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Cosmic Sensibility: Kohei Nawa's First Solo Show at Pace Gallery in Seoul

Seoul—Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Kohei Nawa at its Seoul gallery. On view from November 22, 2023 to January 6, 2024, the presentation, titled Cosmic Sensibility, marks the artist’s first solo show at Pace’s gallery in the Korean capital. Bringing together paintings and sculptures from six bodies of work—including the new Spark series—this exhibition will showcase Nawa’s deep and enduring interest in the perceptual, sensorial, and phenomenological possibilities of art.



Nawa often examines scientific and digital subjects through his multidisciplinary practice. Making use of various traditional and unconventional materials—and drawing out their unique properties—for his work across painting, sculpture, and installation, the artist explores the nuanced relationships between physical and virtual spaces; synthetic and natural forces; and the individual and the collective. Visual distortions and transformations cut across Nawa’s works, encouraging viewers to consider the ways that digital technologies impact their relationship to and experience of the physical world.


The six bodies of works the artist will show in his forthcoming exhibition speak to his longstanding interest in visual distortions and paradoxes. With Cosmic Sensibility, Nawa invites viewers to immerse in the wonders and mysteries of the vast universe. The exhibition's central concept—the ways that our individual lives are entwined in the fabric of the cosmos—pays homage to artist Hitoshi Nomura, who died in October 2023 and is known for his deeply experimental, process-based work. A teacher and mentor of Nawa, Nomura remains an enduring and profound influence on the artist’s work across mediums.


Nawa’s show will begin on the ground floor of the gallery, where his mesmerizing new painting Cell Field#43 (2023) will be displayed alongside the mixed-media installation Biomatrix (W) (2023), which traces the generation and flow of cellular forms within a canvas of flowing silicone oil. Works from his new Ether sculpture series, based on 3D modeling of a highly viscous liquid in various stages of descent, will also be on view in this space.


On the gallery's second floor, the exhibition will transport viewers into a world of proliferating cells, spotlighting sculptures from Nawa's iconic PixCell series. These sculptures feature transparent spheres, or cells, covering their surfaces. The cells transform and distort viewers' perceptions of the forms beneath—a visual phenomenon that speaks to the impact of digital technologies on individuals' relationships to the world around them. The new PixCell sculptures that Nawa will exhibit in Cosmic Sensibility feature strange combinations of antique furniture and other miscellaneous objects. While referencing the international history of Surrealism, these works also engage with issues of the present moment—particularly the ways that innovations in virtual reality and artificial intelligence blur the boundary between the physical and virtual worlds.


Other highlights in the exhibition include bold, enigmatic sculptures from the artist's new, never-before-exhibited Spark series, which are finished entirely in solid black. With these works—each composed of velvet, and a carbon fiber rod— Nawa meditates on a rift in the fabric of reality caused by the energy of agitated cells. The presentation will also spotlight his Rhythm series, which features combinations of variously sized, shapes covered in velvet and situated atop twodimensional planes. Reflecting the aesthetic concerns of his PixCell sculptures, Nawa's mesmeric Rhythm works explore the cyclical, energetic complexities of the natural world.


 

Kohei Nawa (b. 1975, Osaka, Japan) is a multidisciplinary sculptor whose diverse practice explores the perception of virtual and physical space and probes the borders between nature and artificiality. He examines relationships between the individual and the whole, illustrating how parts aggregate together, like cells, to create complex and dynamic structures. His work spans painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation, as well as various facets of design and collaborative projects through his Kyoto-based studio, Sandwich. Nawa’s use of synthetic compounds underscores a recurring theme wherein materials such as polyurethane foam, translucent beads, ink, paint, glue, and silicone oil become devices that prompt an awareness of our mediated environment.

 

INFO

Exhibition Period: November 22 (Wed), 2023 - January 6 (Sat), 2024

Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00

*Closed: Mondays and Sundays

Photo/ Nobutada OMOTE

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