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Ryuhei Yokoyama × Kanji Hasegawa
“Some kinda freedom”






March 6th (Saturday), 2021 -  April 3rd (Saturday), 2021 *extended until April 10th (Saturday)

Wednesdays through Saturdays, 13:00 - 19:00

(closed on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and National Holidays)
*irregularly open on March 7 (Sun) and 21 (Sun)

*temporarily closed on March 17 (Wed) and 18 (Thu)


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

tel +81 3 5843 9128      e-mail

SunM Color Co., Ltd.

▼Exhibition catalogue released on Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Spec:                                   250×180 mm, 32 pages, saddle stitch binding

Languages:                        Japanese, English, Chinese

Printing and Binding:    SunM Color Co., Ltd.

Authors:                             Ryuhei Yokoyama, Kanji Hasegawa

Translators:                       Mao Qiang (SunM Color Co., Ltd.) *JP→CH

                          Kana Kawanishi (KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY) *JP→EN

Publisher:                           KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

WALL crack & weed #1
2021 | mixed media (Japanese cypress, gold leaf, archival pigment print on concrete) | h185 × w155 × d70 mm

© Ryuhei Yokoyama × Kanji Hasegawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to announce the opening of  “Some kinda freedom,” an exhibition by two artists, Ryuhei Yokoyama and Kanji Hasegawa, from Saturday, March 6th, 2021.

Ryuhei Yokoyama is a photographer who captures the city, mainly in Tokyo, using monochrome film. In his latest series WALL which premiered in 2020, Yokoyama recreated walls in cities that transcend over years, through selecting images from thousands of street snapshots he had taken as his life’s work, which then are printed, washed, printed, washed, and have repeated the process over and over again. After further dividing them into layers and printing them out on a UV printer that instantly hardens the ink with ultraviolet light, his works result as unique prints with layers of ink that rise up three-dimensionally and reveal different expressions depending on the angle of view. Or, in his WALL crack series, he prints street snapshots directly on concrete rubbles he has collected in the city with a technology that allows him to print even on surfaces that are normally unprintable, and enable unique textures with singular three-dimensional effects . 

“WALL stanza (Third)”

“WALL stanza (Third)”

2020 | mixed media (archival pigment print/pigment foil on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta paper, mounted on aluminum board) | 1456 × 3090 mm (triptych) | © Ryuhei Yokoyama, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

“WALL stanza” (detail)

“WALL stanza” (detail)

© Ryuhei Yokoyama, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Kanji Hasegawa has been interested not only in art expression and punk rock culture, but also in Buddhism, since he was a student of sculpture at Tokyo University of the Arts, finding common traits among the three in transforming a "concept" into a "form." After training at Eiheiji Temple, one of the main temples of the Soto sect of Buddhism, he is now active as both a monk and an artist. Through his work, Hasegawa has been questioning the notions and values inherent in the culture and society to which he belongs, by intervening and rearranging the representations of motifs while working with realism.



2020 | Japanese cypress, gold leaf, ceramic | h410 × w320 × d150 mm | © Kanji Hasegawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

“Flower and Vase_4”

“Flower and Vase_4”

2021 | Japanese cypress, gold leaf, ceramic | h630 × w350 × d250 mm | © Kanji Hasegawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

In the fall of 2020, the two artists met through their artworks, and through an accidental connection, this two-person exhibition was realized. In this exhibition, they will present their individual works, but will also showcase their first collaborative series titled WALL crack & weed.  

For WALL crack & weed, Hasegawa researched weeds that naturally grow in Shibuya, and focused on the life that continues to sprout without being disturbed by the changing cityscape. The botanical motifs, sculpted in the traditional Buddhist technique of wood carving and gold leaf and soot applied from Japanese candles, condense the passage of time and become figurative, while graffiti snapshots are printed directly on pieces of concrete rubble that are used as vases, and are arranged to make the once-in-a-lifetime encounter permanent. The graffiti street snaps of Shibuya, which Yokoyama has taken in abundant quantities as his life's work, are not only a record of people's daily lives but also an embodiment of the impermanence of a city that is changing through scrap and builds. This work, in which the two artists' expressions resonate, affirmatively embrace the fundamental conflicts of what changes and what does not change, what remains and what does not remain.

WALL crack & weed #2

2021 | mixed media (Japanese cypress, gold leaf, archival pigment print on concrete) | h300 × w110 × d115 mm

© Ryuhei Yokoyama × Kanji Hasegawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

The Japanese word “Jiyu,” which is nowadays translated as “freedom,” is actually a traditional Buddhism word meaning that “everything in life should/is attributed to the self.” "Street" and "Buddhism" may seem to be at polar opposites at first glance, but the Zen philosophy of accepting all things as they are, right down to the details of daily life, and fulfilling a better way of life by looking at them correctly, is a value system that is truly compatible with the street. 

We sincerely welcome all to this exhibition, which exemplifies a singular synthesis of street art and Buddhism through a chance encounter.

Artist Statement

It all started with graffiti. Or, to be more precise, the very existence of graffiti itself.
What I did was to deconstruct its way of being into several elements and follow its process.
In order to mix the various states, situations, environments, and mediums,
I changed the printing method and paper each time.
As I repeated this process, the images gradually became meaningless.
An abstract aspect began to emerge, and it seemed as if nothing meaningful existed at all.
The only thing I had left in my hands were tattered prints with no clear picture of what was on it.
There were only crumbled letters, symbols, and fragments of landscapes anonymously lying around.
Nevertheless, due to the nature of the photographic medium,
there was no change in the fact that this is somewhere and something that definitely existed.
For example, it was like a battered vinyl record that had been passed through many hands,
listened to repeatedly, worn out, scratched, skipped over,
and although only noise could be heard now, it continued to earnestly play its sound.
Even though you could no longer hear the music, the vinyl continues to exist as a vinyl,
and in this sense, my photographs will never stop being a photograph.
I was a street photographer. That was good enough for me.
And, when you wipe away the certain things in an image, the certainty, would, eventually—. 
Ryuhei Yokoyama


Sculptures have been made with people’s faith. 
They have represented nature, God, and authority.
My sculptures, too, may have been made with faith.
But it is not something that appeals loudly to many people. 
Instead, it is directed towards a small reality that stands within a small room.

Kanji Hasegawa

“Some kinda freedom” is a two-person exhibition by a photographer and a sculptor.

Philosophy, culture, fusion, life, tension, faith, exchange, circulation, junk, zen, style,
transformation, space, music, illegality, nature, affect, diversity and chaos, assemblage,
repetition and difference, creole, narrative, representation, unfinished and in progress,
portraiture, analog, disobedience, rebellion, hope, destruction, radical, film, literature,
pessimism and optimism, anger, harmony, defeat, world, dialogue, history, solitude,
liberation, moment, spirit, life, tradition, innovation, collapse, arising, idleness, sampling,
noise, silence, pride, emotion, banality, blank, rhythm, trace, oblivion, fiction, silence, 
wandering, structure, harmony, counter, bodily sensation, abstract, image, irony, humor Image,
irony, humor, architecture, wit, laziness, experience, reality, freedom, and rebellion—.

These are the words and common codes that each artist holds inside, in place of their statement.

Ryuhei Yokoyama × Kanji Hasegawa

Artist Profiles

Ryuhei Yokoyama is a photographer born in 1979. With the theme “What is a city?,” his work focuses on street snapshots using black and white film, creating images of the city in flux using different perspectives and approaches. His recent works include the WALL series, which focuses on the existence of graffiti. Yokoyama’s works have been exhibited in both Japan and abroad, including his first exhibitions in Paris and China in 2019. His major monographs include Graffiti History of Mice Dancing with Light, Beautiful as if Written on Paper Scraps Rolling in the Wind  (2018, BUFFALO PRESS)

Kanji Hasegawa was born in 1990 in Mie Prefecture, Japan. He received a B.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Sculpture in 2014, and an M.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Sculpture in 2016. The same year, he completed his training at Daihonzan Eiheiji, one of the main temples of the Soto sect of Buddhism, and became a monk. His major solo exhibitions include My Sútra (2019, KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, Tokyo), ALLDAY TODAY (2018, Gallery HIROUMI, Tokyo) and RESEARCH & DESTROY (2015, CC4441, Tokyo). Group exhibitions include CC NIGHT -PLAY ANARCHY- (2015, CC4441, Tokyo). Hasegawa was shortlisted at “sanwacompany Art Award / Art in The House 2019,” and has received the Yuji Akimoto Prize at “Maebashi Art Compe Live 2012.”

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