Taka Sudo’s solo show Kinetic Moments opened this past Thursday, April 10th at #Hashtag Gallery in Toronto to a responsive crowd, one which fluctuated throughout the evening generating a constant renewal of intrigue and reflection on the work. This show celebrates not only human moments, but also the second anniversary of #Hashtag Gallery.
From afar, bright, contrasting colours leap out of the front window of the gallery. Inside the walls are lined with large and small works by Taka Sudo. It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the movement of the images, an effect of the constant flow of colour on canvas or wood panel set against contrasting black and white backgrounds made of canvas or newspaper. Each piece is littered with energy that flows inward and outward, towards the viewer. Sudo works with an array of mediums including paint, both brushed and sprayed on, marker, pen and ink, and collage; the process itself is dynamic. It is almost difficult to differentiate foreground from background at times, especially with the collage of layers that Sudo creates between them. Newsprint covers the background of many of the works, and large, bold words within the figures of each work creates an ephemeral quality in each painting. We wonder if this reflects the “moments” in Kinetic Moments, indicative of a time and place that has passed.
Kinetic Moments is an aspiring show, in which the artist attempts to capture very human moments, such as struggle and creation. The new works by Taka Sudo are invigorating, producing a kinetic energy in the work themselves and in the viewer, but also simultaneously in the relationship of artwork and audience. It is up to the viewer to discern between movement and form, in which figures from skulls, Sudos’ series Muse, to fish, in Circulation, and Buddha, in Holy, to wolf, Rebel, are revealed. Movement, or the kinetic, is balanced in each individual painting, as colour flows in and out of each figure on the canvas, seeming to burst but then immediately drawn back in to some unspecified center. The elements of collage in conjunction with the various mediums with which Sudo works, completes each painting, standing just before the boundary of over indulgence. One could spend hours interpreting the various collaged symbols that appear in many of the pieces, such as circled letters and numbers, and bright red crowns, x’s, and o’s. Interpreting these small bits of information individually, however, seems superfluous to the overarching theme of the show that can be recognized from the distance of the gallery window, but which add an element of aesthetic pleasure when viewed up close.
Taka Sudo was born and raised in Japan, but currently works and resides in British Columbia. Sudo draws inspiration from everyday moments, through interaction with his environment, people and objects.
Kinetic Moments is successfully executed, and I strongly recommend visiting the gallery to view and experience the work in person. Kinetic Moments is up until April 27th at #Hashtag Gallery, located at 801 Dundas Street W. Check out their website for gallery hours: http://www.hashtaggallery.com