Venue : Pirelli HangarBicocca
Co-curator : Vicente Todolí (Director, Pirelli HangarBicocca
What can the hands do?
I think the answer is almost everything.
Virginia Woolf was the first novelist to describe, in exhaustive detail, the flow of human consciousness in relation to the outside world.
In her masterpiece The Mark on the Wall, the hero (narrator), who one day discovers a small mark on a wall, deploys all manner of imaginative faculties and conceptual associations in order to decipher exactly what it might be. Together with the descriptions of this slight mark itself, these speculations become something akin to a detective novel. Right at the end, a single offhand remark by someone living in the same house solves the mystery of the mark: it was a trace left behind by a snail.
Suga's observational and imaginative faculties do not spin a drama of this sort out of the object of their contemplation. A perceptual awareness that is every bit as intense as Woolf’s, however, appears to be mobilized in his observational descriptions of what his objects are, and what the relationship is between a wall and the surrounding objects.
As you walk through a botanical garden or forest, for instance, many twigs, stones, and leaves fall at your feet. The shape of these twigs varies according to the type of tree. If you cut out a canvas-like piece of the ground in a certain area, the way in which the twigs scatter is intimately connected to the position of the trees overhead. Suga attempted to lay out this relationship anew on a canvas, and the result is the new work, 《自続因》, in which 30 twigs are laid out in three horizontal rows of ten starting from the top. As an intervention, three square bars painted black have been inserted among these twigs — which would surely be overlooked had they been on the ground — with their different curves, colors, and textures. These black bars make up a neutral sort of standard that both controls and highlights the random, organic forms of the twigs. This process of controlling and highlighting constitutes Suga’s methodology. These twigs, picked up from a single area and rearranged, form another forest in Suga’s mind. There is no actual forest inside his mind: rather, the positions of the twigs configured according to their form and nature cause a forest to emerge within it. This is the “forest” that Suga walks through and experiences as a space, distinct from the “forest” as it is typically signified.
"Almost Everything: The Making of Kishio Suga" Yuko Hasegawa (Excerpts from the catalogue, Measured Divisional Entities, Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2019 )