• Shoji Kato
  • Shoji Kato
  • Shoji Kato
  • Shoji Kato



Uudenmaankatu 18.2.-8.3.2009

Shoji Kato
My Marks: First Movement, Echoes
18.2. – 8.3.2009
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

‘How do you make your marks?

‘This was the question from my previous exhibition, ‘My Marks: Prelude’ (1). I arranged a variety of information, such as non-fictional photographs of collective scribbles from detention cells and a police guarding station, abstract paintings and wall drawings in relation to a particular gallery space. The silent communications on display stitched the different situations together. ‘My Marks’ is a theme, a thread that allowed me to connect different parts of life while questioning the essence of a thing called ‘self’.

I have been interested in the relationship between individuality and environment and I have been inspired by the manner in which psychological and physical realms affect and shape each other.

In this second part of ‘My Marks’, I focus on the relationships of symbols, places and life. My interest is to intertwine representations and our recognition of them ‘in’ particular places and ‘with’ the different realms of life activities around them.

How do the relationships form visual representations, language and structures?

I had dealt with the same question before (2) but now it extends to a new concept of ‘place-ness’ (3), which, in this exhibition, I explore through the two different approaches with a metaphor of ‘echoes’ in installation and paintings.

For my installation I chose to make a work out of one of the most important and symbolic streets in Finland. Along its 5.5km long street, there are many important buildings (i.e. parliament) shops, offices, their symbols and business logos. Symbols can be found everywhere yet the combination of symbols and the particularity of the sites seem to speak something more than the symbol and its function itself.

How did these images emerge? What are communicated through them? And how did these symbols fall into place?

I looked at the situation through the lenses of place & symbols, and conducted fieldwork that provided the foundation of the installation work.

Same curiosity is in my abstract paintings. I use certain methods that have a set of restrictions to create the images that limits yet equally inspires my behavior on making of them. As often I am detached and yet engaged with the images, the process goes through many paradoxes. The formation of the image goes parallel to my interests on the shaping relationships, and the question of place-ness.

This exhibition is a part of the artistic demonstration of knowledge and skills I am preparing for my Doctorate in Fine Arts, in Kuvataideakatemia (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts).

Shoji Kato


(1) In October of 2008, at Galleri Bergman, Helsinki. www.galleribergman.net
(2) Summer of 2008, in Seoul, South Korea, I made an installation work, ‘River: Place and Symbols’. More information can be seen from www.shoji-kato.com
(3) Its definition is still work-in-progress. ‘Place-ness’ is what place can offer to us. And the ‘place-ness is’ potentiality offered from the uniqueness of the place. It also shows mental process that is embedded to the place through various artificial traces. This idea was inspired by the concept of James J. Gibson’s ‘affordance’, but I am experimenting the concept to connect the various layers of the landscape, including imagination, economy and history of place.