KENSUKE TODO: SCULPTURE
Mild steel sculptures that contrast industrial impersonality with the simulated softness and intimate warmth of bedding materials – Kensuke Todo is an artist who relishes this kind of paradox. The slippage between literal and figurative, being and seeming, appearance and reality typifies his conception of art.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Kensuke Todo was educated in both Kyoto and Canberra. He extends his bi-cultural perspective to works which gesture towards imaginary architecture, in-between spaces and transitional structures that function ambivalently as vectors, passages and conduits.
Peter Haynes, curator of the exhibition, states that “Kensuke Todo’s art possesses a serious aesthetic finesse. While it demands immediate visual and physical engagement it holds in reserve the poetics of resonance, association and memory.”
Sometimes the viewer of Todo’s works may have an Alice in Wonderland experience of incongruous physical relationship: are we too close or too distant? are we too high or too low? are we too large and commandeering? As to an ideal vantage point, we may find ourselves at a loss.
Todo first came to Canberra in 1999 as an exchange student at the School of Art of the Australian National University. He returned to Canberra in 2002, completed a MA (Visual Arts) in Sculpture, and has remained here ever since. His work has been widely exhibited throughout Australia and has been acquired for public collections in several States.
In Japan Todo originally planned to study architecture, and his understanding of traditional Japanese concepts of space, with their distinctive ideas and expressions, intersects with his knowledge of Internationalist/Western architectural thought and its concrete manifestations. He is convinced that “It is absolutely possible to be an artist living and working in contemporary Australia and to continue to accept and express Japanese-ness. The one does not deny the other.”