Born in 1962 in Nagoya, Kenji Sugiyama graduated in 1987 with a B.F.A. at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, Japan and in 1989 he graduated with a M.F.A. at the same University.
Kenji Sugiyama’s work ensue from a long research, started on 1995. In his artworks, Sugiyama, reconstructing the visual perception as being Russian tea dolls (Matryo- shka dolls), restrict the viewer to a smaller visual field to experience a meta viewing and evoke his memory of the past and his personal experience. Through deconstruction of the artist’s visual language and terms we can understand Sugiyama’s thinking:
Institute - recall an institution, an entity created for certain purposes, a set of coordinated rules in order to achieve a goal.
Museum - Museums are public institutions, places for art, recognized and recognizable spaces of the collective memory, but calling them Intimate arouse the individual subjectivity and uniqueness, evoking the experiential memory.
Library – Libraries are public places set apart to contain books and other materials for reading, viewing, listening and contemplating. It is a collection of materials for both intimate study and enjoyment.
Mirror - The mirror is substantial part of Sugiyama’s works, filter for vision and illusion through which each image and work is forced.
The works Inside and Outside, enact circular paths, from being object of observation lead to observing and again to be the subject of an observation more intimate and personal, within the work of art itself. Through these circular paths, the visitor is asked to recreate his own Museums, remembering what has been previously visited, what has been lived and experienced, reconstructing the memory.
As Proust stated, time, interior or exterior, is always tied to the past, but, at the same time, is a time which tends to the present. The proustian epiphany, the memory solicited by a casual feeling that evokes the past with no locical proceedings and lets feel as contemporary that past, is what Sugiyama proposes in his works, bringing the viewer’s to awake the consciousness, for a new awareness of the act of seeing, feeling and remembering, to understand that this new experience is totally and inescapably personal and unique.
Sugiyama’s art tells us about these enclosed spaces, circumscribed and exclusive, about his Museums and Libraries, so essentially common and public, yet so intimate and quiet, the ideal places to capture the inner experience.