Kensuke Koike

Japan 1980

Installation, Collage

Kensuke Koike
Kensuke Koike
July 5, 2013
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Through juggling, ripping, disassembling and then reassembling photographs, a Japanese artist Kensuke Koike creates new images with their own independent lives, just barely connected with their previous ones. As he constantly searches for a perfect image processing that would ultimately lead to a perfect collage, the artist slowly becomes an alchemist who uses everyday materials, turning them into artistic gold, showing that everything depends on our point of observation of reality and the way in which we take into consideration.

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Kensuke Koike – Prayer, 2012 (Left) / Complicity, 2012 (Center) / Surface, 2012 (Right)

The Story of a Diamond and the Perfect Collage

Arguably, his most famous pieces are the diamond shaped collages. He chose this particular shape because it is a widely recognizable symbol, but also because of the memorial diamonds, made from the ashes of departed loved ones. Indistinguishable from the actual stones, they possess a value much greater to their owners. Koike knows that the value here isn’t economical, and if the diamond is artificial, the emotions it causes are certainly honest. A precious stone can be pretty much ruined by a bad, faulty cut, losing its monetary value – this is also true for Koike’s work on paper. Once again, the idea that a man’s ability determinates the object’s value is proven axiomatic; otherwise, a diamond would be just an ordinary stone, and a collage would simply be a piece of paper. Speaking of his process applied in all his works, the composition of the collage sees the exclusive application of fragments of the same photograph. Challenging the objectivity of the photographic product, Koike’s subjects regain possession of a soul that lives only in the fantasies of the viewer. Through his work, he always wanted to see and unravel the birth of imagination, and this fantastic trait is so characteristic for many of his artworks.

Koike considers a carbon based precious stone to be far less valuable than the paper diamond that’s filled with memories

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Kensuke Koike – Wish I, 2012 (Left) / Wish III, 2012 (Right)

Over Their Dead Bodies

Born in Nagoya, Japan, Koike moved to Italy, pursuing studies. He graduated from Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, Italy in 2004, and he spent the next three years further expanding his knowledge at the IUAV University, Faculty of Arts and Design in Venice. Since 2005, he has actively exhibited his works, mainly in Italy, but also in Germany, the USA, Canada and Slovenia, first as a part of group shows, and later having his own successful solo shows. In 2015, Koike introduced his most recent opus in a publication entitled Over Their Dead Bodies. Inspired by the photographs of two group portraits that he saw at a flea market, the artist wanted to find out why there were eight women in the first photo and only six in the other. The six women from the second picture were also in the first, though he had some troubles recognizing them. Intrigued to discover what happened to the other two, what was the relationship between all of them, Koike took an adventurous journey that culminated in the beautiful publication. Since the photographs were very old (from WWI), there was no doubt that the characters were long deceased, and with the people were also gone their stories and memories. Now, the artist has allowed us to use our own imagination, so we can grant them new stories.

He is represented by A plus A gallery.

Kensuke Koike lives and works in Šempas, Slovenia.

Featured image: Kensuke Koike – Blow (detail), 2015
All images courtesy of A plus A gallery

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Save the bellGalleria Ciocco ArteSolo
2015Making SenseGalleria Ciocco ArteGroup
2014Swit ChoverArtcore gallery, Bari, ItalySolo
2013Sleepers AwakeJarach Gallery, Venice, ItalySolo
2013Here is my secretCiocca artecontemporanea, Milan, ItalySolo
2013Home is where I want to bePrivate Houses (Michela's House & Silvia's House), Vittorio Veneto, ItalyGroup
2013ARTypeBasilica Palladiana, Vicenza, ItalyGroup
2013The Hundredth WindowJarach Gallery, Venice, ItalyGroup
2013Corpo CircuitoGalleria Bunker, Vicenza, ItalyGroup
2013La bellezza sospesa tra visione e realtàMuseo Regionale Barocco, Noto, ItalyGroup
2012WishCiocca artecontemporanea, Milan, ItalySolo
2012Art StaysTenzor Gallery, Ptuj, SloveniaGroup
2012La Notte900Lab, Rome, ItalyGroup
2012AtemporalJarach Gallery, Venice, ItalyGroup
2012ItalianitudineVilla di Toppo Florio, Buttrio, ItalyGroup
2012Officina Italia 2 - Nuova creatività ItalianaEx Macello, Padua, ItalyGroup
2012myDetourPalazzetto Tito, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, ItalyGroup
2012Extracurricular ActivitySuperfluo, Padua, ItalyGroup
2012Officina Italia 2 - Nuova creatività italianaEx Chiesa di San Carpoforo, Milan, ItalyGroup
2011Searching for a perfectJarach Gallery, Venice, ItalySolo
2011Pixxelpoint Let’s get readyNova Gorica, SloveniaGroup
2011The Mystical SelfVisual Container, Milan, ItalyGroup
2011Videoart YearbookCARC Centro Ricerca Arte Contemporanea, Cremona, ItalyGroup
2011Officina Italia 2 - Nuova creatività italianaALT Arte Contemporanea, Bergamo, ItalyGroup
2011The Mystical SelfArtVerona Art Fair, Verona, ItalyGroup
2011Videoart YearbookChiostro di Santa Cristina, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2011Officina Italia 2 - Nuova creatività italianaFabbrica, Gambettola & Sala Museale del Baraccano, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2011Amateurs - Proposal on rough definition, with four examplesPerugi arteconteporanea, Padua, ItalyGroup
2011Fragile: Handle with careLu.C.C.A. – Lucca Center of Contermporary Art, Lucca, ItalyGroup
2010Group ShowGalerie 5raume, Ludwigsburg, GermanyGroup
2010Art/TubeGalleria Civica Cavour, Padua, ItalyGroup
2010How many worldsGalerie 5raume, Ludwigsburg, GermanyGroup
2009Aliens’ LoungeVirgil de Voldere Gallery, New York, USASolo
2009There’s still much to doPerugi artecontemporanea, Padua, ItalySolo
2009Roaming: How soon is nowMestna Galerija, Nova Gorica, SloveniaGroup
2009The First Terminal Short Video FestivalAustin Peay State University, Clarksville, USAGroup
2008Opera 2008Gallaria di Piazza San Marco, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, ItalyGroup
2008Tina B the prague contemporary art festivalPrague, Czech RepubulicGroup
2008A4/8 Studios – Manifesta 7 parallel eventsOpera Universitaria – Centro Polifunzionale, Trento, ItalyGroup
2008Filmidio #3: Insanity, Victims, and Childhood, in ShortRed Saw Gallery, Newark, USAGroup
2008Spark Video, curated by Blake CarringtonSpark Contemporary Art Space, New York, USAGroup
2008LELABO’ No. 4 – B, B, B, C, F, G, G, K, S, R, V?,C-O careof, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Hortus SimpliciumFondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, ItalyGroup Mostra CollettivaGalleria di Piazza San Marco - Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, ItalyGroup
2007Ghosts of Presence: International Emerging Artists’ VideoArt Gallery of York University, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2007Central Park - giunglavideo. 2Parco di Toppo Florio, Buttrio, ItalyGroup
2007loop pool , aum f r Projek on in der Lounge der Kur lmtageOberhausen, GermanyGroup
2007Video Report Italia 04_05MMSU Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, CroatiaGroup
2006Stretching for dummiesPerugi artecontemporanea, Padua, ItalySolo
20061800FRAMES - Take3city without walls, New Jersey, USAGroup
2006Video eport Italia 4_ 5Galleria Comunale d’arte Contemporanea, Monfalcone, ItalyGroup
2006Quotidiana 06Museo Civico al Santo, Padova, ItalyGroup
2006Video Island - L’Isola del CinemaIsola Tiberina, Rome, ItalyGroup
2006The4thScreenNew York Video Festival, New York, USAGroup
2006Kunst in Bewegung - on the moveKunstverein, Ludwisburg, GermanyGroup
2006Tends to InfinityPalazzetto Tito, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, ItalyGroup Mostra CollettivaGalleria di Piazza San Marco, Venice, ItalyGroup
2005UntitledVentura XV, Milan, ItalyGroup