SHIKŌ Solo Exhibition “About Infinity”

■Venue

■Period

​■Hours

■Artists

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

4-7-6 Shirakawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0021 JAPAN  *car parking available in front of the gallery

April 2nd (Saturday), 2022 -  May 7th (Saturday), 2022

Wednesdays through Saturdays, 13:00 - 19:00

SHIKŌ (Kojun + Kanji Hasegawa + Isaji Yugo)

“SHIKŌ #1”

“SHIKŌ #1”

2022 | Lego, bayberry wood, discarded wood, copper wire, cashew lacquer, gold leaf, dried leaves | H190 × W330 × D180 mm | ©️ SHIKŌ (Kojun + Kanji Hasegawa + Isaji Yugo), courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

“SHIKŌ #2”

“SHIKŌ #2”

2022 | plastic bottle, bayberry wood, copper wire, cashew lacquer, gold leaf | W160 × D120 × H320 mm | ©️ SHIKŌ (Kojun + Kanji Hasegawa + Isaji Yugo) courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

“SHIKŌ #3”

“SHIKŌ #3”

2022 | Lego, bayberry wood, copper wire, cashew lacquer, gold leaf | W280 × D130 × H280 mm | ©️ SHIKŌ (Kojun + Kanji Hasegawa + Isaji Yugo) courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to present SHIKŌ solo exhibition "About Infinity" starting April 2, 2022.

The first solo exhibition of SHIKŌ, an artist unit consisting of three artists, Kojun (Jonathan Harlow), Kanji Hasegawa, and Isaji Yugo, will be held at KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY. The works of SHIKŌ frequently feature “Butsuzo (Buddha statues)” as its motif. The word “Butsuzo” originally refers to the image of Gautama Siddhartha, who became the Buddha, but the image of the great Buddha was originally thought to be something that could not be expressed by human hands. For example, its presence was only hinted at by footprints, linden trees, and pedestals in the reliefs depicting the life of Buddha in early Indian Buddhist art. It was only after some 500 or 600 years that Buddha's image gradually began to appear in the form of Buddha statues, and now when we look at the statues of the Buddha created by SHIKŌ, they are not only a reappearance of Buddhist thought in Japan after its cultural transmission to the West, but also a result of abstracted plastic through the art creation of Isaji Yugo, or a statue accompanied with vegetation sculptures using traditional Buddhist carving methods by the hand of Kanji Hasegawa, a monk ordained after training at Eiheiji Temple in the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.

 

We cordially invite all to this first solo exhibition by SHIKŌ, where the personalities of the three artists induce chemical reactions sublimed into layers of consideration and creation. 

Kojun “1HVKM02020”

Kojun “1HVKM02020”

2020 | Gloss finish gold leaf over ABS thermoplastic viewer / Washi diffuser with gold kindei wash | W115 × D75 × H92 mm | ©️ Kojun, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Kojun “Kensho 2720”

Kojun “Kensho 2720”

2019-2020 | UV print of digital photograph on pewter leaf on paper, mounted in Japanese silk scroll | image: 893 × 509 mm, scroll: 1859 × 668 mm | ©️ Kojun, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Kanji Hasegawa “Flower and Vase_4”

Kanji Hasegawa “Flower and Vase_4”

2021 | Japanese cypress, gold leaf, ceramic | H630 × W350 × D250 mm | ©️ Kanji Hasegawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Kanji Hasegawa “A Girl with a Flower”

Kanji Hasegawa “A Girl with a Flower”

2019 | Japanese cypress, gold leaf, antique glass, copper wire | H320 × W100 × D130 mm | ©️ Kanji Hasegawa, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Isaji Yugo “greeble the space 01”

Isaji Yugo “greeble the space 01”

2021 | plastic model | ©️ Isaji Yugo, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY | photo by Ujin Matsuo

Isaji Yugo “greeble the space 02”

Isaji Yugo “greeble the space 02”

2021 | plastic model | ©️ Isaji Yugo, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY | photo by Ujin Matsuo

Artist Statements

Isaji Yugo and Kanji Hasegawa gathered around Kojun (Jonathan Harlow).

The collaborative work, which began with a common interest in Buddhism, was like a dialogue conducted through artworks.

This dialogue gradually took shape through the screen of Zoom and through remote collaboration by mail.

Furyūmonji:

Buddhism teaches something that cannot be expressed in words, but what about our dialogue?

The thoughts, trials, and preferences of the three artists shared through their works.

What could the strange idols born through the communication of making things convey?

Notes on the Zen Buddhism tenet of furyūmonji:

Buddhist revelation through intuitive discernment; Spiritualawakening cannot be experienced with words and letters; Spiritual enlightenment can be attained only by means of communion of mind with mind.

 

—Kanji Hasegawa

Perhaps because I am Asian, an acquaintance in Sweden once said “You know, Buddhism is my favorite religion.” I was a bit surprised at this because I had thought that there is no “like” or “dislike” when it comes to religion. But, I guess it may be a good thing in the end to have this attitude of choosing your religion in this way. He didn’t actually become a Buddhist or go to temples or anything like that, so I imagine he enjoyed Buddhism as a kind of knowledge. From that perspective, Buddhism is my favorite religion too.

The thing that has made a really strong impression on me is what Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki calls the “logic of sokuhi” (“identity-difference”); “The Buddha preached the perfection of wisdom, which, he taught, was not the perfection of wisdom; therefore, it is called the perfection of wisdom.” This completely contradictory idea of saying “That which is not A, we call A” resonates with me as an artist. It is definitely the case that in artistic production a logical approach to reasoning doesn’t apply. And, this “logic” also reflects the multifaceted-ness of words and things. The things we can hear or see may not necessarily be the essence of what is there. 

One could simply set aside this “logic” as just another interesting way of thinking, but for me this is the way things really are.

—Isaji Yugo

“With that single word, Master Rinzai attained enlightenment, 
saying “Master Ōbaku’s Buddhadharma!?!  There’s really nothing to it!”

 

“What is the true Buddha, what is the true Dharma, what is the true Path?, please tell us O Master!

The Master said: The Buddha is your pure heart, the Dharma is the radiance of your heart, 
and the Path is your heart glowing purely without interruption.”


“By ‘purity’ is meant kū, emptiness, and by kū is meant directly and immediately engaging with everything, while not attaching to anything.” 
 

The Record of Linji, Seizan Yanagida—


Master Hakuin said “mindfulness in motion is infinitely superior to mindfulness in stillness.”

Engaging with the opportunities that present themselves suddenly in day-to-day life.

These are the things I explore.
 

—Kojun

Artist Profiles

Kojun was born in 1977 in the United States. He has lived and worked in Tokyo since 1999. He started activities as a self-taught multimedia artist under the name Kojun in 2019.

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 Some Kinda Freedom (2021, KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, Tokyo) and CC NIGHT -PLAY ANARCHY- (2015, CC4441, Tokyo).

Hasegawa was shortlisted at “sanwacompany Art Award / Art in The House 2019,” and received the Yuji Akimoto Prize at “Maebashi Art Compe Live 2012.”

Isaji Yugo was born in 1985 in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. He received a B.F.A. at Tama Art University, Faculty of Art and Design, Department of Sculpture in 2008. He resided in Sweden as a Fellowship Program, Pola Art Foundation in 2019. His major solo exhibitions include Second Hand World (2020, Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo), Rehabilitation (2020, Gallery Bageriet, Gothenburg, Sweden), and SHOW CASE GALLERY (2020, Yokohama Civic Art Gallery Azamino, Kanagawa, Japan). Group exhibitions include Come on Yesterday (2020, Suisei Club,  Ishikawa, Japan), Correct way of distortion (2019, Koganei Art Spot Chateau 2F, Tokyo), and Traveling Artists, Transporting Art Works (2017, Yiri Arts Taichung Space, Taichung, Taiwan).