Ozawa Tsuyoshi,α, 2020-2022, Oil on canvas, 41.2 x 31.8 cm
BETA BETA Covid Days
Friday, September 2 -Saturday, October 15, 2022
Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-19:00 (Closed on Mon, Sun, Public holidays)
MISA SHIN GALLERY is pleased to announce BETA BETA Covid Days, a solo exhibition by Ozawa
Tsuyoshi from Friday September 2 through Saturday October 15, 2022.
In April 2020, Japan declared a nationwide state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus disease, requesting that people refrain from unnecessary travel, closing schools, and enforcing border measures to restrict entry to the country. Busy cities and communities suddenly became quiet. Until then, Ozawa Tsuyoshi had frequently traveled internationally for projects and exhibitions. He had also conducted a great deal of fieldwork that gave him the opportunity to meet new people, and he had been involved in many joint projects. The pandemic suddenly transformed his everyday life.
“The virus was everywhere, and I spent much more time than usual shut up at home. The way that people spent their time changed—everyone must have been affected in some way or another. I don’t know what sort of changes other people saw, but for me, working in my studio was a big change. Before the pandemic, it had become little more than a storeroom, but I sorted it out and got into the habit of working there by myself.
In a complete about-turn from my pre-corona style of frequent travel to distant places and working on art projects with other people, I actively spent long periods alone. The accumulation of that time became drawing and painting. I came to realize now that the time of solitude confronted with sticky (in Japanese, beta beta) oil paints is a means of facing the world and the universe.”
This exhibition presents some of the paintings and drawings that Ozawa began to produce as a result of the pandemic. They include sketches of everyday goods that caught his eye at home, finished versions of works that he had earlier abandoned, oil paintings based on sketches of his children’s doodles, and concepts for exhibitions or works based on fragmentary ideas or thoughts that happened to come to mind. All are the result of being able to concentrate when working alone in his studio.
Working in the studio began as a way of keeping himself while in voluntary lockdown, but to Ozawa it became a habit that he still continues today. In contrast to the many different series of works that he produced in pre-pandemic, these works were produced without a clear objective as part of an everyday life unlike his earlier projects. As a consequence, it is fair to say that they provide a more intense reflection of Ozawa himself and of what goes on inside the artist.
This is Ozawa Tsuyoshi’s first solo exhibition at MISA SHIN GALLERY in three years.
Ozawa Tsuyoshi Artist Page
Born in Tokyo in 1965. Earned master’s degree from the Department of Fine Arts of the Graduate School of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (majoring in mural painting) in 1991. Ozawa’s notable works include: his “Jizoing” series, in which he photographs statues of homemade Jizo statues situated in different environments; his Nasubi Gallery series of portable micro-galleries made from milk boxes; his “Museum of Soy Sauce Art,” in which he reproduces historical Japanese art masterpieces using soy sauce; and his “Vegetable Weapon” series of photographic portraits of young women holding “weapons” made of vegetables. Selected major solo exhibitions include: “Answer with Yes and No!” at the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2004), “The Invisible Runner Strides On” at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima, 2009), “Tsuyoshi Ozawa : Everyone likes someone, as you like someone” at the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art and the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (Fukushima, Aichi, 2012), “Tsuyoshi Ozawa Imperfection: Parallel Art History” at the Chiba City Museum of Art (Chiba, 2018). Selected major group exhibitions include: “Saitama Triennale: Envisioning the Future!” (Saitama 2016) and “Yokohama Triennale : Island, Consetellations & Galapagos“ (Kanagawa 2017) and the recently partially modified “Slug Buddha 88” is on permanent display in the Valley Gallery, which opened at Benesse Art Site Naoshima in March 2022. Ozawa’s artistic collaboration “The Xijing Men”, explores themes related to breaking communication barriers, with Chinese artist Chen Shaoxiong and Korean artist Gimhongsok, “Xijing Is Not Xijing, Therefore Xijing Is Xijing.” at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. (2016), “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (New York, Bilbao 2018)