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About

Sansui Tokyo is a collective that considers contemporary art and society under the theme of sansui thought to be peculiar to East Asia. Sansui is often regarded as a classical subject represented by landscape painting (sansuiga/shanshuihua) and rock gardens (karesansui), but an underlying human non-agency presents us with many implications in the 21st century.

Ryosuke Kondo, who presides over Sansui Tokyo, has long been interested in an understanding of nature rooted in East Asia and found in fieldwork in both Chinese feng shui and Japanese gardens while researching the history of the Western landscape. The term “landscape,” derived from the West, is premised on the binary opposition between humans (the subject) and nature (the object), whereas sansui, in East Asia, presupposes that both humans and nature exist undifferentiated in the flux of all things.

A perspective such as that of sansui, which does not fit within a limited framework of nature and landscape, can be effective when facing a present-day society in which modern Western values are ​​reaching a deadlock. Sansui Tokyo explores the world of sansui in a unique way and aims to build a new relationship between art and society.

Exhibitions

  • Individual Sansui

    Tomohito Ishii / Shinichi Takashima + Shu Nakagawa / Taisuke Makihara / Rui Mizuki
    Organizer: Ryosuke Kondo (art critic)
    Venue: Komagome SOKO
    Sat. 15 February – Sun. 8 March, 2020
    12:00 – 19:00 daily (Fri., Sat., Sun., and National holidays)

    Concept

    We are pleased to present Individual Sansui, an exhibition featuring four groups of artists at Komagome SOKO.

    Ryosuke Kondo, who organized this exhibition, has been interested in an understanding of nature rooted in East Asia through fieldwork in both Chinese Feng Shui and Japanese gardens, while researching the history of Western landscape. The term “landscape,” derived from the West, is premised on the presence of humans (the subject), whereas sansui originates in China and does not clearly distinguish human beings from nature. Rather than a visible world consisting of mountains and water, it is a symbol of polarities: yang and yin, static and dynamic, tangible and intangible; and it is believed that both humans and nature exist undifferentiated in the chain of things.

    Such a perspective of sansui is not limited to East Asia’s view of nature, but is also rich in suggestions for considering art and society in the age of globalization. For example, originals and reproductions that the modern art model regarded as a master-and-servant relationship will be reinterpreted as complementary. In addition, a human agency that is undermined by artificial intelligence and biotechnology may not be a given in the first place. In other words, sansui can be a keyword neither for nationalism nor for criticism against Western modernism but for thinking about the near future.

    The four groups of artists in this exhibition are diverse in terms of both mediums and interests, but they share an approach which intuitively seizes everyday objects, and they throw themselves into heteronomous thinking through physical relationships with materials, i.e. matter. The worlds they respectively evoke may be called sansui as a “topos” where people and nature are undifferentiated as substances and actions exist prior to thinking. This exhibition presents such potential of sansui. During the exhibition period, a series of gallery talks will be held with a variety of special guests to further explore the art of sansui.

    Gallery

Gallery Talks

  • 2020.03.07

    “Gallery Talk”

    Guest: Yuri Mitsuda (Art critic)

  • 2020.02.29

    “Civil Engineering of Rock Garden : Topography and Borrowed Scenery”

    Guest: Takashi Awano (Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture)

  • 2020.02.22

    “Artist Talk”

    Guest: Artists featured in the exhibition

  • 2020.02.15

    “A Range of Chinese Landscape Painting : Imaginary Tour and Reproduction”

    Guest: Motoyuki Kure (Curator, Kyoto National Museum)

Members

  • Tomohito Ishii

    website

    more detail +

  • Shinichi Takashima + Shu Nakagawa

    more detail +

  • Taisuke Makihara

    website

    more detail +

  • Rui Mizuki

    more detail +

  • Ryosuke Kondo

    more detail +