ceramic production, where the reality of the surface contrasts with the hollow interior, Saijo constructs a narrative for her artistic world based on history and personal experiences. The organic shapes she often uses are traced from her own body and after the clay is shaped, they can be breathed into like in the Book of Genesis. In the hollow interiors, sounds can be applied to shapes as awareness of the connection between the inside and outside of the works develop. She also performs using her works with the group TŌBOE. In this exhibition we have arranged her works, like internal organs that resonate sound inside and outside, to create a moment where the line between self and other becomes ambiguous.

Related events

  • 2021.10.17 [sun] 11:00-11:30
    ART TALK supported by CVJ
    Genta Ishizuka + Akane Saijo
    Admission free, preferred booking (15 people) via Peatix.
    *This talk show will also be streamed live on Instagram from @cadan_insta.


Genta Ishizuka

Akane Saijo