Moment Photography (2021:05:15 14:06:14)

Kohei Nawa


May 13 – Jul 1, 2022
Palo Alto
Exhibition Details:

Kohei Nawa
May 13 – July 1, 2022


229 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA


Press Release

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Above: Kohei Nawa, Moment Photography (2021:05:15 14:06:14), 2022 © Kohei Nawa

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Kohei Nawa, marking the artist’s first solo show in the Bay Area since his gallery exhibition at Pace in 2018, featuring photography, painting, and sculpture.

Nawa is known internationally for his multidisciplinary practice exploring scientific and digital phenomena through sensory and perceptual experiences. While he considers himself primarily a sculptor, the artist also works in photography, painting, and installation. His latest exhibition with Pace focuses on the ways humans perceive and understand objects and images in the fast-paced age of social media, where information and disinformation spread rapidly.

The show at Pace’s Palo Alto gallery will bring together Nawa’s Moment series of photographs and paintings and his PixCell sculpture series. In the photographs and sculptures on view, the artist creates magnified, distorted, and blurred images in which the “surface” functions as an interface to grasp the physical perception of reality. Four new sculptures from Nawa’s PixCell series figure prominently in the exhibition. For these works, all of which were created in 2022, the artist situates transparent spheres atop the surfaces of readymade objects, including a 1963 Sony micro television and a telephone from 1984. Nawa acquires these objects through online auctions, and he covers them with orbs to produce a pixelated effect, magnifying and distorting their exterior features. The PixCell sculptures reflect the artist’s ongoing investigations of fragmentation and transfiguration in his practice.

Nawa captures his black-and-white Moment photographs—another highlight of the exhibition—at a high speed, creating stretched, vertiginous images of landscapes with a digital camera that are produced as Lambda c-type prints, combining digital and silver printing processes. Featuring obscured, almost indiscernible scenes, the photographs in this body of work simulate the effect of viewing a fast-moving target from a fixed point. These semiabstract works, which exemplify Nawa’s deep interest in visual ambiguity and multiplicity, challenge photographic conventions. Having started creating the series during the pandemic, the Moment images can be understood as part of Nawa’s recent return to photography, a medium he explored prior to the start of his career. These works will be presented alongside cameras, telephones, and an old vintage television, which resonate with Palo Alto’s history of technological innovation.

Also included in Nawa’s exhibition with Pace in Palo Alto are abstract works from his Moment painting series, which he began in 2014. In these works, the artist uses pressurized tanks of ink to create spontaneous

abstractions on canvases. Through a mechanized process, parallel lines of ink run across Nawa’s canvases, producing surprising variations in weight and form depending on the air pressure in the tanks and their nozzle

size. “By subtly reducing the pressure in the tank, the lines are occasionally interrupted by fine, irregular rhythms, and controlling the coarseness and density of the line accumulation creates a spatial-temporal

depth,” Nawa has said.

Opening June 18, Nawa’s forthcoming solo exhibition at the Towada Art Center in Japan will coincide with his presentation at Pace in Palo Alto. The artist’s VESSEL performance, a collaboration with choreographer Damien Jalet, will be staged at the Torinodanza Festival in Turin, Italy, in September 2022 and at La Filature in Mulhouse, France, in January 2023.


Featured Works

Kohei Nawa, Moment Photography (2021:05:15 13:49:53), 2022, Lambda monochrome print on baryta paper, 35-1/16" × 52-15/16" (89.1 cm × 134.5 cm)
Kohei Nawa, Moment Photography (2021:05:15 14:06:14), 2022, Lambda monochrome print on baryta paper, 35-1/16" × 52-15/16" (89.1 cm × 134.5 cm)
Kohei Nawa, PixCell-Crow#6, 2022, mixed media, 10-5/16" × 16-5/8" × 5-11/16" (26.2 cm × 42.2 cm × 14.4 cm)
Kohei Nawa, PixCell-Camera#2, 2022, mixed media, 4-7/16" × 6-1/4" × 4-7/16" (11.3 cm × 15.9 cm × 11.3 cm)

Installation Views

kohei nawa portrait.jpg

About the Artist

Kohei Nawa is a multidisciplinary artist whose diverse practice explores the perception of virtual and physical space and probes the borders between nature and artificiality. He examines relationships between the individual and the whole, illustrating how parts aggregate together, like cells, to create complex and dynamic structures.

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