BEGINNING of WORSHIP ‒ First Beheld the Blue ‒

Ito Sakuho
April 6 - May 18, 2024

Tokyo international gallery to present “BEGINNING of WORSHIP – First Beheld the Blue -,” a solo exhibition of new works by artist Sakiho Ito

Tokyo International Gallery (Shinagawa, Tennozu) will present “BEGINNING of WORSHIP – First Beheld the Blue -,” a solo exhibition by Sakuho Ito. She creates vivid works of art that evoke nature using rusty Japanese paper produced by her own method of nucleus making, which she has researched and developed herself. Her work has been exhibited in collaboration with corporations and collected as public art in a newly opened luxury hotel in Tokyo. In recent years, she has been connected to the Shinto philosophy of respecting nature and life, and has been engaged in a residency program to “connect the land with the people,” while interacting with the people and nature of the region. “Worship of Life”, a votive offering to Izumo Taisha Shrine. This was an opportunity for her to continue to explore the concept of “worship” as an expression of life, and to incorporate the local soil and sand into her artwork, which she dedicated to the shrine as a homage to the lives of the local people. In this exhibition, titled “The Beginning of Worship – First Beheld the Blue,” deep blue envelops the entire gallery space and expresses Episode 0 based on the “awareness” Ito gained in Izumo. Ito’s major works, both old and new, will be gathered in one place. We hope you will enjoy the works that are the starting point of Ito’s ongoing challenge for new expressions using Japanese paper.

―Artist Statement―

Last year, during my residency in Izumo and the subsequent dedication of my work to Izumo Taisha Shrine, I realized that all the acts of expression I have pursued as art until now have been acts of “worship.” And when creating series such as “Overlap” and “Water Pollution,” I was strongly drawn to the color “blue.” The reason for this recollection lies in a dialogue with childhood memories. Through a dialogue with the sky, I encountered color for the first time when I played a game of disassembling myself into small particles and blending with the particles of oxygen and water. I acquired the “blue” that encompasses myself, the sky, and everything around me. In this exhibition, I nostalgically recall this “beginning of worship” and express the spiritual world of blue.


Ito Sakuho

Sakoho Ito was born in Shimane Prefecture in 1989, and began her art activities after graduating from Musashino Art University in 2014. Using her unique method of making Japanese paper, as well as metals, clay, pigments, and more, she continues to explore and express the tranquility and transience born from the calmness of the heart, which she experienced in her childhood, and the fundamental spirituality visible in the activities of ethnic groups. She perceives and continues her expression within the lineage of abstract expressionism.

In recent years, she has connected with the Shinto philosophy that reveres nature and life, engaging in activities that “Nestling close to the soil, and braiding the spirit of the land with the souls of its dwellers.” She stays in various locations, incorporating soil and sand collected from those places into her works, creating pieces that worship the life of the land, which she then dedicates to shrines and other venues. With the production of the dedication piece “Worship of Life” at Izumo Taisha Shrine in 2023, she continues to inquire about “worship” as her lifelong expression.


BEGINNING of WORSHIP ‒ First Beheld the Blue ‒

DATE: April 6 – May 18, 2024

Opening Hours : 17:00-20:00

opening reception: April 6 17:00 〜 20:00

Tokyo International Gallery
TERRADA Art Complex II 2F, 1-32-8 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 140-0002 Japan
Access: 8 minutes’ walk from Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Rinkai Line “Tennoz Isle Station”, 10 minutes’ walk from Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line “Tennoz Isle Station”, 8 minutes’ walk from Keikyu Main Line “Shinbanba Station”