Artist: Hiroki Tsukuda
Venue: Nanzuka, Tokyo
Exhibition Title: 199X
Date: September 1 – 29, 2018
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Nanzuka, Tokyo. Photos by Shigeru Tanaka. © Hiroki Tsukuda.
NANZUKA is pleased to present “199X,” an exhibition of new works by Hiroki Tsukuda. The exhibition marks Tsukuda’s fourth solo presentation with the gallery since his previous one-man show in 2014.
Hiroki Tsukuda was born in Kagawa in 1978, and since graduating from the Department of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Musashino Art University has continued to base his practice in Tokyo. In recent years he has received increasing international acclaim, with numerous solo exhibitions held such as “HOUR OF EXCAVATION” (Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany, 2017), “HIROKI TSUKUDA” (Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, Germany, 2017) and “Enter the O” (Petzel, New York, US, 2016). His large-scale work presented last year was added to the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Tsukuda’s two-dimensional works rendered entirely by hand are often conceived via a process of digital collage that combines a collection of his own drawings and snapshot photographs. In producing his work, Tsukuda initially manipulates various aspects such as the color, orientation, and resolution of each image that serve as his source material, thereby once destroying their existing context. Such means of production could be considered to have been derived from a contemporary interpretation of “the ability to witness illusion,” as advocated by artist André Breton whom Tsukuda cites as an inspiration for his practice. Nevertheless, it by no means intends for any manner of visual trickery. Since early childhood Tsukuda questioned his homogenous vision, and with a belief in pluralistic means of visual recognition, has continued to assume the existence of a realm he refers to as the “other world.” Cases in which the meaning of things change according to relative relationships, like monumental architectural structures that suddenly emerge amidst vast natural landscapes, and objects that appear different in form depending on the ways they are combined, are engraved within Tsukuda’s mind as significant sources of inspiration.
The title of the exhibition “199X,” is attributed to explorations of eschatology and apocalypticism, which served as frequent themes in films, comics, and novels that Tsukuda had encountered in his youth. The “post-apocalyptic world” depicted in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Mad Max (1979-1985), Blade Runner (1982), and Robo Cop (1987-1990), as well as in the manga series Fist of the North Star (1983-1988) had presented a great impact on Tsukuda’s vision of the future, becoming important sources of ideas and imagery that would later shape his artistic practice.
On this occasion, Tsukuda depicts a new world that assumes the destruction of civilization in the year 199X. In doing so, he attempts to compare and present a commanding view of the various issues and sense of stagnation that permeates contemporary society, such as the anxiety and despair of times when the world was divided into East and West and nuclear war was not a mere figment of one’s imagination; the explosive rise of various energies that counteractively emerged; memories of excitement at the end of the century and hopes for the new age to come; the dependency on virtual space in our current times due to the evolution of AI, SNS, and VR; and issues concerning radioactivity that are actually unfolding within his surroundings (Japan).
This exhibition features new works created through combining photographs and improvisational drawings, as well as an installation employing everyday items and found objects that the artist has continued to develop thus far. Tsukuda also engages with a new technique in which symbolic geometric patterns are rendered onto acrylic frames through silkscreen printing.