Body of the Gaze: from Scatter to Linkage, from Linkage to Accumulation
Shigeo Toya Body of the Gaze: from Scatter to Linkage, from Linkage to Accumulation——the Multi-Layered World of Sculpture that Expands from Individuals
ShugoArts is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition by Shigeo Toya from Saturday, January 8, 2022.
In this exhibition, Body of the Gaze−Accumulation, a “mass” sculpture with stacked wood, will be installed in the front room, and Body of the Gaze−Linkage, another “mass” sculpture with linked wood, will be placed in the back room.
In his solo exhibition at ShugoArts in 2019, Toya installed Body of the Gaze consisting of nine masses in the front room and Body of the Gaze−Scatter consisting of scattered pieces on the four walls in the back room. This time, the artist will showcase Body of the Gaze−Linkage, which he created during spring of this year and presented in his solo exhibition at KENJI TAKI GALLERY in Nagoya, and his latest work Body of the Gaze−Accumulation.
Named as Body of the Gaze, this series contains four parts that propose continuous sculptural development: mass, scatter, linkage and accumulation.
Shigeo TOYA《Body of the Gaze》installation view, 2019, ShugoArts, photo: Shigeo Muto
Shigeo TOYA《Body of the Gaze−Scatter》installation view, 2019, ShugoArts, photo: Shigeo Muto
Shigeo TOYA《Body of the Gaze−Linkage》installation view, 2021, KENJI TAKI GALLERY, photo: Ito Tetsuo, Courtesy of Kenji Taki Gallery
What this exhibition entails is Toya’s blueprint for the so-called greater theory for the sculptural development movement.
Uncountable masses scatter
from scatter to linkage: from linkage to accumulation: from accumulation to mass
forming greater scatters with masses created from the previous process
from scatter to linkage: from linkage to accumulation: from accumulation to greater mass
with far greater masses created from the previous process
from scatter to linkage: from linkage to accumulation: from accumulation to far greater mass
The arrows are shown in both directions; however, they do not represent circulation or entropy. They imply the cosmic perspective of sculptures which maintain the mandala-like continuity to expand from individuals to groups or the continuity to shrink from groups to individuals.
What made Toya establish his unique sculptural worldview as such?
A couple of decades after the war, the 1970s was still a turbulent time. The young sculptor Toya was about to get his foot in the door to enter into the world of non-figurative sculpture, leaving figurative sculpture behind. His unique sculptural worldview sheds light on his own background, the social situation at the time, and his thought process to prove the existence of sculpture. Thus, the foundation of Toya’s art practice resides in this cosmic perspective of sculptures with the mandala-like continuity, yet this fact has not been recognized by many for years.
Intersection of individuality and others
Intersection of history and ordinariness
Intersection of illusion and existence
We are to gain a perspective to break through our own “invisibility” and reality of the present moment there.
We have to place what we draw up from the source of ordinariness between the history of expression and our own way of expression. Having placed it between them, we have to intentionally transform ordinariness qualitatively and break through its old quality.
There seems to be only one way to attain its new quality, which is to include the eyes of others, or otherness in another word, inside us.
Quoted from Shigeo Toya — For the Intersection of Illusion and Existence (1975)
Toya had already established this rather pressing sculptural worldview that embodies continuity in the 1970s. However, he had to wait until the 1980s to realize this concept in his two series: Woods and Spirit Regions, which solidified his status as a sculptor. This exhibition coherently presents the viewers with Toya’s uninterrupted sculptural view.
Shigeo TOYA《WoodsⅠ》1987 Wood, wood ash, acrylic, 213x30x30cm (28pcs) photo：Shigeo Anzai
Shigeo TOYA《WoodsⅤ,Ⅵ》1992-93 Wood, wood ash, acrylic, 220x31x31cm (60pcs) Satani Gallery (Tokyo), photo：Horomu Narita
Shigeo TOYA《Spirit Regions (Untitled)》1989-1990 Wood, wood ash, acrylic, 31x61x61cm (4pcs) photo：Tadasu Yamamoto
Shigeo TOYA《Spirit RegionsⅠ》1990 Wood, wood ash, acrylic, iron, glass, 32x682x434cm (7×11:77pcs) Satani Gallery (Tokyo),
Both Woods and Spirit Regions have their own individuality as units and they would become scatter or linkage, and accumulation or mass when integrated, according to each exhibition. Every single one of Woods or Spirit Regions are independent as they are, and numerous strokes from Toya’s chainsaw confer identities on those works. Toya calls his sculptural concept as Body of the Gaze, which encompasses multi-layered identities engendered by every stroke of his chainsaw (gaze). His concept also contains a unit in itself that implies continuity: “mass – scatter – linkage – accumulation – mass,” which simultaneously ushers the viewers into his sculptural world that is as flawless as a mandala, suggesting infinite expansion.
Shigeo TOYA《Bamboo GroveⅡ》1975, vinyl string, bamboo grove, size variable
Takaaki Yoshimoto once said in his essay Incomprehensibility of Sculpture, “Why do humans make sculptures even though the world is already there? That is an eternal question.” Toya has been trying to give his answer to this question ever since.
December 2022, ShugoArts
Body of the Gaze−Scatter (2019) is now on view at Ichihara Lakeside Museum.
(Shigeo Toya Forest – Lake: Regeneration and Memory is on view at Ichihara Lake Museum until January 16, 2022)
Shigeo TOYA《Body of the Gaze−Scatter》2019, installation view Shigeo Toya Forest – Lake: Regeneration and Memory, 2021, Ichihara Lakeside Museum photo: Tadasu Yamamoto
For this exhibition, Noi Sawaragi wrote a very exciting article about Shigeo Toya. In the article, the author sheds light on the nature of Toya’s sculpture practice and its meaning while thoroughly observing Japanese history from the pre-modern era. It will be soon available at ShugoArts. We will keep you updated on it.
Shigeo TOYA Body of the Gaze: from Scatter to Linkage, from Linkage to Accumulation
Dates：Saturday, January 8 – Saturday, February 12, 2022
Venue: ShugoArts, complex665 2F, 6-5-24, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat noon-6pm, closed on Sun, Mon and Public Holidays
*The opening reception will not be held this time. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have shortened our opening hours.
Top image: Shigeo TOYA, Body of the Gaze, 2019 (detail) reference image