Hiraki Sawa

Hiraki Sawa’s video installations present intimate observations in transitory landscapes, familiar surroundings often inhabited by anoetic forms. Trees growing from a table, or a clock suddenly endowed with legs are natural interventions made by Sawa, yet extraordinary and unpredictable for the audience. His use of animation, sharp attention to lighting, and meticulously composed shots, are amalgamated into layered works. Sawa has the ability to manipulate his imagination into a tangible dimension that sits between the parallel languages of sculpture and film.


Sawa came to international attention early in his career for a series of extraordinary animations, including Dwelling (2002) and Migration (2003), where jet planes, airports and mass migrations are placed into domestic settings. Sawa’s work is often described as hypnagogic, however he would argue that he is simply shifting his frame of reality.


Lineament (2012) is a two-channel video installation in which a male protagonist, who lost his memory, navigates a worn apartment. Clock-like mechanisms appear before and around him as his memories unravel and snap back together. The grooves of an LP record uncoil to become a line and then a drawing. The audio – performed by Dale Berning and Ute Kanngiesser – is a palindrome, played both backwards and forwards on a modified turntable in the gallery space.


Hiraki Sawa (born 1977, Ishikawa, Japan) received his BFA from the University of East London and his MFA from the Slade School of Art at University College, London.  Sawa’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Dundee Contemporary Arts, the Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Chisenhale Gallery, London, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne,  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Saint Louis Art Museum, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie et Musée du Temps de Besançon with Le Consortium, Dijon.


Sawa has also participated in a number of group exhibitions and international art festivals including the 2013 Biennale de Lyon , the 2010 Sydney Biennale, Asian-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 2009, Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 2009, Yokohama Triennial, 2005, Lyon Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, 2003. In 2002 he won the East International Award, and in 2006 received the Decibel Award for Artists in 2006. In 2011 he was awarded the Gotoh Memorial Prize.


Hiraki Sawa’s works are included in many important public collections internationally, including the Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, CAB, Burgos, Spain, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.




© Parafin Ltd. 2016