Bunpei Kado “The Garden / Secret Room”

Art Front Gallery

poster for Bunpei Kado “The Garden / Secret Room”
[Image: Bunpei Kado "Wall Garden" (2019) Sanwa Company Art Award 2020]

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The artwork that won Bunpei Kado the 2020 Sanwa Company Art Award took the jury by surprise. The piece consisted mainly of climbing holds used in bouldering. Even people familiar with such climbing holds would be surprised to learn that they could also function as integral elements of an artwork. Kado’s piece formed a kind of spatial structure that expressed the positions of stones in a Japanese rock garden on a single plane. The bright colors featured in the artwork, though, would never belong in actual zen temples. A strange contrast was at play: ancient Japanese culture dressed in bright, gaudy colors, reminding the viewer of the world of sports or of the upcoming Olympic Games. The movements of the body on the bouldering wall became linked with art. In 2019, one year before the Games were supposed to begin, such a well-timed and essentially ‘Japanese’ work of contemporary art came unexpected, and the judges were unanimous in their decision.

Looking at Kado’s past works, they share an inherent strange and unique language. It is, in a way, an expression of poetic thinking. The one motif that has appeared in his works the most so far is that of the house shape. In Kado’s works, the house is not a reference to the city or to architecture but appears actually to symbolize a home for people to live in. Used as singular elements, he inserts houses into his works in unexpected ways, sometimes placed as natural parts of their surroundings, on small foundations, or seemingly like nomads on a swaying ship. Other subject matter, like trees, animals, or ships, is also reconstructed and used as parts in a small installation. This new exhibition, in which Kado continues his previous techniques, may surely lead us to similar kinds of new awakenings.

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Schedule

from May 21, 2021 to June 20, 2021
Exhibition Hours 12:00-19:00. Open 11:00-17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Artist(s)

Bunpei Kado

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