Izumi Kato was born in 1969, in Shimane, Japan. He graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at Musashino University in 1992. He now lives and works between Tokyo and Hong Kong. Since 2000's, Kato has garnered attention as an innovative artist through exhibitions held in Japan and across the world. In 2007, he was invited to the 52nd Venice Biennale International Exhibition, curated by Robert Storr. Children with disturbing faces, embryos with fully developed limbs or ancestor spirits locked up in bodies with imprecise forms–the creatures summoned by Izumi Kato are as fascinating as they are enigmatic. Their anonymous silhouettes and strange faces with absent features are above all simple forms and strong colours. Their elementary representation, an oval head with two big, fathomlessly deep eyes shows no more than a crudely figured nose and mouth. Bringing to mind primitive arts, their expressions evoke totems and the animist belief that a spiritual force runs through living and mineral worlds alike. The aura that they exude seems to manifest the first movement of life while the intensity of their expression gives us access to a knowledge of man founded less on reason than on intuition. Embodying a primal, universal form of humanity, these magical beings invite viewers to identify themselves as if looking in a mirror.
Text courtesy Perrotin.
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