Memory of Mono-ha: by the photograph and document


Participating artists: Koji Enokura, Susumu Koshimizu, Lee Ufan, Katsuhiko Narita, Kishio Suga, Yoshida Katsuo

Koji Enokura

Koji Enokura was born in Tokyo in 1942 and obtained a MFA from the Oil Painting Department of Tokyo University of the Arts in 1968.

At the age of 27, Enokura presented an installation work at the “10th Tokyo Biennale ”, which the influential critic Yusuke Nakahara served as the commissioner. Other participating artists of this Biennale included Richard Serra, Christo, Carl Andre, Jiro Takamatsu and Susumu Koshimizu.

The following year, he received the Scholarship Award at the 7th Paris Youth Biennale. After staying in Paris in 1973-1974 he held solo exhibitions at Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen in West Germany and the National Museum of Art in Osaka, which earned him much international acclaim.

In 1978 and 1980 he participated in the “Venice Biennale.” Although Enokura passed away in 1995 at the age of 52, his work and ideas has continued to draw a great deal of attention and several large-scale retrospectives were held both in Japan and abroad.

Enokura’s works are known for the distinctive techniques used to produce them as well as their commanding presence. Some of his most well known pieces include wall-sized murals slathered with waste oil and his “stain” works, which consist of waste oil and acrylic paint on wooden panels affixed to cotton cloth. By focusing consistently on the relationships between objects and the sense of materiality that can be found in how the human body relates to these objects, Enokura’s work represents an attempt to deviate from the framework of painting.

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Kishio Suga

Kishio Suga was born in 1944, Iwate prefecture, Japan. Suga graduated from the Painting Department of Tama Art University in 1968. From the late 1960s onwards, he has been active as one of the central figures of Mono-ha, a sculptural and installation based art movement that emerged in the late 1960s. Through his practice of assembling natural, industrial or found materials into a room size installation piece, he intends to examine the relation between objects, space, and human perception in tandem to the surrounding environment. Suga’s solo exhibitions have been organized by numerous museums in Japan including Kishio Suga Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 1997; Stance, Yokohama City Museum, 1999; Uncertain Void: Installation by Kishio Suga, Iwate Museum of Art, 2005. His most recent solo show Situated Latency was held at the Contemporary Art Museum, Tokyo in 2015.

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Susumu Koshimizu

Susumu Koshimizu was born in Uwajima in Ehime Prefecture in 1944. He enrolled in the Department of Sculpture of Tama Art University in 1966 and left school due to student protest in 1971. Koshimizu became a prominent artist in the Mono-ha movement from the 1960s, creating minimal sculptures and installation pieces from basic materials such as iron, wood and paper. He was a faculty of the Department of Sculpture at Kyoto City University of Arts from 1994 to 2010, and currently serves as a president of Takarazuka University. He is now based in Kyoto, Japan. Koshimizu participated in various international art exhibitions including Tokyo Biennale: Man and Matter, Venice Biennale and São Paulo Biennale. He is a recipient of numerous awards in Japan including the prize at 3rd Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition held at Suma Palace Garden, Kobe (1972); Prize for Excellence, 11th Teijiro Nakahara Award (1980); 10th Denchu Hirakushi Prize (1981); 38th Minister of Education’s Art Encouragement Prize for Freshman (1988); 2nd Kyoto Culture Prize (1989); Prize for Merit, Kyoto Prefectural Cultural Award (1999); 2nd Enku Garden Award (2003); Medal with Purple Ribbon (2004).

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