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Yohei Kichiraku Solo Exhiition 


Opening Reception for the Artist

December 17th (Sat) 17:00 - 19:00



3-9-11 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN



December 17th (Sat) 2016 through January 29th (Sun) 2017

12:00-19:00  |  Closed on Sundays, Mondays and National Holidays 


※ Open on Sunday on Last Day of Exhibition 

※ Winter Vacation: December 23rd through January 9th

▼Gallery Talk

"What if the World was All Marbling?"

—Viewing the Contemporary Society from a Perspective of Art and Marbling—


Date/Time:   December 17th (Sat) 19:00〜20:30

Speakers:            Mayumi Abe (modern &contemporary art, formative culture/The National Museum of Western Art, research fellow)

      Yoshio Suzuki (editor, art journalist)

      Yohei Kichiraku (artist)

Reservations:     No reservations required / free of charge / max capacity 30    *conducted in Japanese only


Formless (detail)

 2016 | acrylic on newspaper |  54.0 cm × 79.5 cm

© Yohei Kichiraku, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to announce Yohei Kichiraku’s solo exhibition Formless, from Saturday, December 17th, 2016.


Formless is Kichiraku’s new series based on the intense experience he encountered during his first visit to Europe. Kichiraku, who visited Paris for his book signing at Paris Photo in November 2015, heard the shocking news of the city being under a terror attack the night before his signing session. On the way returning to Charles de Gaulle Airport he even became stagnated on the bus which received a notice of  “a bomb detected ahead,” which turned all passengers into panic and randomly run into nearby houses until they found the report was erroneous. These shocking experiences made Kichiraku vividly conscious that the world we currently live in are based on a mixture of ethnics, each living with their own ideologies and historical perspectives all complexly intertwined and entangled, which for a person born and raised in Japan had no opportunity to actually experience before.


In Formless series, Kichiraku describes our world since the November 2015 Paris attack. His concept was conceived right after he returned from his trip to Paris, which then he spent a year to research and prepare. The series consists of works applying Ebru (marbling) on newspapers he collected from across the globe, dated anytime after November 2015. Marbling, which in Japan also known as Suminagashi, has the impression of being a pattern making method that derived in Europe, whilst in fact the world’s earliest marbling has been found in Japan (Sanjuurokuninshuu from Nishihohnganji in Kyoto, is said to be the oldest existing paper-marbling material). Researches state that Suminagashi (Ebru) was originated around the 9th century, which then propagated to Turkey along the silk road, then spread across Europe since the fifteenth century. After returning from Paris, Kichiraku began his studying of the Turkish Ebru method which for now has been over a year.


In Formless, Kichiraku features the abstractness and fluidity of Ebru (marbling), which he found in common with the fluidizing globalization of the world we currently are living in. He also drew comparison with the history of marbling which cross-bordered countries and cultures, with the rapidly accelerating digitized society we are now experiencing. For example, war used to have a clear geographic and chronological borderline; where the battlefields are and from which date the war had started, whereas now Kichiraku states from his experience in Paris that “everything seems to be happening through a virtual 'cloud' —even including war."


This body of work may also connote notions towards the “formlessness,”—a concept first introduced by French writer-philosopher Georges Bataille in 1929, and re-introduced by the cultural theorists Rosalind Krauss and Yves-Alain Bois in 1996. This new series, which originated from the ancient Japanese Suminagashi method, could certainly be recognized as an act of informe in its attitude of extracting new context from newspapers that are known as a medium of delivering daily occurrences.


We hope that his new expressions based on the own intense experiences and researches would become inspiring experience for all viewers.


Formless (detail)

Formless (detail)

2016 | acrylic on newspaper | 46.5 x 61.5cm © Yohei Kichiraku, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Formless (detail)

Formless (detail)

2016 | acrylic on newspaper | 46.5 x 61.5cm © Yohei Kichiraku, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Formless (detail)

Formless (detail)

2016 | acrylic on newspaper | 54.0 x 79.7cm © Yohei Kichiraku, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Yohei Kichiraku Profile


Born in Niigata, Japan in 1979. Graduated Nihon University, College of Art, Department of Photography in 2002. Main solo exhibitions include BIRDS (SUNDAY 2015, NANATASU Gallery 2014), Quietude (SLANT Gallery, 2012). Group exhibitions include transcripts/memories (KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, 2015). Winner of Canon New Cosmos of Photography 2012 (35th competition), Excellence Award (2012), Canon New Cosmos of Photography 2011 (34th competition), Honorable Mention (2011), The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition (2011). His first monograph BIRDS (amana) was published in fall 2015.


*we thank each listed below for the generous support in collecting newspapers from worldwide


Delegation of the European Union to Japan
Embassy of Republic of Korea, Tokyo
Embassy of Switzerland in Japan
Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Japan
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tokyo
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo
Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in Japan
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan
The Embassy of Algeria, Tokyo, Japan
Gregory Van Bellinghen
Kemal Adlig
Richard Kelner
Rie Chiba


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