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b. 1944, Japan

Kishio Suga Biography

Kishio Suga is one of the leading artists of the Mono-ha (School of Things) art movement. Recently, experiments of the 1970s that drew links between conceptual thinking and matter have garnered international attention, bringing great acclaims to Mono-ha works, particularly those by Suga, together with works of the Italian art movement, Arte Povera.

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By careful arrangement of mono (things) such as stones, wood and other natural and architectural materials, Suga’s work possesses the unique ability to activate and transform the space itself. Through his creative intervention Suga visualizes the inherent power of unprocessed objects, their structure and origins, and their rich idiosyncrasy. Suga’s explorations of what it is to see things and how to perceive existence are fundamental, yet highly fresh now in the exuberance of contemporary visual culture.

Suga recently held two major solo museum exhibitions in Japan at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, where he mainly presented historical large-scale installations from the 1970s, when Suga's concepts were highly radical. Works are temporary and never completed, the possibilities of each perceived in a system of remaking at different times, and in different locations. The keen sensibilities of the artist, engaging with the complex, constantly changing environment that surrounds us, in an attempt to divine a universal structure, are reflected in his work.

Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo describes the reason why Suga is so refreshing in 2015 as follows: 'he so clearly presents the perceptual reality of existence/non-existence and visibility/non-visibility... Suga began using materials and exploring the environment in which these materials existed during the 1960s. Over the decades he has observed and attempted to gain an understanding of weight, texture, and surfaces, as well as the characteristics of different materials, and his ability to perceive and understand his environment has continued to be enhanced and reach new depths.'

Kishio Suga was born in Iwate Prefecture in 1944, and currently lives and works in Shizuoka, Japan. He received a BFA in oil painting at Tama Art University, Tokyo, in 1968. Since then, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in Japan. Suga’s work has also been included in landmark surveys, such as Prima Materia, Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy, 2013; Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2012; Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1994; Japon des Avant Gardes 1910–1970, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1986; and the 38th Venice Biennale, 1978. His work is included in public collections such as Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, Tate Modern, and Pinault Collection among many others.

Kishio Suga Featured Artworks

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Square Pond G by Kishio Suga contemporary artwork sculpture
Kishio SugaSquare Pond G, 1986Coloured iron
60 x 69 x 7 cm
Kamakura Gallery Contact Gallery
Site of Components by Kishio Suga contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Kishio SugaSite of Components, 2013Wood and paint
39 x 35 x 8 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
Scene of Elapsed Cause by Kishio Suga contemporary artwork painting
Kishio SugaScene of Elapsed Cause, 2017Wood, paint
70 7/8 x 70 1/8 x 7 7/8 inches
Blum & Poe
Cause of Directionality by Kishio Suga contemporary artwork sculpture
Kishio SugaCause of Directionality, 2016Wood, paint
72 x 51 3/4 x 4 inches
Blum & Poe
Fragmented State of Differentiated Space by Kishio Suga contemporary artwork mixed media
Kishio SugaFragmented State of Differentiated Space, 1995Wood, water-based paint
195.2 x 290.2 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Dispersed Spaces by Kishio Suga contemporary artwork installation
Kishio SugaDispersed Spaces, 2015Concrete blocks, fishing rods, thread, stones
Variable dimensions
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery

Kishio Suga Recent Exhibitions

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Kishio Suga Represented By

Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil Mendes Wood DM Brussels, New York, São Paulo

Kishio Suga In Ocula Magazine

In Ocula Advisory

Kishio Suga In Related Press

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Kishio Suga at Blum & Poe Los Angeles Related Press Kishio Suga at Blum & Poe Los Angeles 24 May 2017, Art in America

Kishio Suga's exhibition offered a careful choreography of sticks leaning against wood panels, ropes wrapped around rocks, fabric strips twisted around curved metal plates, and concrete blocks sandwic

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Precarious Cut-Stone Sculptures Convey a Sense of Delicate Balance Related Press Precarious Cut-Stone Sculptures Convey a Sense of Delicate Balance 2 January 2017, The Creators Project

Like a post-minimal graveyard, Kishio Suga’s cut stones and wood planks lend an existential air to the exhibition space at Dia:Chelsea. The Japanese artist’s first solo museum show in the United State

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Preview: Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 gallery highlights from Asia and Africa Related Press Preview: Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 gallery highlights from Asia and Africa 1 December 2016, Art Radar Journal

From 1 to 4 December 2016 galleries from around the world will converge on Art Basel Miami Beach. In Art Basel’s 15th edition in Miami Beach, there are an impressive 269 galleries expected from 29 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The art fair is proven to be a highlight of the art calendar, with almost all...

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Border crossings: a new show pairs the work of Hanne Darboven and Kishio Suga Related Press Border crossings: a new show pairs the work of Hanne Darboven and Kishio Suga 25 November 2016, Wallpaper*

Dia Art Foundation strikes a perfect balance in pairing the late German conceptualist Hanne Darboven with Kishio Suga, founder of Mono-ha (School of Things) and Japan’s foremost sculptor in the latter's first solo museum exhibition in the US. Both are closely aligned to cultural and societal movements that defined the 1960s and 70s, a...

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