“Kazuharu Ishikawa: Dear friends”

by Donald Eubank

Yukari Art Contemporary

Much like his work, Kazuharu Ishikawa is hard to forget. A human
exclamation point, the Tama Art University graduate sports a shaved
head with a single spike of hair extending 30 cm straight up in
celebration of the line.

A single line — either as part of a greater whole or standing alone
— can express almost anything in a piece of art. Starting from simple
drawings that he does in sketch books, the 31-year-old Ishikawa
re-creates selected images with thread that he glues onto canvases,
walls or plexiglass.

This means that the young artist, who is
currently showing at Yukari Art Contemporary gallery
(www.yukariart-contemporary.com) near Gakugeidaigaku Station, isn’t quite a painter even if he presents his art on similar surfaces;
rather the use of string accentuates the power of simple figurative
images that may have been lost in the sea of new paintings — the
thread forces you to reconsider the materials of his works as you
appreciate their compositions. And in his newest works at Yukari,
Ishikawa’s literally added another dimension by working on plexiglass
so that the outlines cast shadows onto the walls behind them.

Depending
on
the color of the fabric and the wall, either the shadow or the outline
has greater presence. It would be great to see what would happen if he
took the next step and stacked layers of plexiglass with different
figures on them together.

“Kazuharu Ishikawa: Dear Friends” is the second exhibition at the
newly opened Yukari Art Contemporary, which is run by Yukari Mitsuma,
formerly of Gallery Es in Omotesando. It’s a nice space with two rooms
that show off the plexiglass works to good effect. Ishikawa won a
prize at Takashi Murakami’s Geisai #9 art fair, but his works are
still reasonably priced, making both the new space and the art there
worth a good look. Get there before there’s a line (ouch). (Donald
Eubank)