Kounosuke Kawakami was born in Yamanashi in 1979 and completed an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 2004. He is currently based in London. In (H)allo-poiesis, Kawakami uses a new visual language to explore his interest in the relationship between man and the natural world. Being Japanese, he has direct experience of natural disasters and the power of nature. It is the impact of this power that Kawakami refers to in much of his work. Often painting abandoned buildings eroded by nature, he chooses industrial architecture and resort towns as symbols for the interaction between the natural world and humans. Distorted hybrid figures frequently populate the paintings, like products from a post-nuclear, sci-fi fantasy; a post-apocalyptic world where the distinction between ugliness and beauty has begun to blur. Digitally mixing imagery from a virtual world of popular Japanese culture with his own drawings, Kawakami creates an imaginary landscape. Starting with this clear image, he then builds up collages of both man-made and natural materials on the canvas to create further tension. Ultimately, he aims to leave his message open for viewers to make their own interpretations.
Kawakami has exhibited both nationally and internationally. He has also organised exhibitions as an artist-curator, introducing many young British artists to Japan in shows such as Tech-Mach-Maya-Com, 2007, in Tokyo, and Japanese artists to London in Twenty, 2009, at the Dazed and Confused Gallery. His first solo show in London was Mindustrial Evolution at the Bearspace Gallery in 2006. Kawakami is represented in London by the Pippy Holdsworth gallery where he will be holding a solo show later in 2012. He is also with SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo. In 2008, Kawakami was awarded a scholarship by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs and won a VOCA prize. His works are in many private collections. Pippy Holdsworth , SCAI the Bathhouse
Admission free, Monday – Friday, 9.30am-5.00pm
11 May - 7 July 2011
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP UK