Brian Leo Projects, 2021


Brian Leo Projects is pleased to present Kosuke Kawahara’s solo show entitled, “Mutating Asteroid.” The installation displays the series of works on paper from most recent Kawahara’s project, entitled “Into Ultrablack,” which began in 2012 in New York City. Inspired by UV, the word “ultrablack" indicates the imaginative crevice of absolute darkness as if we cannot see ultraviolet radiation. Imagining invisible presences that may exist within the dark, similarly, Kawahara observes ambiguity still presents in various binaries, such as eastern/western, nature/art, death/life, human/animal, male/female, organic/inorganic, reality/dream, and suchlike. The twilight surrounding these concepts overlaps with multiple narratives—such as the dark history of New York, leading him to generate cryptic imageries beyond the aforementioned various hedges. All works discloses the idea of darkness at multi-level; Animism, invisible presences, hidden phenomena, secret/prohibited/illicit acts, abnormality, for instance. They are installed and orbit around the exhibition space as if numerous asteroids in the universe.

Produced images in Kawahara’s practice are the fruits of the session with the site. Surroundings often supply visual elements in his work—the scenery of his commuter’s route, studio environment, and familiar landmarks. Moreover, Kawahara acknowledge the past events of those sites.The fusion of these elements and multi narratives sustains the central idea of his works. Kawhara’s previous studio was located in the former Pfizer Building, in which you can find a kin relationship with the malformed organisms in his latest work. Yet, malformation also can be seen in sea creatures, vegetables, and human bodies for various causes, including radiation exposure. While the origin of the visual element is uncertain for Kawahara, this nomadic way of idea generation enriches the imagery's diversity and complexity.