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Eldo Yoshimizu

During the hottest afternoon in 2009, a man stands at an asbestos removal construction site waving an emergency exit light. That man is Yoshimizu Hiroshi. And, on that day, the gods of Japanese manga paid him a visit.

Yoshimizu, following his graduation from Tokyo University of the Arts, was selected from a large pool of candidates to travel to the U.S. and Italy to take up various artist-in-residencies. After returning to Japan, he was active as a sculptor, producing public art for both public facilities and commercial buildings all over the country and participating in a variety of art events, including the 2000 Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. While working to produce public art -- a process which for him meant first drawing up the plans and then entrusting the actual creation to others -- he found himself wanting to create life-size work with his own hands and eventually moved away from public art.

Then came that fateful day. Yoshimizu became intensely fascinated by a large gingko tree that he found at the construction site, and immediately began sketching at the site. After two years away from art, in that instant he was back. Yoshimizu would then go quickly to the lumberyard each day after finishing work and asked for some scraps of wood, embarking again on creative activity. This new art was manga that was burnt into stumps of wood. Yoshimizu, who as a sculptor had long created “works of art as material objects,” now began to embrace his next dream, which was to draw “stories.” In this way “Eldo Yoshimitsu” was born. His manga became highly expressive illustrations that convey his stylish worldview, overflowing with humanity, and taken up obsessively with guns, cars and men in suits.

In September 2011, his manga noir, Ryuko, was released. Steeped in blood and gunpowder, it is a swashbuckling story that questions the true nature of the moral code and has as its main character a female underground yakuza boss named Ryuko. Written in the present continuous tense, this work was copied, page-by-page, by Yoshimitsu from the manga he created and is exhibited as panels. Consequently, not only can the work be read as a Manga book, but each separate page also stands alone as an independent print. The sense of distance between the work and reader born out of the exhibition of the manga accentuate the beautiful monochrome of the ink and the free division of the frames, which transcends the rules of manga. This also prompts a recollection of the public art Yoshimizu had created in previous times.

In the tranquil silence following the sound of a gunshot, there exists a sense of space like a vortex mixing elegance and romance, desire and the moral code of the yakuza. Yoshimizu’s world is both subculture and fine art. And, it is this excitement over the ambivalent use of the various elements that lies within his work, along with the playful spirit that enjoys that excitement, that so characterize the uber-cool style of Eldo Yoshimizu and his manga.

 

by Elie Seberg
  1965 Born in Tokyo

Education
1992 Tokyo National Universitiy of Fine Arts and Music M.F.A
1990 Tokyo National Universitiy of Fine Arts and Music B.A

Residencies
1996 Civitella Ranieri Center, Umbertide ITALY
1994 ART/OMI International artists' residency, New york U.S.A

Selected exhibitions
1994 The 7th Pusan Biennial, Pusan Cultural Center,Pusan, KOREA
1995 Another Delight, Gallery Nikko,Tokyo
Osaka Triennale, My Dome Osaka,Osaka
1996 Philip Morris Art Award '96, Wacoal Art Center,Tokyo
1997 4th Kitakyusyu Biennale ,Kitakyusyu Municipal Museum of Art,Fukuoka
2000 Etigo Tumari Art Triennale, Niigata
2008 “Art of EVCARO” Tokyo Hipsters Club Harazyuku,Tokyo
2010 “Echo Beats” Fujisawa Kanagawa
2011 "RYUKO" Qualia Junction Ginza Tokyo

Commission Work
1997 Bloom, Good Luck ,Yumeooka Art Project, Yokohama,Kanagawa
1999 Zuiun, Hakata Riverain Public Art project, Hakata,Fukuoka
2000 Sentry of Forest, Etigo-tumari, Niigata / Quiet life, Fortune steps,Minami-yukigaya, Tokyo
2001 Taipei Gate , 3rd Award / Taipei Freeway landscape art competetion,Taipei TAIWAN
        Books on the garden, Chiba central Library,Chiba / Dragon King Rabbits, Meinohama, Fukuoka
        Sunward, Inba village, Chiba
2002 Kotodama, Symbiosis, Hirakata Osaka / Rubious, Nakanoshima Osaka
2003 Heaven's Organ, The Industry Club of Japa, Tokyo / Firs t Light, CELUX, Tokyo
2004 Flowers of Romance, KasukabeSyuwa Hospital, Saitama
2005 Dream seeds, Kanagawa Kanagawa Sougou Sangyou High School
        Oasis, Kanagawa Kanagawa Sougou Sangyou High School
        Smooth Wind, Kanagawa Kanagawa Sougou Sangyou High School
        Barracuda, Akasak Intercity, Tokyo
        Keep in touch, Soga Harbor city,Chiba
        Daphnis et Chlo, Grand Ark Hanzomon Hotel, Tokyo
        Laetitia, Tokyo Buiding, Tokyo
        Sanctuary, Kanagawa Children Medeical Center, Yokohama
        Birds sing, Shikoku Concer Center, Shikoku
2006 Infinity, IHI Buiding, Tokyo
Eternity, IHI Buiding, Tokyo
Nebula, IHI Buiding, Tokyo
Aphrodite’s Roses, VIVO City Singapore

2007 @Mojito, Art Village Osaki, Tokyo

2008 Fountain, JCB Hall, Tokyo
 
 
¡ Public Art            
Mitsui Nakanojima Building, OSAKA
“Rubious”
  The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, NIGATA
“Sentry of Forest”
  AKASAKA Intercity, TOKYO
"Barracuda"
  Kamiohka Station Building,
YOKOYAMA@
"Good Luck"
 


 

 

 

 
 
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