Toshikatsu Endo, ‘Untitled (ring of chain)’, 1995, L.A. Louver

About Toshikatsu Endo

One of Japan’s leading contemporary artists since the 1970s and a participant in the 1990 Venice Biennale, Toshikatsu Endo creates monumental sculptures and installations, using elements of nature: water, wood, soil, and fire. Influenced both by Shinto attitudes toward nature and Zen aesthetics, as well as by Western Minimalism, Endo frequently creates forms from scorched wood—giant cylindrical structures, a replica canoe, or a massive staircase with some steps hollowed out and filled with water—and often completes his works by burning them, suggesting ancient rituals. In recent years, Endo has explored notions of voids, myths, and communal identities; “Sacrifice or Kugi functions to create a void at the center of the collective consciousness. This void activates the imagination of its members, which then works to strengthen the collective identity,” he has said.

Japanese, b. 1950