Ito Kosho Collected Works Publication Commemorative Exhibition - Folds of Solaris

June 3 [Fri.] ― June 12 [Sun.] 2022 11:00-19:00
Gallery open all days of exhibition.
In collaboration with ARTS ISOZAKI







*Click image to view in original size

ITO Kosho, born in Kanazawa in 1932 as the first son of a metal-engraver, entered an apprenticeship under a ceramic artist in his teens, but fled the world of traditional ceramic art to pursue a more contemporary form of the medium. Sometimes freezing soil, sometimes incorporating the shrinkage and fissures of dried earth, Ito quickly gathered attention for his unique expressions making use of natural processes. He represented Japan at the 1978 India Triennale and the 1984 Venice Biennale, garnering much international praise. Even now, at over 90 years old, he actively continues his work as a pioneer of earth molding at his atelier in Kasama.
With the support of many people through crowdfunding, a collection of ITO Kosho's works covering his activity over the last half century will be published in June (organizer: ISOZAKI Hiroya, director: KOIZUMI Shinya, designer: HAYASHI Kohsuke, publisher · editor: Watanuki Ltd.). To commemorate the publication, Watanuki Ltd. will display new drawings and collages as well as the ceramic installation "Folds of Blue Pearl - from the sky, to the sky" in the garden.



On "Folds of Solaris"
This exhibition was put together to commemorate the publication of "ITO KOSHO", a catalogue of a half century of his installations. In order for you to experience the unique characteristics of Eros (life) present in Ito's work, we will display outdoors installation "Folds of Blue Pearl - from the sky, to the sky", as well as "Folds of Pearl Pink", "Recursive Memory", and new drawings.
After a crowdfunding page was set up for the catalogue, the response achieved our goal and went beyond. As part of this project, ARTS ISOZAKI in Mito held "Sea of Solaris - within "Recursive Memory" - Ito Kosho Exhibition" to positive reception. "Recursive Memory" put documents relating to Ito's work as an artist through a shredder, subliminating records of his past into his present work, opening a new frontier with methods new to him. Already over 90 years old, ITO Kosho approached this exhibition with shocking vitality, and participated in another branch of this project as well, providing new drawings for "Folds of Solaris", ARTS ISOZAKI owner ISOZAKI Hiroya's debut poetry collection. "Folds of Solaris", the title of the exhibition, is a reference to the title of the poetry collection, Solaris itself referencing a title by the Polish SF author Stanislaw LEM. The book is about sentient gel-like sea that materliazes human memories. With its shredded scraps mixed with mud, "Recursive Memory", like the sea of Solaris, activates the viewers memory. ITO's works have always been characterized by the "folds" of earth folded inside and outside. There, ITO felt the mixing of eros (life) and materiality. The title of this exhibition, like the works themselves, is molded from the folding together of the artist and others. We expect that the viewer, too, can become one of these folds, encountering the work as a part of it.



[Statement]
The exhibition at Watanuki Ltd., "Folds of Solaris", shares its name with the poet Hiroya's (ISOZAKI Hiroya) debut collection.
I think that "Sea of Solaris - within "Recursive Memory"", the name of my solo exhibition at ARTS ISOZAKI suggested by KOIZUMI Shinya, summed up a wide view of the past 50 years of my "fold" based work. When the exhibition opened, Mr. ISOZAKI was also moved by the concept of folds pouring down from the planet Solaris, and he sent me many poems throughout its duration. Eventually he told me he was publishing a poetry collection and would like for me to provide the drawings. I recalled the time I held a solo exhibition at Kanazawa College of Art back when I was a teacher at its graduate school and the organizer, KOMATSUZAKI Takuo from Fine Arts, told me, "I'd like to see your drawings". I thought it was interesting so I said, "I'd like to try," but being self-taught, I had no experience with dessin. But while pondering the question of what is a drawing?, perhaps from my long years using soil as material, I remembered a unique quality of paper and earth. The drawings and collages I submitted to this exhibition were spurred by the concept of folds. Once I began, it was so compelling that I couldn't stop. I became wholly submersed in the process. Watanuki Ltd. has a unique exhibition space full of concrete walls, so there is an exciting quality about having an exhibition focused on surfaces. At the same time, I can't dismiss the sense of using an installation to turn the entire exhibition space into a unique environment. I will present a brand new work.
Beginning with the late Takiguchi Shuzo, many poets, architects, and other figures from the arts appear in Watanuki Ltd.'s mail magazine. Please come visit this history-filled "place" and see "Folds of Solaris", to commemorate the publication of a cataolgue of 50 years of my work with soil.

ITO Kosho


Reference image "Folds of Pearl Blue"
Photo by OTANI Kenji
Provided by ARTS ISOZAKI


ITO Kosho (b.1932)
Born in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. 1972, established the Ito Atelier with ITO Chika in Kasama City, Ibaraki Prefecture. 1997, began teaching at Joshibi University of Art and Design in both the undergraduate and graduate programs (retired at the end of his tenure in 1999). 2002, became a professor at Kanazawa College of Art Graduate School (retired at the end of his tenure in 2009 and and now an honorary visiting professor).
1978, won the Gold Medal representing Japan at the India Triennale. 1984, represented Japan at the Venice Biennale. 1985, organized the outdoor exhibition "'85 Hinuma · Spectacle of Land" (at Hinuma lakeside). This exhibition is considered a root of today's major outdoor art festivals such as the Setouchi International Art Festival and Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. 2002, had a solo exhibition, "Virus - Earth Folds, Sea Folds", at Tate St Ives. 2009, "Ito Kosho WORKS 1974-2009" was held at the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. 2016, participated in "KENPOKU ART 2016 Ibaraki Northern Art Festival". Unveiled polyhedral installations in the gardens of the historical Hozumi family residence. 2018, participated in "Art Festival of Water and Land 2018" in Niigata Prefecture with "Surface Folds the space between eros and thanatos", an installation in the main venue. Today, ITO remains active at his atelier in Kasama.