KENJI MISAWA

Kenji Misawa won the prize of competition at the first international sculpture exhibition, held at Hakone Open-Air Museum when he was 24 years old. This brought him to wander around 23 countries in the world during one long year, and finally returned home. The journey concluded Misawa to step into being a sculptor. In 1984 he became a trainee of Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs and flew over to New York to study at the studio of Isamu Noguchi. Then his activity outside of Japan made a full-scale throughout such multiple experiences.

Misawa as a sculptor became well-recognizable to install over 100 monuments in various places of Japan. He has dealt with immense numbers of Japanese gardens, environmental designs, and monuments which connect with his own formative sense and space interval concept whilst he has published numerous three dimensional works by developing an expression, based upon the space concept, considering dissonance and consonance between difference substances observed in; stones and metals or the natural and the artificial. On the other hand Misawa’s activity as a painter has not been discovered widely, though the large numbers of his paintings have existed so far. The visitors to his studio at *Atami, Japan may be amazed to look at massive volumes of his works, filled over at random there.

When one can talk about Misawa’s paintings, the expression like “mind scape” or “accumulation of time” seems to hit the nail on the head. The painting method that he often prefers to use, called “soft painting” is a unique style that after undercoating a canvas he squeezes pigments from paint tubes and apply them directly onto the canvas without using paint brushes in order to create solely different layers of paints. The peculiarity can be produced when Misawa’s phantasmagoric characters combine with a variety of materials.

Several years ago Misawa suffered from a brain tumor and hovered between life and death. After intermittent rehabilitation he started to introduce the method of assemblage into his paintings. His art, supported by strongness which stems from the energy floating between life and death, and also relied upon persistent challenge and passion toward production, is heading to a further dynamic stage. By having been suffered from a disease, Misawa no longer comes to concern about structural beauty and to create comfortable space as he has considered such aspects to be profoundly important as being a sculptor but when he positions himself as a painter, he has noticed that he is able to work at his liberty with an enormous energy inside himself. There is no doubt that he will become one of the artists whose evaluation is going to be expectedly reconsidered inside and outside Japan in the future.

*the place used to be a famous honeymoon spot for the Japanese old generations.



1945 Born in Nagano Prefecture,Japan 
1969 First International sculpture awards (Hakone Choukokunomori Museum) Concours prize 
1983 16th Modern art awards Tokyo art museum prize 
1983 3rd Henry Moore awards Utsukusigahara art museum prize 
1984 Trained at lsamu Noguchi's studio as a trainee of Agency For Cultural Affaires. 
1986 Guest artist of Harvard University USA

1986 Personal exhibition at Carpenter center for the visual arts Harvard University 
1986 Group exhibition at Jack Tilton Gallery N.Y 
2015,2016 Sculptures were sold at Christie's London 
2015 ART CHICAGO, Hawaii international group exhibition 
2016 Hawaii international group exhibition 
2017 The LA Art Show 
2018 The LA Art Show 

http://misawa-kenji.com/

Previous article

SHINICHI HARA

Next article

MITSURU SAKURAI