Monday, 14 November 2011


London is not free of talent. 
One way to discover this is to visit graduation shows of art schools, like the one I've seen this July -  Goldsmiths MA-ers have exhibited their last  works while still students before plunging into the cruel reality of London (and international) art world.
Hirofumi Isoya, Installation View 2011
In the manner of Louis XV, I always have my favori. This time my favouritism could not but fell on the head of  one artist - Hirofumi Isoya, whose work I immediately found truly captivating.

Hirofumi was born in Japan, where he studied Architecture and Inter-Media  Art in the Tokyo University of Arts, he then moved to London to  join the Goldsmiths MA course in Fine Art. He now continues to live and work in London,  while  still spending some time in his native Tokyo. His art spends some time there as well, since in 2012 Hirofumi's current work will be exhibited in a solo show in Aoyama|Meguro gallery,Tokyo. 

Hirofumi Isoya, Installation View, 2011
Iso's  work clearly demonstrates the architectural background of its creator  -   clear geometry of structures, graphical purity of lines, nature-friendly adaptation of man-made objects to the  world around.  All these profession-based characteristics come together to bring viewer a sense of  being exposed to mathematically calculated  harmony. I would even  say 'beauty', not to insult some critics who argue that  the word 'beauty' is profoundly meaningless in the 21st-century and can be easily eliminated from the vocabulary of art criticism. His oeuvre often balances on the feeble edge between fine art and design -  the category which is highly controversial in philosophical sense, and highly  fashionable in practical sense. 

Hirofumi Isoya, Idea and Ignorance, 2011
The artist himself balances between being an  artist and being a Japanese artist.
What's the difference, you'll ask me? The first one that comes to mind is a visual language that an artist  exploits to  create an object and communicate its message. However, the primary distinction  lies in the scope of questions  that an artist raises by the body of his work - is it of any universal interest or does it carry the ballast of purely local applicability?  

Hirofumi Isoya, Form follow function, fashion and fiction, 2011
Hirofumi regards himself as an Individual, rather than  Japanese, artist. The notion of  an artist's independence must imply the lack of any fixed geographical attribution. Iso regards Japan as short-sighted and introspective, he's got agenda of his own and messages to deliver to the world around -  messages that his own  countrymen would not necessarily understand, he fears.  Hirofumi does admit though, that  no matter what, he is still going to be, and  enjoy being, a Japanese: the national identity is something which is so deeply sewn in the human veins that cannot be removed without painful and unnecessary surgery. 
Hirofumi Isoya, Father,  2011 
Explicitly Japanese subject which runs through the veins of Isoya's work is the theme of masculine power,  rule and authority -  the power of a Father in a family echoing the power of a ruler in a state (the power of CEO in the global corporation to  continue the list) - is  the pressure of authority an inevitable  injustice in a human's life or is it an element  necessary for survival of any single individual, nation and state?

Iso is currently creating a large body of new work -  that, we hope, will not only reveal new insights into problems he poses, but also bring out some fresh architecturally-shaped jigsaws. To share my fruitful experience of Iso's  art and find out more  visit artist's website on 


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