Kaoru Oda was born in 1979 and studied metal hammering at Tokyo University of the Arts. She completed her graduate studies there in 2007 and began at once to work as a professional artist. In 2014 she made the most of the large atrium space at the Hiratsuka Museum of Art to present a body of new work which looked like an installation, along with some previously created pieces. It was at once clear that she was an artist to look out for. This is her first solo exhibition at Art Front Gallery, although we have had the happy opportunity to introduce her at extra-gallery events, such as an exhibition at T-Site in Daikanyama. We regard her as someone possessing enormous potential, and she is an artist we definitely want to support from now on.
Most of Oda’s work resembles buildings, or objects attached to buildings. Her pieces seem to emerge from things she has encountered in daily life, such as warehouses, or water tanks seen from a train window. While Oda creates forms using the solid materiality of metal, her interest is not in imitating surface likenesses, but in moving toward something invisible. I think we can perhaps link what she does to the small buildings at Shinto shrines. Oda’s work displays interesting forms as such, but it also makes you sense the space and darkness found in buildings. It provokes viewers’ imaginations. This kind of piece, with its introverted tendency, seems to stem from Oda’s personal experiences, such as seeing an empty home after people have moved out, or the room in which her grandmother died.
However, her most recent work has started to refer to extensions that emerge from buildings, like extruded aerials and shadows extending beyond the thing itself. She has become more interested in invisible progress forward. This shift will likely mean a change from delicate and craft-like expressions to bolder ones deploying the space in which the work is installed.
This exhibition uses two gallery zones. One exhibits a group of pieces further developing from Oda’s existing style, exploring her notion of work as an individual object. The other experiments with full-scale installation, expanding from piece to space, and involving the space within which the work is placed, express something invisible, growing outwards.
We hope you will want to come and see this new dimension of Oda’s art.
ART FRONT GALLERY