Kohei Nawa solo exhibition Oracle

Nawa is based in Kyoto out of his studio, Sandwich, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. As an homage to the Kamakura-Period sculpture Kasuga Shinroku Shari Zushi, he presents Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud_agyo) – also known as Shinroku – produced using woodcarving, urushi lacquer, and gold and platinum leaf techniques. This work is part of a project that Nawa has been developing for a few years, and aims to promote traditional crafts in Kyoto. The current pandemic made international travel problematic, but it mostly gave him the opportunity to spend time in the studio and work on a variety of new creations: this show reveals a selection of the pieces born from his last experimentations, including paintings in which he produced complex materiality and textures by combining multiple art media, paints, and oils, as well as new works using fog and UV lasers.
*The title of the exhibition,Oracle, is a reference to things that provide a divine revelation, divine will, and guidance.

“Lift,” 2018, ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Kyoto / Japan,
photo by Yoshikazu Inoue

GYRE's atrium features “Silhouette,” a sculptural installation that was developed for pianist Koki Nakano’s concert stage in Spiral Hall in Tokyo and ROHM Theatre Kyoto in 2018. Revolving bodies made of curves extracted from melodic sound determine the volumes, while highly reflective silicon carbide beads cover the surface “skin.” The exhibition coincides with the Centennial Celebration of the Establishment of Meiji Jingu. White Deer (Meiji Jingu) is exhibited in front of the Meiji Jingu Museum and Ho / Oh, produced using the same woodcarving, lacquer, and gold/platinum leaf techniques as Shinroku, are on display at the southern gate in front of Meiji Jingu’s main shrine. These sculptures mark the way from Omotesando to the main shrine and represent hope for a new future.

Kohei Nawa

Sculptor / Director of Sandwich Inc. / Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts
Born in 1975, and based in Kyoto, Japan, Kohei Nawa received a PhD in Fine Art / Sculpture from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2003, and established Sandwich in 2009. Focusing on the surface “skin” of sculpture as an interface connecting to the senses, Nawa began his PixCell series in 2002 based on the concept of the cell, symbolizing the information age. Adopting a flexible interpretation of the meaning of sculpture, he produces perceptual experiences that reveal the physical properties of materials to the viewer through works addressing themes related to life and the cosmos and to artistic sensibility and technology, including Direction, in which he produces paintings using gravity, Force, in which silicone oil pours down through space, Biomatrix, in which bubbles and grids emerge on a liquid surface, and Foam, in which bubbles form enormous volumes. Recently, Nawa has also worked on architectural projects, including the art pavilion Kohtei. VESSEL, a performance work produced in conjunction with Belgo-French choreographer and dancer Damian Jalet, has been presented around the world since its premiere in 2015. In 2018, his sculpture Throne was exhibited under the Pyramid at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.

Sandwich Inc.

Sandwich Inc. is a creative platform of various disciplines based in a renovated sandwich factory near the Uji River in the Fushimi area of Kyoto. In addition to the studio, office, and workshop spaces, it has a residential area to provide accommodation. Led by Kohei Nawa, it functions as a space where creators from diverse fields, including architects, designers, engineers, choreographers, and dancers, can gather together to collaborate on a range of projects.

Kohei Nawa solo exhibition Oracle


Friday, October 23, 2020 ‒ Sunday, January 31, 2021


11:00 ‒ 20:00


GYRE GALLERY, 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo