“Technology can be a source for good; it depends what we decide to develop it for.”
Kohei Nawa’s multidisciplinary practice investigates the borders between nature, materiality and artificiality. An in-depth investigation of matter—organic and manmade, liquid and solid, static and dynamic—has consistently been the driving force behind the artist’s sculptures and installations. His use of synthetic compounds underscores developments in technology and the emergence of innovative materials, which further complicate the relationship between natural and artificial worlds. He is also the founder of SANDWICH, a collaborative studio in Kyoto where artists, architects, and designers come together to work on new projects.
Nawa’s work appears in the permanent collections of notable art institutions across the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Significant projects include Ether (2019), a 10-meter-high public sculpture at the Grand Hyatt hotel at the San Francisco Airport; Throne (2018), a monumental gold sculpture under the Louvre Pyramid, and Foam (2018), a cloud-like installation at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, both shown during Japonismes 2018 in Paris; Kohtei (2016), an art pavilion on the campus of the Shinshoji Zen temple in Fukuyama-city; Vessel, a dance performance with Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet that has been performed at multiple theatres around the world since 2015; and PLANET [wanderer], a new performance by Nawa and Jalet, co-produced by Chaillot-Théâtre National de la danse (Paris), Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes), Rouen Opera House, Sadler’s Wells (London), Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Rohm Theatre (Kyoto), and Taipei National Theatre & Concert Hall, to premiere on September 15, 2021.