Past Exhibition

Hiraki Sawa ― Lineament

The Shiseido Gallery is pleased to announce that it will host an exhibition by London-based Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa. This exhibition, titled Lineament, will run from April 7th (Sat) through June 17th (Sun), 2012.

Hiraki Sawa was born in 1977 in Japan's Ishikawa prefecture. In 1996 he enrolled in the Fine Art Foundation Course at the University of East London, then later went on to earn an M.F.A. degree in Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art at University College, also in London. Originally focused on sculpture, he eventually turned to video as his primary expressive medium. Having earned critical acclaim for his work dwelling in 2002, Sawa made London his home base and has been active ever since on the international scene. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Yokohama Triennial 2005, the 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, Australia, the Chengdu Biennale in China, and the Biennale of Sydney in Australia. His work has also been featured in museums around the world, and he has participated in such exhibitions as Six Good Reasons to Stay Home at the National Museum of Victoria (Melbourne, 2006), Artist File at the National Art Centre (Tokyo, 2008), Carrousel at the Musée du Temps and Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Besançon (France, 2009), and Sanso-Bigaku at the Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Museum (Kyoto, 2010).

Thus far, Sawa has drawn inspiration mostly from refreshing everyday happenings that he himself has experienced. In his earlier works, like dwelling (2002), elsewhere (2003) and trail (2005), he integrated familiar items found in his room at home ― a toy airplane, dishes, stationary supplies, animal shadows ― as allegorical images to create fantastic scenes within ordinary spaces, an approach that found wide appeal. In more recent years, he has been exploring and expanding the potential of video as an expressive medium, using multiscreen projections and sound effects situated in three-dimensional spaces to create installations that attempt to transform video from something merely watched to something physically experienced. For the 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, Sawa moved into new realms of expression with an installation titled O (2009), in which he interpreted feelings resonating within him during his travels around Australia's aboriginal outback as turning, spiraling time intervals linked together and expressed in space using video and sounds.

Lately, inspired by the experience of a friend with amnesia, Sawa has been undertaking a new project called "Figment," in which he inquires into the nature of memory and remembering. Interested in how the "gaps" that come from memory loss can rock reality, Sawa asks, "Doesn't the fact that memory loss can make you forget even what certain foods taste like show how very dependent we are on memory?" In this latest new video installation, Lineament, Sawa gives us the figure of a man looking back on his memories from a room in which the borderline between fiction and reality wavers back and forth, drawing our attention to how ambiguous the idea of "normal" really is. In this exhibition, this work will be shown along with two others from the "Figment" series, did i? and sleeping machine.

This exhibition offers a fine opportunity to see this new approach by Hiraki Sawa as he moves from the expression of spiritual landscapes deeper into the realms of surrealism.

Exhibiting works

  • Hiraki sawa
    2012, Video installation, 18min 47sec, Courtesy of Hiraki Sawa

Hiraki Sawa Profile

1977  Born in Ishikawa, Japan, lives and works in London

2001-2003  MFA Sculpture, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London

1997-2000  BA(hons) Fine Art, University of East London

Selected Solo Exhibition

2011 Hiraki Sawa ― O, James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA
2010 Hiraki Sawa ― Carrousel, Musée du Temps and Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Besançon, Besançon, France
Hiraki Sawa ― Silts, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan
2008 Hiraki Sawa, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, USA
2007 Hiraki Sawa ― Hako, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK
Hiraki Sawa, Frist Centre for the Visual Arts, Nashville, USA
2006 Six good reasons to stay at home, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
2005 Hiraki Sawa, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA
Hammer Projects - Hiraki Sawa, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angels, USA
2004 Going places Sitting Down, Hayward Gallery / Bloomberg Artist Commission for Waterloo Sunset, the Dan Graham Pavilion, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
2003 Dwelling, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK
Hiraki Sawa, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK

Selected Group Exhibition / Screenings

2011 Pure Views, Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu, China
BYE BYE KITTY!!!, Japan Society, New York, USA
2010 Sanso-Bigaku, Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Museum, Kyoto, Japan
The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Reflection: Alternative Worlds Through the Video Camera, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Mito, Japan
2009 Voyage, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
The 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
Incidental Affairs, Suntory Museum, Osaka, JAPAN
Mind as Passion, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2008 Cinema Indeed, narratives and projections, Instituto Itau Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil
In Between ― Asian Art Video Weekend, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
The Alliance, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
Kunsträume Schloss Friedberg, Museum im Wittelsbacher Schloss, Friedberg, Germany
Artist File 2008, National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan
2007 12th Biennale de l'Image en Mouvement, Centre pour l'Image Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland
2006 Dual realities, 4th Seoul International Media Art Biennale, Seoul Media City, Seoul, Korea
Enjoyable house, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art / Aichi Arts Centre, Aichi, Japan
2005 Art circus: jumping from the ordinary, Yokohama Triennial, Yamashita Pier, Yokohama, Japan
Thoughts of a Fish in the Deep Sea, Valencia Biennial, Convent of the Carmen, Valencia, Spain
2004 The Encounters in the 21st Century: Polyphony ― Emerging Resonances, 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, Japan
2003 C'est Arrivé Demain, 7ième Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, France
2002 New Contemporaries 2002, Barbican Curve, London, UK


2011 Goto Award
2006 Decibel Award for Artists
2002 East International Award

Gallery Talk by Hiraki Sawa (in Japanese language only)

Date: April 7th (Sat), 2012, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Place: Word Hall, Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building, 9th Floor
Capacity: 60 guests
Participation Fee: Free
Inquiries: The Shiseido Gallery (Tel 03-3572-3901 or Fax 03-3572-3951)

Exhibition Details for Hiraki Sawa ― Lineament

Organized by: Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Duration: April 7th (Sat) through June 17th (Sun), 2012
Location: Shiseido Gallery, Ginza Shiseido Building, B1, 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel:03-3572-3901; Fax:03-3572-3951
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM,
Sundays & National Holidays 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM,
Closed Mondays
Admission: free of charge

Top of Page
  • Current Exhibition
  • Next Exhibition
  • Past Exhibition
  • Exhibition Schedule