Kosho Ito "Works 1974-2009: Order and Chaos"

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

poster for Kosho Ito "Works 1974-2009: Order and Chaos"

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Kosho Ito (1932- ) is an artist who uses clay to create large-scale installations. Born into a family of metal engravers in Kanazawa, Ito got his start in the world of traditional ceramics but thereafter turned to experimental works that questioned established art concepts. He has since been active in the contemporary art field, earning various international accolades. In 1978, he represented Japan at the Triennale-India, where he was awarded the Gold Medal. He also participated in the Venice Biennale as the Japanese representative in 1984.

Ito uses various types of clay in his works. They range from porcelain clay called kaolin to a more reddish clay that contains a substantial amount of iron, as well as a type that can be found in Kasama, Ibaraki prefecture, where he now lives. Depending on the characteristics of the clay, the resulting effect differs in kaleidoscopic ways. His innovative techniques include freezing the clay, and slicing up soft clay with a cord and deforming it spontaneously by hand.

Ito pays close attention to the various transformations of his medium. Artificial, intermediate processes are kept to a minimum, as he ultimately values the delicate nuances of the clay and consciously focuses on the fundamental nature of the medium. The cracks and ruffles that appear on the surface of Ito’s works give them a lifelike and vibrant appearance. His creations are born out of a dialogue with nature and its organic ways.

Related events also held. See website for details (Japanese only).

[Image: "Ki no Niku, Tsuchi no Ha" (1991) from the collection of the Takamatsu City Museum. Photography by Yoshitaka Uchida]



From 2009-08-01 To 2009-10-04


Kosho Ito



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