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Born in 1969 in Shimane (Japan)
Lives and works in Tokyo (Japan) and Hong Kong (China)

A passion for painting is what you’ll find behind the artistic work of Izumi Kato. If his works consist of constantly reproducing humanoid figures, they’re modelled above all by painting, guided by reflections on the colours and shapes specific to the painter.

The artist works on these characters with great freedom, inspired by art brut, applying the material with his own fingers, selecting his materials “by intuition”.

These nameless characters that appear throughout his production, made of paint, wood, stones, plastic or, more recently, fabric, all seem to form an imaginary people, stemming from a myth that’s unknown to us. They remind us of certain creations of the Primitive Arts, or the Japanese culture from which the artist comes, who declares to have undoubtedly been unconsciously inspired by animism, the presence of spirits which mark certain stories told in his native region.

Evoking genies or even foetuses, the beings created by Izumi Kato disturb the categories: sometimes their limbs are transformed into plants, elongating disproportionately like stems, or these characters are on all fours to disturb our sense of the “human” body. They seem, looking at us through these many portraits, to try to reconnect us to a more primitive part of ourselves.

Since the 2000s, Izumi Kato has been attracting attention with his creations, which he has exhibited in Japan and around the world. In 2007, he was invited to the 52nd international exhibition of the Venice Biennale, curated by Robert Storr.

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