Steel Tea-Room 'TETTEI' , 2012, steel, 240 × 263 × 290 cm
Tezukayama Gallery is delighted to present Tomohiro Kato’s solo exhibition “Life is Steelfull!“.
Tomohiro Kato was born in Tokyo in 1981 and completed an MA course from the Tama Art University, after completion of the course, he started a career as an artist whilst working at a metal processing company in order to improve his skill working with metals. He is keen to use steel on his projects, constantly looking to challenge the perceptions and also to find new potential while working with this material.
Kato creates unconventional works revolving around steel. Either by framing a steel canvas or creating sculptures that mimic mass produced items such as a light bulb or a paintbrush, steel is his material of choice. He also dabs in performing arts, wearing a steel made tie with a business suit whilst traveling unconcernedly on rush hour train in Tokyo, or posting a steel made postcard to any buyer of his work, it’s simply stamped and sent by mail. All his works showcase “steel” and what it means for him as he sharply puts up a question to us about “material” or “material and society”.
In his first solo exhibition at Tezukayama gallery, Tomohiro Kato will try to recreate a quintessential part of Japanese traditional culture, the tea ceremony.
Since witnessing the terrible Tohoku earthquake and its impact on society, Kato has become more conscious of Japan where he is from. The devastating earthquake actually brought back a new interest in traditional culture for Kato as he went back to study metalwork at the university that he deliberately kept away from after graduating.
In this exhibition, Kato will build a steel made tea room at the gallery space including, "tokonoma (alcove), kakejiku (hanging scroll), a tea-set and even flower arrangements, all made of steel. All tea sets and furniture items at a tea-room are traditional crafts and make up the essential elements for a traditional tea-room. During the tea ceremony, the tea room is a condensed universal spiral and a moment there should be perpetuity.
The title of the exhibition "Life is steelful" literally comes from Kato's life around steel, but also tries to give the audience an understanding of the exhibition, the tea-room environment in which you are surrounded by steel.