Hidetoshi Nagasawa at Palazzo Reale in Naples – “Under the sky and above the earth”

The connections between Japan and Italy are increasingly present on our territory and the exhibition by Hidetoshi Nagasawa at the Royal Palace of Naples is proof of this.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

“Under the sky and above the earth” is the name of Hidetoshi Nagasawa’s exhibition at the Royal Palace of Naples until 10 March 2020. However, before going into the heart of the exhibition, let’s briefly see who the artist is.

Who is Hidetoshi Nagasawa

Nagasawa was born in 1940 in a small village in Manchuria where his father served as a medical officer of the imperial army. Following the invasion by the Soviet Union, the family was forced to abruptly leave the country. The theme of the trip will deeply mark the heart of the artist and a large part of his artistic production.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

The great journey

At the age of twenty-six, married for only six months, he decided to quit his career as an architect to devote himself exclusively to the artistic activity. So he left Japan with only five hundred dollars and a bicycle. The bicycle trip lasted a year and a half and led him to visit most of the countries of the Asian continent to reach Turkey. However, as he was about to return, listening to a Mozart opera on the radio prompted him to continue his journey. So he left on a ferry that would take him to Greece and, from there, with his bicycle, he arrived in Brindisi.

Once arrived in Italy, Hidetoshi Nagasawa visited Naples, Rome, Florence, Genoa, and Milan. Here, just like from the title of the famous movie, they stole his bicycle and so he decided to stop in August 1967.

The artistic evolution

Hidetoshi’s first exhibition dates back to 1969 at the Sincron Gallery in Brescia. The production of this period is linked to conceptualism. These are verbal games engraved on metal plates, “actions” in the Lombard countryside and videos.

Since 1972 he has dedicated himself to sculpture and creates demanding works with the use mainly of gold, marble, and bronze. It is precisely in this period that Nagasawa’s language takes on a precise physiognomy and originality. In fact, his style is characterized by the fusion of mythical and religious elements in a continuous dialogue between Eastern and Western culture.

In the eighties he began to create environments, operating on the border between sculpture and architecture. Here he decides to experiment with the creation of “anti-gravity” works and these works represent the focus of his research.

The garden became a predominant element in the nineties. Starting from the Zen gardens of the Japanese tradition, Hidetoshi Nagasawa arrives at a hybrid result. In fact, once again a continuous elaboration and personal reflection are born. We can, in fact, say that the themes at the center of research and the creation of “places” are the fence and the passage. The garden is no longer a simple landscape or architectural element but becomes a real living organism.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa: Under the sky and above the earth

With his innumerable journeys, Nagasawa came into contact with various cultures all different from each other. “To understand a culture, you always need another” he said in one of his last interviews and this seems to be the most effective quote for the exhibition at the Royal Palace of Naples, curated by Anna Imponente.

Created in collaboration with the CAMUSAC-Cassino Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art in Cassino, directed by Bruno Corà, with the valuable contribution of Ryoma Nagasawa, the exhibition focuses on a series of large sculptures.

In fact, in the court of honor we find the majestic “Well in the sky”, 1995-2014 (200x1000x1000 cm). Boat, 1983-1988 (60x350x80 cm) of brass and paper clings to the walls of the monumental access staircase. Il Groviglio di quanta, 2014 (525x40x40 cm) and Matteo Ricci, 2010 (50x360x360 cm), composed of eight Carrara marble and steel elements lying on the ground are works in which iron and marble create a game of seemingly vacillating joints.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

However, the beauties of Hidetoshi Nagasawa do not end there. In fact, we also find a selection of graphic works in wax and charcoal. These works configure galaxies and landscapes and echo the idea of a delimited and concluded space typical of oriental gardens.

“Nagasawa’s installations lowered into the rational architecture of the late Mannerist geometric forms of Palazzo Reale,” says Anna Imponente, “express, in opposition, the aesthetic and philosophical concept of the “Ma”, the interval of the “empty” space between multiple elements structural, in indefinite and suspended positions “.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

If in these last winter weekends you don’t know what to do, we suggest you make a small stop in Naples and enjoy this exhibition in all its beauty and grandeur.

Details on the exhibition

When: From 10 December 2019 to 10 March 2020
Hours: Thursday to Tuesday 9: 00-20: 00 (last admission 19.00); Wednesday closed.
Where: Royal Palace Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples
Ticket price: Royal Palace and exhibition € 6 – Reductions and gratuity according to current legislation
Contact and information: polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it

Source: napolidavivere.it