Koji Tanada "Girl Tying"

Mizuma Action

poster for Koji Tanada "Girl Tying"

This event has ended.

In September 2008, Tanada broke his two year silence and held an exhibition of 12 new works at the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum in Shizuoka Prefecture tailored to suit the space. "Eleven Adolescents, One Young Girl" was his first solo exhibition to be held in a museum. This exhibition at Mizuma Gallery consists of the best pieces from that show, in addition to one new work.

Since 2003, Tanada has employed a consistent technique to create sculptures of adolescents and young girls while leaving the interpretation and meaning of these works to his audience. In Japan, sculptors have long since used chalk or powdered calcium carbonate to fix their pigments onto their wooden carvings (and especially Buddhist effigies). Tanada, however, has developed his own unique version of this process using new materials such as lubricating oils meant for parquet floors, creating sculptural works that also possess painterly qualities. In addition, his works strike a fine balance between the solid, concrete qualities of the human form and the abstraction of his titles, which leave room for free play in the interpretation and meaning of each piece. This combination gives his sculptures an unwavering, steadfast sense of presence, and represents a clear and particular artistic posture that continues to establish itself in his work.

"Girl Tying," the new work being exhibited at this show, further expands on the mode of expression that Tanada has been developing. In recent years, he has been concentrating on his young girl series, pieces such as "Girl Knitting" and "Girl Protecting" that suggest double meanings ("Girl Protecting," for example, could be read as a girl being protected by something, or as a girl protecting something). "Girl Tying" was conceived from an image that attempts to "tie" together various opposing and contradictory notions. Terrorism and peace, hunger and satiety, reality and future. Faced with a multitude of events and objects in the contemporary societies we live in today, it is imperative to make the effort to comprehend them. The act of "tying" that Tanada proposes in this work perhaps represents a certain connection, of linking together confrontational, mutually antagonistic elements in the world today.

Asked why he creates sculptures of adolescents and young girls, Tanada replies that it is because they represent a certain sacred, dignified existence in which limitless possibilities still reside. "Tying Girl" stands ready to put one foot forward, stepping forth, eyes firmly fixed on her destination...in short, a challenge and inspiration to us to embrace a new, fresh perspective on our own sights.

[Image: "Komorebi no Shonen" (2008), paint on nutmeg tree, 139x39x33.3cm, photo by Jun Kumagai]



From 2009-01-28 To 2009-02-28

Opening Reception on 2009-01-28 from 18:00 to 20:00


Koji Tanada



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