January 24, 2015 - Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) - Kishio Suga
January 24, 2015

Kishio Suga

Kishio Suga, Shachi Jōkyō (Left-Behind Situation), 1972/2013. Collection: Glenstone. Photo: Tsuyoshi Satoh.

Kishio Suga
Situated Latency

January 24–March 22, 2015

Museum Of Contemporary Art Tokyo
4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku
Tokyo 135-0022 


Kishio Suga (b. 1944) belongs to the Mono-ha (School of Things) art movement, which began in the late 1960s. This movement represented a departure from notions of representation and the artist’s intention, and instead aimed at allowing material to speak for itself. It was part of a new artistic direction in which there was a shift from subject to substance or from subjectivity to objectivity. Arte Povera, Supports/Surfaces, and Earthworks are examples of similar movements that emerged at around the same time, in which ideas around subjective knowledge and perspective were reexamined.

Why is Suga’s work from the 1970s important in 2015? One reason is the increasing prevalence of the digital environment and a movement away from the stable world of matter and “things.” Suga’s work re-explores this world of things and materiality. Suga also clearly understands “how” to explore materiality through art practice. Over the decades he has observed and explored weight, texture, and surfaces, as well as the characteristics of different materials, and his ability to perceive and he has continued to enhance and develop his understanding of the environment. Rather than interpreting objects and the environment, Suga allows objects to “speak for themselves.” His approaches are relevant to current theoretical tendencies, such as New Materialism and Object-Oriented Ontology.  

Suga’s installations, which take form in a given space, and use stones, wood, and metal plates as materials, can be described as generating a situation” (kei) that arises as a consequence of the coexistence of each piece of matter. Matter coexists in a group, and a mutual connectivity (renkansei) is born from that situation. By manipulating these intellectually, and with abundant sensitivity, space and matter begin to transform. The activation of space resulting from the intervention of the creative act is the essence of Suga’s art.

In today’s virtual, networked society, Suga’s works reflect our internal desire for contact with a world complete with physical complexity and real sensation. We do not simply relate to these works superficially; each individual interacts with the entirety of the space. Focusing on the 1970s, when Suga’s concepts were highly radical, this exhibition presents 38 works—including ten large-scale installations, 13 paintings, 15 photographs, production notebooks, and documentary footage—to present perspectives that are rich with allusions regarding matter, the body, and space.

(Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator)

Related programs:
Activation by Kishio Suga
March 7, 14h 
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Free* (*Exhibition ticket is required)
For further information on our programs, please visit the museum website.

Curated by Yuko Hasegawa (Chief Curator Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo), Naoko Seki (Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)
Organized by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

In collaboration with Asahi-Shuzo Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.
Exhibition catalogue: Kishio Suga: Situated Latency Scheduled to be published in January 2015 
Size: 260 x 210 mm / 200 pages / hard cover
ISBN 978-908062-05-6 C0070
Publisher: HeHe, www.hehepress.com   

Press contact: Kumiko Ohara (PR, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)  
k-ohara [​at​] mot-art.jp / T +81 (0) 3 5245 1134 / F +81 (0) 3 5245 1141

Kishio Suga at Museum Of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT)
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