堀川すなお Sunao Horikawa

堀川すなお Sunao Horikawa

Create works with a touch like a delicate drawing from communication with others

At first glance, Sunao Horikawa’s work looks like an architectural drawing, or something like a blueprint. This work is supposedly based on "banana". She asked a Japanese person to observe the shape of a banana in 2014, and has continued to decipher the observation record recorded in words until now. This work is part of a group of works where she deciphers observation records that have been going on for many years through others with various cultural backgrounds. Through the works, I would like you to think not only about the beautiful surface of the paintings, but also about "what information they are sharing daily based on what they understand".

"Banana # 555 “Banana # 3. (28) F. Observation; Japanese # 1” google translate, reading; Afghanistan Islamic Republic / Race unknown (32) # 1 M.2012-01

My usual imagination is memory. And I believe it and live every day. People in all countries have different personalities in thinking. Personality is the core, but it cannot be believed in itself. I have an Afghan personality and a Muslim religion. We are kind to others because of the encouragement of religion. That is my personality, but the world seen from the inside may be different from the world seen from the outside. Sometimes I think the world is through something else. This sentence cannot be conveyed without understanding it. But you can receive it from the outside world. I don't know if culture influences expression, but in my world men donate to everything for all their responsibilities. Recently I lost my job at COVID-19. It was a job of architectural engineering. Everything may be art, but ironically, sometimes the world doesn't mix."

This sentence, which reads like a descriptive text, is surprisingly the title of the work. The works exhibited at "Kyoto Art for Tomorrow Kyoto Exhibition" will also be exhibited at "Symptoms - 4 Thoughts and Physicality -".
It is hard to tell how it is related to bananas just by reading the text, but surprisingly, when you see the work it starts to look like bananas. You begin to have never ending thoughts like if it is a banana peel, or if it has become a bit black. The works in this series have some kind of addictive quality.

After drawing various themes, Horikawa says the banana series "just felt right." "I think the images that accompany bananas are quite similar for everybody." She sought out a universal and fixed image and chose it as a general motif. "I'm seriously observing the shapes of bananas, which is quite dumb. That's what makes it good." A drawing work that depicts a detailed world view. Looking at the title, it has the word "banana", but when you look at it, you catch yourself letting your guard down and giggling for a moment. This kind of exquisite balance of varying tempos is a technique that only she can offer. She sometimes deals with different motifs, but taught me that she "sees what she can't see with bananas with other motifs, and tries with bananas what she finds with other motifs."Her newest work exhibited at this exhibition is numbered #558.


She explained that the reason why she started drawing arts like blueprints was that her family ran a machine shop. "Since I was little, I saw a lot of blueprints and there were many large machines, and I used to play there a lot, so when I drew a painting like a blueprint, it just felt right." She says that she ended up with her current technique through drawing blueprint-like drawings. "I wanted to understand and learn about the existence of things by picking up their outlines using lines and reading each other's images through conversations with others as I do now". She created her expression by tracing the contours of things and using lines to grasp their outlines.

"Since I was little, I've always wondered if things that were taught at school or said by my teachers were true," she says, and continued that she still thinks in this way to this day. "Even what I do now, there are things that we all agree on and understand, but there are times when we don't exactly know what is being conveyed to the other party, and I'm interested in that type of complication in society, and I think this is also connected to what I produce.

When she was a student, she studied abroad at The Cooper Union School of Art in NY, and after graduating she worked as an overseas trainee at the Pola Museum of Art Foundation in NY. Horikawa says she likes to travel and that she went to various places with her backpack at that time. When asked what country or region she would like to live in, she replied, "For me, it's fun to spend time working, and if I can do that, it's fun to go anywhere." It was an answer befitting of a person who purely enjoys producing works. It may be more important not where she produces, but what she produces.

As an artist, she is conscious of longevity. "I'm active as an artist because I like making things, and I don't feel like I'm really aiming for something. But I'm confident that my art can connect with the core ways of how people think or feel things, and I continue to work on my pieces. She will leave Kyoto in April to begin producing her works in Akita, Japan.

Although she is humble, her feelings for her production are unwavering, and she creates detailed works. She wants to keep watching how far the blueprint-like paintings of the "bananas" will evolve.

The concept video created by Alina Zhdanova

Sunao Horikawa

Born in Osaka, Japan
2008 Exchange student, Cooper Union School of Art, NY, USA
2012 M.F.A., Kyoto City University of Art, Kyoto, Japan
2015-2016 fellowship for Oversea Research, POLA Art Foundation

<Solo Exhibitions>
2020 "Vannah(35) Republic of the Philippines, Anna(21) Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Ester(23) Republic of Zambia, Ibro(33) Republic of Turkey, Simon(28) Syrian Arab Republic" FINCH ARTS,(Kyoto)
2019 "Sunao Horikawa Window Display Work" POLA THE BEAUTY GINZA (Tokyo)
2018-present "Observation and Recordation"  contemporary art house Nishijin/Gallery the Youth (Kyoto)
2016 "A Certain Point of View"  PONT15/FINCH ARTS (Kyoto)
   "The thing"  Studio 32 (New York, U.S.A.)
2015 "SEEING AND PRACTICING"  Enocojima Creates Osaka room 2 (Osaka)
2013 "Criterium 87 Sunao Horikawa Solo exhibition" Art Tower Mito Contemporary Art Gallery room 9 (Ibaraki)
2010 ”descriptive geometries"  Kodama Gallery (Kyoto)

<Group Exhibitions>
2020 "3331 ART FAIR"  selected by Mizuki Takahashi (curator), 3331 art chiyoda (Tokyo)
2019 "CHOKAIHOSEISAKUSHITSU exhibition"  KyotoStation Building 7F East Square (Kyoto)
   "Exploring"  enokojima creates osaka (Osaka)
   "Mechanical Sensations"  A/D gallery (ROPPONGI HILLS ART&DESIGN STORE) (Tokyo)
2018 "Dynamic Garden in Full Motion"  Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (Aomori)
   "ART TOKYO" selected by POLA ART FOUNDATION, Tokyo International Forum Hall and Lobby Gallery (Tokyo)
   "POLA MUSEUM ANNEX EXHIBITION" Pola Museum Annex (Tokyo)
2017 "Art Award IN THE CUBE" The Museum of Fine Arts Gifu (Gifu)
2015 "Art Court Frontier 2015 #13" selected by Emiko Yoshimura, Art Court Gallery (Osaka)
   "The Gunma Biennale for Young Artists 2015" The museum of Modern Art Gunma (Gunma)
2012  "VOCA 2012 -The vision of contemporary art-" selected bt Mizuki Takahashi, The Ueno Royal Museum (Tokyo)
2008 "New Work" Great Hall Gallery (New York, USA)

2017 Winning a prize in ART AWARD IN THE CUBE 2017
2015 Jury's Prize, The Gunma Biennale for Young Artists 2015, Gunma / Japan
2011 Art Research Support Organization 2011 by Kyoto Bank, Kyoto/ Japan

<Public Collection>
Bank of Kyoto (Japan), JAPIGOZZI Collection (Italy)

<Comissioned Work>
2019 Install a Public Art at Higashiosaka city cultural creation hall, Osaka
2014 Install a work at Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu STRASBURGO?