10 Aug ‑ 14 Sep 2019 (every Tue to Sat) 11am ‑ 6pm (7 hours)
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Opening Reception with Artist
10 Aug 2019, Saturday, 4pm – 6pm

Art Projects Gallery is proud to present “LIFE / 生”, a solo exhibition by Nakajima Hiroyuki.
Nakajima Hiroyuki (中嶋宏行, born February 17, 1956) is a contemporary Japanese artist and calligrapher from Chiba, Japan. He is best known for his modern interpretation of Japanese calligraphy (shodo) which he calls Sho art, a technique which combines the traditional elements of Japanese calligraphy (shodo) with the movements of Tai Chi and inspired by the symbols of zen and nature.

He began his training in shodo at the age of 6 and would continue his studies through his post-graduate years at Chiba University where he received a degree in Architectonics (Industrial Engineering). A practitioner of Tai Chi since his twenties, Nakajima developed his own style of contemporary Japanese calligraphy, blending shodo with Tai Chi movements.
By introducing the movements of Tai Chi into his art, Nakajima intended to demonstrate the process of creating the art by means of a performance. Most of his performances begin with Nakajima standing in a meditative state over a blank canvas, and then when inspired uses one sharp stroke of the brush to create the abstract form of nature: moon, soil or a mountain. Nakajima has explained that the one stroke of a brush is carried out with a single, condensed thought to bring about the forms and lines of a moment in time.
Nakajima has said, "Every work of "Sho" is created in one continuous motion, and therefore cannot be repeated or re-written. The power of "Sho" lies in this feature of non-recurrence. Even if you draw the same letter ten times, ten different forms will arise spontaneously.
In the “LIFE / 生” series, he had the idea to express the diversity of society, writing multiple iterations of the calligraphic character “生” (same character in both Japanese Hanji and Chinese), which means “Life” in English, each on a different piece of paper or canvas sourced from all over the world. For Nakajima, each character resembles an individual and the diversity of the materials on which they are written with the unique calligraphic forms being expressed are symbolic of the multitude of possibilities of life.
Nakajima has held exhibitions and live performances throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. In 2006 he was invited to participate in the 60th Festival d'Avignon in France, and in the 2006 Art Basel Miami, where he debuted in the United States. Nakajima currently has studios in Chiba, Japan and in Milan, Italy.
The “LIFE / 生” will be shown at Art Projects Gallery from 10 Aug to 14 Sep 2019. An opening reception with the artist present will be held on 10 Aug 2019 from 4pm-6pm, all are welcome to join.

Artist’s Statement
In 2009, I began to write a character “LIFE” continuously on small pieces of paper to pray for children who died due to hunger-related causes. One day when I gazed at many of the “LIFE” pieces on a wall in my studio, each of the characters looked like faces and figures of people. At that moment, I have just thought of an idea that I would express diversity of our society through my works. All of the characters are the same, ”LIFE” but each one has different expression on various kinds of paper from around the world.
Due to the expansion of the Internet, everyone had got an opportunity to transmit his (her) own thoughts to the world. I hoped it would widen diversity of our society. But ironically, people gathered together for the same values, and became indifferent and intolerant to others. As a result, our society is loosing its diversity and open-mindedness. If there are a hundred people, there are a hundred ways of life. From this point of view, for this exhibition I am showing a series of artworks featuring the character "生" (life).