Kikuji Kawada

Shadow in the Shadow

May 29 - Jul 5, 2019
PGI

Kikuji Kawada

Shadow in the Shadow

May 29 - Jul 5, 2019
PGI

  • ©Kikuji Kawada

  • ©Kikuji Kawada

  • ©Kikuji Kawada

  • ©Kikuji Kawada

PGI is pleased to present Shadow in the Shadow, the solo exhibition at the gallery for artist Kikuji Kawada.

Kikuji Kawada’s 60-year career as a photographer began with shooting gravure for ‘Shukan Shincho’ magazine in 1956. Since then, ambitious works like ‘Chizu (The Map) [1965],’ a metaphor-riddled recollection of Japan’s loss of the second World War, the apocalyptic documentary of bizarre weather conditions ‘Last Cosmology [1996]’ and the series of urban phenomena ‘Last Things [2016]’ have made him one of the most internationally acclaimed Japanese photographers of all time. 

For the last two years, Kikuji Kawada has uploaded three or so photographs a day to Instagram. He finds the way the images acquire ‘likes’ with virtually no other comments or interaction as sublime, if not a little spooky. While photos posted to social media like Instagram linger on forever in our timelines, Kawada makes a point of also printing each image.

This exhibition will feature around 50 of these photographs.

There’s another, warped world lurking within our own, reflecting in pools of water or suddenly appearing as ethereal big city shadows. Similarly, Kawada’s otherworldly photos are embedded into our image feeds in between photos of food, family, travel and the mundane, lurching out at us as we scroll. These photographs, so out of place in our timelines, take on another life when made into physical prints and show us a vision shockingly rooted in reality.

I have been paying attention to Instagram. It started as curiosity to see what this new form of communication might bring. Two years have passed since my first upload, and time has since seemingly vanished into the limitless platform, like an unfamiliar shadow silently sweeping past me.

 

The shadows of uncertainty cast by passing seasons and generations send chills down my spine. This whole time I’ve wondered if any of it has been real or all just a dream. I’m also constantly dumbfounded by the sheer number of synchronicities. I’ve become entangled in some sort of shadowy image abduction conspiracy. And yet each little heart mark symbolizing a stranger liking an image renews the spell and I willingly delve deeper into the puzzles of light.

 

Sun-kissed bare trees, having shed their leaves for the winter, transform into phantoms while summer window panes absorb the light and deep shadows, whispering “The images are your shadows.” The shadows of clouds and wind lack hue but change in dimension. Shadows cast by the undulation of old electrical wires create discord on the ground below. By night crowds mutate into shadows and begin to resemble Invaders reluctantly floating off into space.

 

The myriad of shadows lurking around me are like faceless harlequins, rapidly interpolating reality with mise-en-scène. Photos dance endlessly around the shadows yet fall short of true penetration. For the image abductor knows no bounds.

 

Kikuji Kawada

10.April 2019 Tokyo

Kikuji Kawada

Born in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan in 1933. Kawada co-founded the VIVO(1959-1961) photographic collective in 1959.

He was one of the fifteen artists selected for the “New Japanese Photography” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1974.

Selected Recent One-Person Exhibition: “ZENO – The Last Cosmology” (PGI 1996), “Car Maniac” (PGI 1998), “Eureka” (PGI 2001), “Kikuji Kawada: Theatrum Mundi” (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photograph, Tokyo 2003), “The Map 1960-1965” (PGI 2004), “Kikuji Kawada: Eureka/ Multigraph” (Shadai Gallery, Tokyo Polytechnic University 2005), “Invisible City” (PGI 2006), “ATLAS 1998-2006” (Epsite, Tokyo 2006), “Remote Past: Memoir 1951-1966” (PGI 2008), “World’s End” (PGI 2010), “Nikko – A Parable” (PGI 2011), “2011-phenomena” (PGI 2013), “The Last Cosmology” (Michael Hoppen Gallery, London 2014), ““The Last Cosmology” (L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, NY 2014), “Last Things” (PGI 2016), “Los Caprichos -Instagraphy- 2017” (PGI 2018), and numerous group exhibitions.

Collections: Museum of Modern Art New York, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Museum of Fine Art Boston, Tate Modern, SF Museum of Modern Art, The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

 

 

PGI Exhibitions

Jan 12 Mar 3, 2018 Los Caprichos –Instagraphy– 2017
Jan 8 Mar 5, 2016 Last Things
Sep 4 Oct 31, 2012 2011-phenomena
May 10 Jun 25, 2011 NIKKO – A Parable
May 13 Jul 10, 2010 World’s End 2008-2010
Nov 17, 2008 Jan 30, 2009 Remembrance of a Remote Past – A Memoir 1951-1966
Oct 12 Nov 10, 2006 Invisible City
Dec 15, 2004 Feb 10, 2005 The Map 1960 – 1965
Oct 3 Oct 31, 2001 Eureka
Nov 9 Dec 19, 1998 Car Maniac
Nov 12, 1996 Jan 24, 1997 Zeno – The Last Cosmology
Oct 3 Oct 31, 1986 Los Caprichos 1970-1980
Sep 14 Oct 13, 1984 Nude Museum