KOJI KAMOJI BEGINNING A SENTENCE
Koji Kamoji (b. 1935 in Tokyo) is a graduate of Musashino Art University in Tokyo.
In 1959 he emigrated to Poland to study at the Fine Art Academy in Warsaw under the supervision of Artur Nacht-Samborski. After graduating in 1967 he began working with the newly established Foksal Gallery, entering a circle of core artists associated with this avant-garde art gallery: Henryk Stażewski, Edward Krasiński, Tadeusz Kantor and Zbigniew Gostomski. Later on, they often exhibited together, both in Poland and abroad.
Koji Kamoji combined his far eastern influences with experience gained in central Europe, which prevailed in all of his artistic practises: paintings, art installations and objects. Like a visual poet, Koji Kamoji changes the surrounding reality through his concise gestures and spiritual focus. He uses simple but powerful symbols, such as water, a hole, a rock.
In a short text which accompanied his first solo show at the Foksal Gallery in 1967, Koji Kamoji worded his artistic mission as follows “My work is similar to urban spaces; the position, the weight, texture and the backdrop of the space are important to me; my goal however is opposite to the one of city planning. My goal isn’t to build something new, but to find and perpetuate things we forget about and the world we are turning away from. I want to discover a form which will allow me to express it’s presence.”
The installation “Beginning a sentence.” 1983-2016 is a collection of words; words written, words thought, words dissembled, but also a collection of ideograms depicting the Universe. Our terrestrial sphere is contained here only within the two words; Body-Death.
Koji Kamoji’s works are typically site specific, on this occasion the artist worked with the space of the Signum Foundation Gallery.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue “Koji Kamoji, Beginning a Sentence” in a run of 49 signed and numbered copies and by a text by Maria Morzuch, the curator of Art Museum in Lodz.
The exhibition is curated by Grzegorz Musial.
“Beginning a sentence”
Beginning a sentence is an exhibition which attempts to answer eternal questions.
A landscape of important words, simply written down on boards in the exhibition have different levels of impact on the beholder. Each of the words somewhat suspends a stone at different heights. The physical existence of the varied weight and height of the stones brings the beholder closer to his perception of and his relation to the space. The meaning contained in these works relates to our perception of the vertical and the horizontal, the flux, the up and down flow, the back and forth movement in the image of the word; Sky, Body, Death.
Koji Kamoji is a master of creating simple forms and compositions from nothing (a flexible cane, emptiness, a hole in a painting, bowed aluminium). Scraps of reality reminisce an ordinary play from childhood, unnamable happiness, potential fulfilment. Simultaneous conceptualism and spirituality of this art allows for balance, prospective harmony of the mythical word and the reality of life.
The turbulence of the weight of the word, which changes in the space-time of experience, when it grows stronger and meaning becomes a colossal monument or inversely- the image of the word brings us closer to silence in our relations between us all. Also amongst the artists, when Henryk Stazewski the precursor of avant-garde is connoted in “Change slowly” and in “A stripe and a shadow”, a title of a collaborative exhibition with Edward Krasinski, a friend, already gone.
As a poet once said, “How good that you don’t waste your words”.
Koji Kamoji has been associated with the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw from the start, as well as with the Museum of Art in Lodz, beginning with his Edinburgh’s “Atelier 72” show, through a solo show “A hole- wind- stones” and “A hole- the moon – the silence”, “Water” in Gallery 86.
The exhibition at Signum Foundation Gallery in Lodz is accompanied by a unique book created by the artist with the images of the word, geometric composition, a line and also the phenomenon of ordinary dust.
Signum Foundation Gallery, ul. Piotrkowska 85, Łódź