Izumi Kato’s third solo show at Perrotin Hong Kong opens to public from 25th March

Untitled, 2023. Oil on canvas. 66 × 126 cm. ©️2023 Izumi Kato. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

16th March 2024 – (Hong Kong) Perrotin Gallery is set to unveil “The Enigmatic World of Izumi Kato,” an exhibition showcasing the latest work by Izumi Kato, the Japanese artist celebrated for his unique and mystifying humanoid creations. The show opens its doors to the public on Monday, 25th March 2024, and will continue until Saturday, 18th May.

Kato, born in 1969 in the myth-steeped region of Shimane Prefecture, has long been fascinated with the human form, or more precisely, shapes that inhabit the liminal space between the human and the otherworldly. His works are a tapestry of enigmatic figures that appear to have emerged from the depths of a rich cultural imagination, drawing on the polytheistic and animistic traditions of Shintoism, and the folklore of his coastal homeland.

These creations, often lacking definitive facial expressions and possessing slender, elongated limbs, have been compared to the Kodama—spirited tree entities from Japanese lore, and are imbued with a sense of extraterrestrial otherness. They are painted, sculpted beings that stand as silent guardians of a narrative only they are privy to, their hollow gazes inviting onlookers into a contemplative dialogue.

The exhibition represents a pivotal moment in Kato’s artistic journey, signalling a shift from his well-known humanoid figures to the inclusion of animal forms that share a profound connection with anatomy and nature. These newer pieces suggest a symbiotic relationship between the humanoid and the animalistic, delving into themes of companionship and the interconnectivity of life forms.

In his latest collection, Kato’s figures sometimes share their space with animals, at other times they morph into hybrid entities that are part floral, part faunal. This artistic evolution speaks volumes of Kato’s ongoing exploration of the body, both in its physical and metaphysical dimensions, and his interest in the intricate dance between dualities.