Hiraki Sawa Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds

  • Introduction
  • Exhibition
  • Profile
  • Gallery
  • Information


Do you have somewhere that makes you feel comfortable? How big is it? What sort of things do you have around to make you feel relaxed and secure? Is it somewhere that you want to share with someone close to you, or is it somewhere that you want to keep as a secret that only you know about?

Sawa Hiraki is a video artist who lives and works in London, but after a number of exhibitions his reputation is growing in Japan, too. Sawa has created a number of videos depicting miniature worlds that may have tiny airliners crisscrossing rooms, or a kettle or rocking horses beginning to move around of their own free will. These works are highly rated by viewers, and somehow make scenes that would be impossible in real life feel familiar. Perhaps everyone has that sort of quiet, private world inside his or her own mind. Sawa’s daydream-like videos with their slight distortions of reality, or thoughts of the distant universe make us think about the sort of cozy, comfortable territory that each one of us possesses, and about personal memories, which are a territory associated with a timeline. They make you wonder why we each need to have that sort of territory.

The theme for this exhibition comes from an ongoing interest in such territories that has been evident ever since Sawa’s earliest works. The exhibition begins with drawings and 3-dimensional works that hint at territories in the artist’s own daily life and consciousness, and continues to consider this theme through a progression of his videos, from his earliest works to a new work created for this exhibition. The new work, Lenticular, was filmed at an old astronomical observatory in Dundee, Scotland, where a connection to the universe is made through Robert, the observatory’s aged self-taught astronomer. By interpreting the large gallery at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery spatially, Sawa has taken on the challenge of providing an intersection between physical space and territories within the mind. The result is a fascinating trip into the depths of human consciousness.

courtesy of the artist and Ota Fine Arts

courtesy of the artist and Ota Fine Arts