Hiroshi Sugito: paintings and sketches

Dates: Saturday December 3, 2011 to Saturday January 14, 2012

Venue: Japan Creative Centre (JCC) in Singapore
Organizers: The Japan Foundation, Japan Creative Centre in Singapore
Preview and Opening Reception: 7:00p.m.,December 2, 2011

Hiroshi Sugito is one of Japan's best-known contemporary painters, on a par with Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. His patterns of colors create skies, seas, or theatrical stages with a strange depth that seems to draw viewers into the painting. Planes, ships, chairs, cars, and difficult-to-identify abstract forms emerge from thinly painted canvasses, as if beginning to tell a tale recalled from a dream.

This is Sugito's first exhibition in Singapore. It focuses on his most recent works - sketches, paintings, and photographs produced during a trip to Hanamaki in Japan's Iwate Prefecture, featuring scenes of the magnificent mountains and surrounding countryside that enthralled him. This exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to bring to Singapore the unique world of Sugito's paintings inspired by his trip to Iwate.

Iwate Prefecture took a terrible hit from the recent earthquake and tsunami, but in the inland areas where the damage was relatively light there are still woodland and pastoral scenes of the sort written about by Kenji Miyazawa, a native of Hanamaki. Sugito's works seem to resonate strongly with the clear air and wide-open space of the land that Miyazawa called "Ihatov."

The exhibition also presents models produced by architect Jun Aoki for "leaves and fields (cobweb and spider) - Jun Aoki and Hiroshi Sugito." a collaboration with Sugito for the Aomori Museum of Art. Scheduled for April 2011, this joint exhibition was cancelled in the aftermath of the earthquake.

The Japan Creative Center (JCC) venue is a colonial style bungalow situated just off the end of Orchard Road in central Singapore. The JCC has a strong reputation from successful exhibitions of works by Toyo Ito and Akira Yamaguchi, and the Hiroshi Sugito exhibition will raise its profile even further.

Hiroshi Sugito - Profile

Born in Aichi, Japan in 1970, Hiroshi Sugito lived in New York from age 4 to 14. He graduated in Japanese-style painting from the Aichi Prefectural University of Arts in 1992. Since then, retaining a base in Aichi, he has traveled and worked in many areas of Japan, and also in Austria, Germany, and America. On occasion he has produced collaborations with artists such as Yoshitomo Nara. His works are held by art museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Recent solo exhibitions include "April Song" at The Sculpture Garden Museum, Japan (2006) and "Focus" at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2006). He participated in "The 7th Gwangju Biennale" (2008).

【Comment from Hiroshi Sugito on his trip to Iwate】
"Driving along in the countryside, up in Hanamaki, northern Japan, there are houses and barns with black-painted rooftops, perfectly maintained.
There is a time when the rice fields turn yellow, the rooftops vanish into the sky, and the mountains and trees turn black.
All being watched after."

Photo of paintings by Hiroshi Sugito

Artist Talk

Date/Time: 2:00 p.m.,January 14, 2012
Venue: Japan Creative Centre (JCC), Singapore

In Spring 2011, Architect Jun Aoki worked with Hiroshi Sugito on a collaboration planned for installation in and around the Aomori Museum of Art. Aoki will talk about the Japanese concept of "ba" (place/shared space/context), examining the relationship between art and location from the perspective of the artist and from the perspective of the architect.

Jun Aoki - Profile
Born in Yokohama in 1956, Jun Aoki worked for Arata Isozaki & Associates after graduating and completing a masters course at Tokyo University. He established his own firm of architects, Jun Aoki & Associates, in 1991. Since then, he has gained growing acclaim, designing houses, stores for clients such as Louis Vuitton, and winning the competition to design the Aomori Museum of Art.

[Contact Us]

4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004
The Japan Foundation
Arts and Culture Dept. Visual Arts Section
Person in charge: (Ms.) Miki OkabeE-mail
Tel: 03-5369-6062 Fax: 03-5369-6038

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