Spatial and Temporal Forms

Pirelli HangarBicocca will showcase the first European retrospective dedicated to one of the pivotal figure in contemporary Japanese art, Kishio Suga. Shown within a single exhibition space, Situations will present a series of Suga’s installation pieces, from 1969 to the present day.

In this latest exhibition, Suga has adapted several of his installations to work alongside the vast industrial architecture of the Pirelli HangarBicocca. As with much of Suga’s work, he focuses on the spatial and temporal form, that balance lightness and gravity, linearity and tension, solidity and intangibility. Having introduced the West to his investigative process of materials and spaces through nature and the environment at the Venice Biennale (1978), Suga hopes to draw us to similar concepts through Situations. Suga will use materials found on site, including iron, wood, stone and paraffin, to present an environment of both organic and industrial elements.

The exhibition also reflects on art movements such a Postminimalsim and Art Povera in Italy, which marked a time of certain international experimentation by Suga in the 1960s and 1970s. He began developing his style at a time of great artistic activity in Japan, alongside the rise of the Mono-ha movement between 1969-1972, which focused closely on the use of simple materials to form a relationship between the matter and its surrounding space, using techniques of suspending, stacking and breaking.

On show for the first time since 1984, hanging installation Critial Sections opens the exhibition. Spanning a height of more than 20 metres, the artist uses found materials such as branches as well as black and white fabric strips that dangle and inter-weave from the ceiling, attaching them to zinc plates laid out on the floor. Found along the side aisles of the gallery are other works that forge a relationship between in the interior and exterior spaces – Continuos ExistenceHB and Infinite Situation III, consist of materials such as branches, rope and wood beam. A key concept that runs through Suga’s work is that of interdependence of materials. He encourages the audience to observe both their surroundings as a whole alongside the intangible spaces between art works and the invisible corners of the room. Other installations on show investigate both the use of open air spaces to enhance structural elements and the physical characteristics of materials.

Kishio Suga, Situations, 30 September 2016 – 29 January 2017, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Via Chiese 2, 20126, Milan.

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1. Kishio Suga. Courtesy of Hangar Bicocca.