8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery and Tomio Koyama Gallery (Roppongi) will concurrently hold solo exhibitions of internationally prominent Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich “desire line”, his first in Japan.
Sopheap Pich creates sculptures with organic and geometric structures, inspired by bodily organs, vegetal forms, or cityscapes. Weaved with local materials such as bamboo, rattan, wire, and beeswax, his work embrace a sense of lightness, yet fills up the space energetically with its volume and functional structure.
On his work Pich states that "all the works have common themes: poverty, relationships between inside and out, ragility and monumentality, a sense of lightness, and metaphors of mutual dependence." (Interview with Sopheap Pich, Flash Art, January-February 2010).
his exhibition title came about during his stay at the Rauschenberg Residency in Florida (2017) where he found a path that had naturally emerged though the process of people repeatedly walking through a forest. The exhibition will feature 13 new works including "Miroiise", and "Moonstone", two works employing marble and rosewood roots which represent a more abstract yet intimate direction in his exploration of three-dimensional works. Also included in the show are new large-scale drawings using natural earth pigments which were created with a bamboo stick that the artist presses repeatedly on paper to create resonant and rhythmic lines in space. These works are progressions from the drawings shown at this year's Venice Biennale. This is the artist's first solo exhibition in Japan.
Pich was born in Cambodia in 1971, and grew up under the harsh and tragic Khmer Rouge regime. In 1979 his family stayed in refugee camps along the border of Thailand to escape from political instability. During that time Pich participated in an art school run by NGOs and became interested in painting. His family was able to migrate to the United States in 1984. In 1990 he entered the University of Massachusetts to study medicine, later transferring to the Department of Art, graduating in 1995. Subsequently he received an MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. Pich’s work has been featured in numerous international museum exhibitions and biennials such as his solo exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013 and Documenta 13. This year he is featured in the Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva (until November 26), and “Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now” at Mori Art Museum (until October 23). His work is included in such major collections as Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, M+ (Hong Kong), Singapore Art Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.