Tsuyoshi Hisakado Polite Existence
Tsuyoshi Hisakado: Polite Existence
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Polite Existence, Japanese artist Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s first solo show in the Middle East and South Asia, presents his diverse oeuvre. Using sound, light, programming, sculpting, painting, and creating large-scale installations, the artist aims to engage the viewer’s imagination and hopes that his art pieces will resonate with their memories. Organised by Art Jameel in partnership with the Japan Foundation, the exhibition is curated by Anna Bernice delos Reyes (a Filipino arts and culture practitioner and researcher) and Yu Iseki, a Japanese curator. It is being held at Jameel Arts Centre until 23 September 2023.

“A talented engineer of ambiance”, in his work, Hisakado explores space, time, and other natural forces and spontaneous occurrences shaping our daily lives and the universe itself. For example, his crossfades series (2018-2020) of works on paper is dedicated to the mathematical constant pi (π). A spiral of minuscule numbers derived from it is hidden underneath a layer of blotches and splashes of ink. To the artist, the numbers of π refer to infinity.

crossfades #4, 2018-20. Two of 29 works from the series. Screen print, arches watercolor paper, ink and others. Each 760 x 560 mm. Photo: Takeru Koroda.

Another example of Hisakado’s works exploring the concepts of time and space is Gale (2017). It points to the presence of a power capable of threatening one’s fragile existence. A site-specific installation, it consists of 18 sets of glass cases with light bulbs swinging like a pendulum inside; they mark time with each movement. This is accompanied by sounds of wind recorded by the artist. 

Tsuyoshi Hisakado, Gale, 2017. Wood, glass, aluminum, brass, LED lamp. Dimensions variable.

The exhibition’s title is inspired by the artist’s eponymous series of six glass and wood sculptures which are on view. The sculpture A Polite Existence – Present Location (2020) looks like a model of a multilevel condominium with small cubes placed in separate “rooms”. This work alludes to the stratified nature of society and our individual places within it while living as a collective. A Polite Existence – Earthquake (2020) is a split vitrine; its one side is propped up by sandbags. The artwork is a reminder of the unexpected occurrences and consequences of natural disasters. A Polite Existence – Tunnel (2020) reflects Hisakado’s love for movement and circular motifs. A round shape cut into the glass revolves inside and outside the pane, suggesting the variable nature of distinctions and borders.

Tsuyoshi Hisakado, A polite existence – Present Location, 2020. Brass, chestnut, acrylic and others. 36 3/5 × 68 1/2 × 31 1/2 in. | 93 × 174 × 80 cm.

In his art practice, Hisakado also discovers the uniqueness and beauty of everyday phenomena and places. It can be seen, for instance, in FUZZ (2015). The installation comprises light stands heaped up in a stack and resembling a mountain. As wind rushes through the space, the lamps start to flash. In this work, the artist reflects on the relationship between the man-made object and natural forces and hopes that the audience will discover beauty in today’s chaotic social environment.

Tsuyoshi Hisakado, FUZZ, 2015. Stand Light, Sound, Light Bulb, Computer, Brass, Notebook, Watch, etc. Dimension variable.

About the artist

Tsuyoshi Hisakado (b. 1981, Kyoto, Japan) is a renowned conceptual Japanese artist residing in Kyoto. He received his BA in Fine Art Sculpture from Kyoto City University of Art in 2005. In the same year, he took part in an exchange program and studied at Royal College of Art in London, England, at the Sculpture Department. In 2007, Hisakado graduated from Kyoto City University of Art with a MA degree in Fine Art Sculpture.

His work has been displayed in multiple solo and group exhibitions, which include Mercedes-Benz Art Scope 2022-2024:EQ House x Tsuyoshi Hisakado (Mercedes-Benz EQ House, Tokyo, 2022); Hawai‘i Triennial 2022 “PACIFIC CENTURY – E HO‘OMAU NO MOANANUIĀKEA” (Hawaii, USA); Resume (Ota Fine Arts, Singapore, 2021); Practice of Spiral (Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan, 2020); Fuzz (Ota Fine Arts, Shanghai, China, 2019); The 58th Venice Biennale ’May You Live In Interesting Times’ (Venice, Italy, 2019); MAM Project 025: Apichatpong Weerasethakul + Hisakado Tsuyoshi (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2018); INTERSTICES: Manifolds of the In-between (De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila, Philippines, 2017); Aichi Triennale 2016 (Aichi, Japan); Nissan Art Award 2015: Exhibition of New Works of Seven Finalists (BankART Studio NYK, Kanagawa, Japan); and many others. 

Hisakado has participated in such residency programs as Mercedes-Benz art scope 2018-2020 (Berlin, Germany, 2018); East Asian Cultural Envoy for the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Shanghai, China, 2016); and Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (Aomori, Japan, 2013). He is also a recipient of several awards including The Kyoto Fine Arts Cultural Award, Encouragement Prize (2018); The Best Young Artist Award by City of Kyoto (2017); VOCA Prize (2016); and others.

To learn more about Polite Existence, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

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