No.2_Katase_Schale_24.3.2012_02

Kazuo Katase
Schale 24.3.2012
Pastel on hand-made paper
Courtesy the artist and White Rainbow, London

Untitled-copy_02

Kazuo Katase
Drink a Cup of Tea, 1987
Furkart, Furka Pass, Switzerland
Courtesy the artist and White Rainbow, London

Kazuo Katase

Kazuo Katase was born in 1947 in Shizuoka, Japan.

He began his artistic training in 1967 to 1969 with preparatory studies in oil painting in Tokyo. He then decided to go his own independent way as an artist without further academic education. He became a member of the artists collective Group 361° + Intersection. In the context of the artists group, he developed an interest in European phenomenology, namely the works of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau Ponty. He became interested in the connection between existence and the world and the discrepancy between imagination and reality; these themes have influenced his artistic practice to this day. He completed photographs, performances, installations and photo-silkscreens. Katases first solo exhibitions with installations were presented at the Tamura Gallery in 1973 and one year later at the Muramatsu Gallery, both in Tokyo.

He was looking for a way to encounter contemporary Western art, minimal and conceptual art in a direct way. In 1974 he met Klaus Hoffmann, the then-director of the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, in Tokyo. He was invited by Klaus Hoffmann and went to Wolfsburg for a six-month residency, where he had his first European solo exhibition in 1975. He has lived and worked in Germany ever since.

He moved to Kassel in 1976 in order to participate in the workgroup Fotoforum led by Floris M. Neusüss at the Gesamthochschule Kassel, where he enrolled in free art and visual communication. His main area of study was experimental photography. At the same time, he also pursued his own artistic path. His interest in photography as art had already begun in Japan; however, it deepened in the following years. He was particularly interested in conceptual photography. In his works of this time he sought to visualise the act of seeing; he illustrated the processes that lead to the development of an image in one’s head. As a result, the positive-negative-aspect of the photographic process became an important topic of his photography. The negative image creates a counter image in which light and dark are reversed: a reference to the reality behind the image. This concept of representation can still be found in his photography and painting today. In 1980 he completed the light-pigment installation Untitled (Light) at the Aktionscenter Kassel, followed by his installation Positive Room – Negative Room.

His work in the 1980s and 90s is dominated by installation, photography and sculpture. He also became known for his space-filling installations in which light images and a few objects – a house, window, bed, representing the human situation in the world – are bathed in a permeating blue light which intensifies the viewer’s perceptual capacity in a peculiar way. In 1985, for the Kunstforum der Städtischen Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, Katase created his first light-space immersed in blue Fisch and Ship – empty and more.

Katase’s work gained international recognition with museum exhibitions in Europe and Japan. There was a particular focus on his installations. Besides numerous solo presentations he also participated in the now legendary exhibition chambre d’amis in Ghent in 1986, curated by Jan Hoet, as well as in documenta IX in Kassel in 1992.

A series of temporary and permanent outdoor installations have made Katase well-known. It began with the spectacular work Drink a Cup of Tea, which the artist installed at the Furka Pass in the Swiss Alps in 1987. These installations create their own order in which art, architecture, space and landscape interconnect.

Beside his artistic practise, Katase has delved into German philosophy and literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for a long time. He reads Nietzsche and Heidegger, and texts by Novalis, Goethe, Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse in particular. At the same time, he has also approached Zen Buddhism again and has been engaging with the Buddhist core, the “Heart Sūtra”. He was inspired to return to his own Japanese roots by the books of Daisetsu T. Suzuki and Kitarō Nishida. Both mind sets have influenced his world of imagination, and his art has become an encounter of the Orient and Occident.

In recent years, Katase has returned to painting and this appears to be an existential choice, rooted in the artist’s life. In 2007 he undertook his first journey to India, which he had planned for a long time. He visited the holy places of Buddhism and Hinduism. For Katase this journey was an encounter with his spiritual home and he afterwards felt an urge to lead his art in a new direction. As a motif of his paintings he has chosen a bowl, the shape that continues to characterize his work since 1986. In the shape of the bowl, he has found a form for his painting that is capable of accommodating his artistic yen for a free configuration of colour.

In 2012, these paintings were exhibited in his solo exhibition Gegenwart [Present] for the first time, at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop.

Born in Shizuoka, Japan, 1947
Lives and works in Kassel

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013

Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden

2012

Gegenwart, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop

2009

Otto Ritschl Award, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden

2008

Am Tor (Das Bilderbuch ohne Bilder), Zentrum für Internationale Lichtkunst, Unna

2003

Folkwang Museum, Essen

1999

Umsicht, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein

1998

Ort-Raum WINTERREISE, Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lübeck

1997

Ort-Raum Götternacht, Alte Brüderkirche, Kasseler Kunstverein

1996

Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden

1994

Schlafende Sterne, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster
Im Gegenlicht, Art Front Gallery, Tokyo

1993

Geworfene Schatten, The Shoto Museum of Art, Tokyo
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
Tramway, Glasgow

1991

Eclipse of the Earth, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

1990

John Gibson Gallery, New York

1989

Kazuo Katase, Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble

1988

Windstille, Kunstverein für die Rheinland und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Sunset, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

1986

Schwarzer Mond Weisser Stier, Galerià Juana Mordo, Madrid
Wewerka Galerie, Berlin

1985

Fish + Schiff – leer + mehr, Kunstforum, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München

1983

Zeichensetzung, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg

1981

Kunstpreis Wilhelmshafen, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshafen, Wilhelmshafen

1975

Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg

1974

Sehbild, Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo

1973

Tamura Gallery, Tokyo

Selected Group Exhibitions

2010

Ruhr Atoll, Capital of Culture Ruhr.2010, Baldeneysee, Essen

Biennale for international light art, Capital of Culture Ruhr.2010

2007

1000 Jahre Bistum Bamberg, Villa Concordia, Bamberg
MARTa schweigt, MARTa, Hertford

2005

Lichtkunst aus Kunstlicht, ZKM, Karlsruhe

2003

International Installation Triennale, Haifa Museum, Israel

2000

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan

1998

Der Vogel Selbsterkenntnis, Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum, Innsbruck

1995

Japan Today, Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebaek
After Hiroshima, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima

1994

Out of Bounds, Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa

1992

DOCUMENTA IX, Kassel
Arte Amazonas, Museum de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro

1991

Rhizome, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

1990

The imprinted ideas, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Art, Tochigi

1987

Furkart’87, Furka-Pass, Switzerland

1986

chambres d’amis, Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent

1985

Prozess und Konstruktion, Künstlerwerkstatt Lothringerstrasse, München

1983

Photography in Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and Kyoto

1981

Kostrukcja w Procesie / Construction and Process in the Art of the 70’s, Lódz

Selected stage settings

2002

Ernst Deutsch Theater, Hamburg

1997

documenta X special, Staatstheater, Kassel

Selected works in public space

2014

Permanent Representation, State of Hessen, EU, Brussels

2012

Park, Community Foundation Rohrmeisterei, Schwerte

2010

Entry of the City, City of Bottrop

2009

Centre of Justice, Mathilde Place, Darmstadt

2008

Kurt Blaum Place, City of Hanau
Diakonie Clinical Center, Kassel

2005

District Court, Wuppertal

2004

Community Gall, Ōmagari, Kita Hiroshima, Hokkaido
Cité Internationale, Lyon

1999

Hospital of the City of Ludwigshafen am Rhein

1996

University Hospital, Freiburg I’m Breisgau

1995

Commune Amersfoort, district Kattenbroek, The Netherlands
Station of the City, Lille

1994

Yasuda Fire Insurance, Tachikawa City, Tokyo
Community Hall, SHiribeshi, Hokkaide

1991

Cassiopeia Thermal Bath, Badenweiler

Collections

Helga de Alvear Collection, Madrid
Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart
Goldman Sachs Collection, London
Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima
Staatskanzlei, Land Hessen, Wiesbaden
Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop
Kunsthalle Kiel, Kiel
Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden
Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa
Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hannover
S.M.A.K., Ghent
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kassel
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München
Städtische Galerie, Schloss Wolfsburg
Tokushima Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Japan
Wilhelm-Hack-Museumm Ludwigshafen am Rhein

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