Exhibition Beijing

Hiroto Kitagawa "Clay Glaze Design and Phenomenon"
2016.6.25 (sat) - 7.23 (sat)

From June 25 until July 23, Tokyo Gallery +BTAP (Beijing) will host a solo exhibition by Hiroto Kitagawa's, entitled Hiroto Kitagawa 2016 - Clay Glaze Design and Phenomenon.

Hiroto Kitagawa was born in 1967 in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from the Kanazawa College of Art in 1989, he acted on his hankering to learn from Italian figurative sculpture masters such as Marino Marini and took it on himself to go study on his own at the Italian Academy of Fine Arts with a major in classical sculpting techniques involving terracotta (red earthenware) as the primary material. After returning home, Kitagawa applied his newly gained knowledge to terracotta-based sculpting methods in his further creations, which garnered him considerable attention and favorable reception both domestically and abroad. In recent years, the artist has oft participated in art shows of renowned museums and galleries outside of Japan. Kitagawa combines the crudest, simplest potter's clay with bright, acrylic colors. The unique and vivid way in which he gives expression to the shape and contours of modern man has garnered him widespread attention from all sectors of the community, earning him a spot in various large-scale exhibitions such as that of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. The current exhibition showcases a number of artworks created by the artist in recent years, as well as his most recent series of works.

An era of agitation is currently upon us, with too many politicians playing it safe in their cushy positions, and too many disputes being waged for financial gain. Plain civilians and the next generation of young people will end up paying the price for all of this. Against such a complex global backdrop, what are people supposed to reflect on, where is humanity headed?

Hiroto Kitagawa is often heavy-hearted while making his artworks. He treats the artwork at hand as the only figurative sculpture in history that can aptly reflect the times.

Over the last four years, Kitagawa has started to incorporate glaze/enamel in his creations, which he considers to be an extremely interesting material. Despite being no match for the depth of research true masters of enamel have to pride themselves on, he has personally spent a great deal of time on his heuristic attempts to come up with new creative methods. The works currently showcased also adopt new creative methods, exemplary of the artist's attempts to insert potable/liquid gold and liquid silver in his creations. After the first ("biscuit") firing, the pieces are glaze fired, after which the design is finalized under a low temperature of 700 °C. As such, the works undergo a threefold kilning process.

When creating a sculpture with bodily shapes, Kitagawa treats the stream of words from the news broadcast that penetrates his ears as part of the designing process, and makes use of this throughout his sculpting process. He attempts to make works that integrate sculpture, ceramics and design. Departing from the hypothesis that art is a means to express emotional sensibilities, the artist makes the zeitgeist, social conditions and personal thoughts of the current era dissolve into his sculptures, in order to pass all of this on to the next generation, youngsters who - in this era of diversification - carry the future on their shoulders. He thereby passes on the crossing of time to a third party, or perhaps carries it into the future. To some extent, these sculptures are portraits of Japanese young people living in the present. Their expressions and limbs reveal the universal inner mind state of young people of the era inhabited by the artist. Some are disheartened, alienated, some dissatisfied, anxious, and even others confident and good-looking. At the same time, these sculptures also bear the expectations projected by the artist onto this generation of youngsters. He hopes they can bring a brand-new change to a currently sluggishly developing Japan. Coming to a halt amid these works, one cannot help but acquire new associations and inspiration about the current and future plight of mankind!

The exhibit's vernissage will be held at 15:00 on June 25, 2016. The exhibit will last from June 25 until July 23. We at Tokyo Gallery +BTAP sincerely look forward to your attendance!