Born 1969, Japan
Painter and sculptor Izumi Kato graduated from the Department of Oil painting, Musashino Art University in 1992 then took a few years to contemplate being an artist before becoming a painter in the mid 1990’s. Since around 2005 he has established himself as one of Japan’s most interesting and promising contemporary artists and has exhibited widely across Asia and Europe and has been included in many museums shows in Japan. His work is in the collections of the following Japanese museums: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. In 2007, he became the first young Japanese painter to be invited to the 52nd Venice Biennale directed by Robert Storr.
Kato’s paintings and sculptures feature ‘primitive’ looking creatures that resemble babies or creatures floating in amniotic fluid, stripped of nationality, race, and age. Sometimes expressed in uncertain colours with no clear boundaries, sometimes in dazzlingly bright colours, they may evoke weirdness, cuteness, emptiness or violence, as they explore the relationships of human interaction. Kato’s organisms have such an endearing quality they capture their observer like a mirror and make them realise that humans are creatures of reason as well as instinct. Although they draw from primitive imagery, Kato’s works of art exist on their own terms and in their own spheres of reference and are positioned firmly at the cutting edge of contemporary art.
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