Kishio Suga

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Kishio Suga was born in 1944 in Morioka, Japan, and he graduated with a degree in painting from Tama Art University in 1968. He currently lives and works in Morioka, Japan.


Kishio Suga is a leading figure of the Japanese art movement known as Mono-ha (School of Things), which was active in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has recently been reexamined within the international critical milieu. In his oeuvre cultivated over more than four decades, Suga has assembled plain materials such as stone, metal, and wood in situations that highlight their very existence and the interdependence and interrelationships between man, matter, and space through poetic visualizations. The titles given to the works are coined words composed of Chinese characters chosen by the artist, and they demonstrate Suga’s strong interest in concepts. What makes Suga different from other conceptual artists is his belief that concepts exist in physical things before they are put into an artwork and the task of the artist is to listen to them. Suga has spoken in a number of texts and interviews about seeing “things that cannot be seen” in physical materials. His theoretical statements have given a strong conceptual underpinning to the art of Mono-ha.


In a career spanning more than 40 years, he has participated in many historic international exhibitions, including “Japon des avant-gardes -1910-1970” at the Centre Georges Pompidou, “Scream Against the Sky: Postwar Japanese Art” at the Yokohama Museum of Art and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and “Prima Materia” at the Punta della Dogana. He has held solo exhibitions at the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum in Shizuoka, the Yokohama Museum of Art, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Suga’s work is held by major public collections including Tate Modern and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.