Project Series 46: Hirokazu Kosaka: On the Verandah Selected Works 1969-1974
On View September 3 – October 20, 2013
Opening Reception on Saturday, September 7, 2013, 5 – 7 p.m
Archery Demonstration and Calligraphy Workshop with Hirokazu Kosaka on Thursday, October 17, 5:15 p.m., Museum courtyard
The Pomona College Museum of Art is pleased to present the first solo exhibition examining the early performative artwork of Hirokazu Kosaka. In 1966, Kosaka left Kyoto, Japan to study painting at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Deeply influenced by his knowledge of Buddhist spirituality, Zen archery, Noh and Kabuki theater, the ground-breaking experimental art of Japan’s Gutai Group, and his exposure to contemporary art in Southern California, Kosaka began experimenting with body art and performance. Merging his youthful experiences in Japan with the emphasis in body art on physical endurance; in Conceptual art on process; in Minimal art on repetition; and in Gutai on concrete forms, Kosaka created performative artworks that attempted to creatively reconcile avant-garde artistic innovations with spiritual practices such as meditation, pilgrimage, and Zen archery. The title, “On the Verandah,” refers to Kosaka’s conception of in-between spaces such as those between East and West, nature and culture, the physical and the spiritual, and, as Kosaka says, a series of “infinite maybes.”
This exhibition, co-curated by Rebecca McGrew and Glenn Phillips, brings together documentation of Kosaka’s early artworks and rarely-seen films and is accompanied by a publication with an essay by Glenn Phillips and an annotated and illustrated chronology of artwork by Shayda Amanat. Born in Wakayama, Japan in 1948, Kosaka lives in Los Angeles, where he is an ordained Shingon Buddhist priest and serves as Artistic Director at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.