Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Kohei Nawa

b. 1975, Japan

Kyoto-based artist Kohei Nawa challenges the boundaries between virtual and physical space in surreal, semi-abstract multimedia works. Exploring themes of science, digital culture, and sensory perception, his works have been exhibited across Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Born in Osaka, Nawa graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts with a BA in 1998 and a PhD in Fine Art Sculpture in 2003. Between degrees in 1999, the artist attended a sculpture course at the Royal College of Art in London on an exchange. He claims a diverse range of influences from this background, including the work of artist Antony Gormley, architect Antoni Gaudi, manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo, and the art of Buddhism and Shintoism.

Working with a range of modern synthetic compounds including silicone oil, silicon carbide dust, polyurethane foam, and epoxy resin, Nawa's sculptures and installations hover between an organic and a sleek, artificial appearance. His distinctive, career-spanning 'PixCell' series (2002–ongoing) is inspired by the appearance of digital pixels. Selected objects are encased in a lattice of 'cells' made up of glass beads in different sizes. The resultant form magnifies and distorts the object's surface akin to a pixelated digital image in three-dimensional form. As structures of individual cells making up a singular whole object, the 'PixCell' works also mimic cellular biology. A defining format, much of his sculptural work expands on this process of encasing objects in synthetic materials to explore and alter viewer perceptions.

Nawa also works with highly viscous liquids as both a subject and a medium. Sculptures such as those in the 'Ether' series (2012–ongoing) evoke liquids dripping downward in solid form. Installations like Force (SCAI The Bathhouse, 2015) and Biomatrix (SCAI The Bathhouse, 2018) challenge viewers' perceptions of the liquid and solid states of the highly viscous, slow-moving medium of silicone oil through electrical manipulation or the action of gravity. The relation of liquids and forces like gravity are also explored in two-dimensional artworks such as those in the 'Direction' series (2012–ongoing).

One of Nawa's most ambitiously scaled installations is the immense, intricately 3D-printed, gold-leaf-encrusted Throne (2018), which is suspended within the Louvre's iconic I. M. Pei-designed glass pyramid. The opulent, but empty throne reflects the artist's interest in the absolute authority and power of monarchical rule that occurred in the past, and his premonition of future blind obedience to computers with increasingly powerful artificial intelligence.

While continuing to develop his practice, Nawa is also working to support and collaborate with other contemporary artists. Founding the creative platform SANDWICH in 2009 in a former sandwich factory near Kyoto, the artist has sought to bring together Japanese artists and performers to create an image of contemporary Japanese art and culture beyond the stereotypes of manga and anime. In projects such as Vessel (2015–ongoing), a touring collaboration with choreographer and dancer Damien Jalet, the artist works with contemporary dancers and musicians to enrich his artwork. Nawa also teaches as an Associate Professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Nawa's works feature in prominent permanent public collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. His work also featured in the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2009) and the 14th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh (Dhaka, 2010), where he received first prize.

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2019
Fade out copy.
Read More

Featured Artworks

View All (57)
Moment#129 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaMoment#129, 2019 Acrylic on paper
204.2 x 129 x 3.8 cm
Pace Gallery
Element-Black#5 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaElement-Black#5, 2018 Silkscreen on paper, acrylic, wooden panel
80 x 60 x 3.8 cm
Pace Gallery
Element-Black#2 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaElement-Black#2, 2018 Silkscreen on paper, acrylic, wooden panel
80 x 60 x 3.8 cm
Pace Gallery
PixCell-Fallow Deer#2 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaPixCell-Fallow Deer#2, 2015 Mixed media
145.4 x 125 x 125 cm
Pace Gallery
Throne (g/p_pyramid) by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaThrone (g/p_pyramid), 2019 Mixed media
155.2 x 72.6 x 49.5 cm
Pace Gallery
Velvet#10(R) by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaVelvet#10(R), 2019 Mixed media
55.5 x 228.7 x 12.5 cm
ARARIO GALLERY
Velvet#9(R) by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaVelvet#9(R), 2019 Mixed media
156 x 229 x 14 cm
ARARIO GALLERY
Throne(SiC/p_boy) by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork
Kohei NawaThrone(SiC/p_boy), 2019 Mixed media
80 x 23.7 x 38.2 cm
ARARIO GALLERY

Recent Exhibitions

View All (6)
Contemporary art exhibition, Kohei Nawa, Recent Works at Pace Gallery, Hong Kong
Closed
18 July–29 August 2019 Kohei Nawa Recent Works Pace Gallery, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Kohei Nawa, VESSEL at ARARIO GALLERY, Seoul
Closed
20 March–21 July 2019 Kohei Nawa VESSEL ARARIO GALLERY, Seoul | Ryse Hotel
Contemporary art exhibition, Kohei Nawa, Biomatrix at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Closed
10 October–8 December 2018 Kohei Nawa Biomatrix SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

'Mission [Spacexart]: Beyond Cosmologies' And 'Chronicle 1995' At The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tokyo Ocula Report 'Mission [Spacexart]: Beyond Cosmologies' And 'Chronicle 1995' At The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tokyo 29 Jul 2014 : Annabel James for Ocula

Too many Tokyoites miss the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) altogether. Beyond both the Ueno museums and the network of newer art spaces in Roppongi, this institution of first-class exhibition facilities, a vast pubic art library and one of the most significant global collections of contemporary Japanese art takes you by surprise in Old...

Fade out copy.
Read More

In Related Press

View All (6)
How technology distorts nature: Kohei Nawa’s art for the information age – so tactile you want to feel it Related Press How technology distorts nature: Kohei Nawa’s art for the information age – so tactile you want to feel it South China Morning Post : 24 July 2019

It takes some restraint not to reach out and touch the art when walking through a Kohei Nawa exhibition. From the stuffed animals covered in glass bubbles in his 'PixCell' series to the polished, futuristic blades of Throne, and the voluptuous objects coated in bedazzled grains from his "Particle" series, these sculptures have tactile...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Q&A With Japanese Artist Kohei Nawa Who Distorts And Illuminates The World We Live In Related Press Q&A With Japanese Artist Kohei Nawa Who Distorts And Illuminates The World We Live In Forbes : 19 May 2019

A major figure in Japanese contemporary art, Kohei Nawa reinvents sculpture by associating cultural tradition and new technologies. We sit down with the 44-year-old Osaka-born, Kyoto-based artist.

Fade out copy.
Read More
The Louvre has a new seat of power Related Press The Louvre has a new seat of power Japan Times : 28 August 2018

PARIS - This year, Paris has had a little bit of a Japanese makeover. To celebrate the 160th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and Japan, the capital is hosting Japonismes 2018: Les Ames en Resonance, a large-scale initiative running through February 2019 involving numerous exhibitions and events promoting Japanese art and design,...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Japanese Art, on Its Own Terms Related Press Japanese Art, on Its Own Terms The New York Times : 30 October 2017

METZ, France — French and Japanese flags flap in tandem at the Pompidou Center here, hailing the fall program at this sister venue of the Paris museum of contemporary art. Its exhibitions include one about Japanese architecture from 1945 to the present day, and the recently opened Japanorama, a survey of Japan's contemporary art since 1970,...

Fade out copy.
Read More

In Video & Audio

ASIA NOW 2018 || Yuko Hasegawa (Curator) and Kohei Nawa (Artist) Related Video & Audio ASIA NOW 2018 || Yuko Hasegawa (Curator) and Kohei Nawa (Artist) ASIA NOW : 22 November 2018

Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and Kohei Nawa discuss the artist's recent sculptures and installations, including Throne, on view under the Louvre Pyramid until January 14, 2019.

Fade out copy.
View Video

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Kohei Nawa are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
iCal GoogleYahooOutlook