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Atsushi Aizawa Solo Exhibition

“Transparent Distance”


September 28th  (Saturday)  18:00 - 20:00



4-7-6 Shirakawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0021 JAPAN 


September 28th (Saturday), 2019 - October 19th (Saturday), 2019

Tuesdays through Fridays, 13:00 - 20:00

Saturdays, 12:00 - 19:00

(closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National Holidays)

*Please note:

The exhibition will be closed on Saturday, October 12th due to the upcoming large typhoon. We cordially apologize for any occurring inconveniences.

© Atsushi Aizawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to announce the opening of Atushi Aizawa solo exhibition Transparent Distance on Saturday, September 28th. 


Aizawa presented works themed on the intermediate space between humans and nature with materials such as rusted iron, soil, cement, and other substances in his solo exhibition No Man’s Land (2017). In this exhibition Transparent Distance, he will feature iron and specifically as “barbed wires,” to express the intermediate distances created by humans. 


Aizawa has been consistently featuring the material of iron since he was an art student. The history of iron dates back to the big bang that is said to have 13.7 billion years ago when the universe was created. The planet Earth was created 4.6 billion years ago with iron occupying one third of its mass. Then oxygen started to be created by the work of cyanobacteria taking it out from iron 2.7 billion years ago. The existence of iron contributed to the microbial evolution, as creatures learned to gain energy by obtaining oxygen from iron, which led to the world we live in now with various creatures coexisting with human civilization.*1


Barbed wires made from this iron was first invented in 1865 in France, and then by the American inventor and businessman, Joseph Glidden in 1874.*2 In McLean, Texas, there is a museum named Devil’s Rope Barbed Wire Museum that focuses on barbed wire and its history, which showcases how barbed wires in America had been used for fences dividing borders of the farms and ranches, and have become one of the keywords when speaking of the settlement of the American West.*3


In this exhibition, Aizawa will be exhibiting new works created from barbed wires with soil, and barbed wires with cement, as well as installations. Among the various functions the iron material had contributed since its origin dating back to when the universe began, in this exhibition, Aizawa will showcase how humans have thought of space and territories, by featuring the iron-made barbed wires.

Artist Statement

Humans tend to create borders. 


With barbed wires, fences, pickets, and other various tools, humans have been dividing land and space throughout their history. These borders have shown how humans have handled space allocation in an intolerant manner.  


For example, we can refer to the barbed wire. History proves how this material had always had a violent aspect. It was used to blockade the land of the Native Americans, to besiege the residential areas through the Cuban Independence War or the South African Second Boer War, to defence entrenchments during World War I, or to conduct imprisonment at the Nazi concentration camps. The wires have flexibly met the demands of various cases. They have been easy to use for various purposes including defence, protection, imprisonment and many more. They have been used in farms and meadows in the countryside, or in hazardous factories, barracks, prisons, or houses with security anxiety in the urban areas. They have even been used as national borders under political strains. What these borders do are to visualize the various distinctions within the space. Its offensive appearance create a hierarchy within the spaces and its residents, and reject those who attempt to break the border. 


Vegetation are sometimes used for the seclusion of spaces nowadays as well. Barbed wires could be hidden in the trees, or bushes with sharp stings are sometimes used as protective bushes. These blend into their surroundings without any offensive appearances, while they will never allow trespassing. 


In these cases, the symbolization of seclusion is weakened while its spatial restrictions are strengthened. Whether or not real or unreal, there are also cases where its offensive appearance is emphasized. These all become a reliable benchmark of showcasing the relationship between the rulers and the ruled.


Normally, the majority are the ruled, while they often do not notice themselves as so. Therefore, those spatial borders are transparently embedded around us in our daily lives. 


Through this exhibition, I would like to research my interest towards war, history, colonialism, and my personal history, and examine these transparent distances created by the variously planned borders and ambiguous spaces that exist within our surroundings.  


—Atsushi Aizawa

Artist Profile

Atsushi Aizawa was born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1991. He enrolled in Tama Art University, Faculty of Art and Design, Department of Painting, Japanese Painting Course in 2011, and received B.A. at Tama Art University, Faculty of Art and Design, Department of Information Design, Art and Media Course in 2015. Aizawa visualizes invisible forces of nature while making use of both his academic backgrounds in Nihonga (Japanese painting) and media art. His solo exhibitions include The Discoveries from A Certain Fable (2019, COURTYARD HIROO GALLERY, Tokyo), No Man's Land (2017, KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, Tokyo), Self Do, Self Have (2016, COURTYARD HIROO GALLERY, Tokyo)Effect (2015, SONO AIDA #1, Tokyo). Group exhibitions include IN YOUR BONES (2018, Socato Gallery, Wrocław, Poland), Oasis (2017, Shinagawa Intercity, Tokyo), and STAND ALONE (2016, GALLERY HIROUMI, Tokyo). In 2015, Aizawa was awarded Grand Prix at FUTURE CULTIVATORS PROGRAM, and shortlisted at the 2nd CAF Award.

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