The Sound of Soratani
Tokyo Gallery +BTAP is delighted to announce a new double exhibition ‘The Sound of Soratani’ by artists Isao Sugiyama and Zhu Jianzhong, set to be held at our Beijing space from July 1, 2023 through August 19, 2023
The term ‘Soratani’ often refers to a place where sages reside in seclusion. In the works of Zhu Jianzhong and Isao Sugiyama, a typical Eastern aesthetic ‘emptiness’ is presented, thus creating a sense of divinity and reverence for nature. When humans no longer dominate over nature, it becomes vast and serene, while humans appear relatively insignificant. Although these artists make use of different artistic mediums, they both go to great lengths to downplay the emotional factors which drive humans, for instance by depicting uninhabited realms teetering on the cusp of space and time. The spaces thus revealed in their works are akin to the dwellings of deities. As by coincidence, both artists place themselves outside of their works. Despite being the subjects of their creations, they are not guided by excessive obsession. Instead, the ‘ego’ is concealed, thus giving way to a version of nature imbued with divinity.
This exhibition will showcase over thirty of Zhu Jianzhong and Isao Sugiyama’s work. Within the quiescent, boundless worlds in his canvases, Zhu Jianzhong often depicts a lone tree or person, or an indistinct universe which springs forth from the spaces left blank. This gives rise to a world view redolent of the Chinese tradition of Taoism, in which one may inquire: To what end this notion of ‘human’? To what end this notion of ‘spirits’?
Sugiyama’s sculptures are constructed out of marble and wood. They feature house-like forms set against a backdrop of nature made out of raw, unprocessed marble that suggest the trappings and workings of civilization. The contrast between the wooden house that will soon rot away and disappear and the rocky outcrop exposed to a slow, gradual process of erosion are metaphors that evoke the different temporal rhythms that play out in nature and civilization. Gazing down upon the landscapes depicted in these works, the artist – or the viewer – experiences something akin to a religious vision that attempts to see the world in its totality. Sugiyama’s works have a gently introspective feel, grounded in a devotion for gods and nature.
This exhibition opens on July 1, 2023, and you are cordially invited to visit the exhibition.