Furudougu Sakata: Our Choice

Kazumi Sakata

Furudougu Sakata: Our Choice


Exhibition Date: 2024.03.21-2024.07.21

Location: 1F & 6F

BY ART MATTERS is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition "Furudougu Sakata: Our Choice," which will mark the first solo exhibition in China by the  late antique dealer and aesthete Kazumi Sakata. This remarkable exhibition offers a captivating journey that transcends East and West, the ordinary and the artistic, and will be held from March 21st to July 21st.


Curated by Ryota Aoyagi, the exhibition will showcase a meticulously curated selection of over 400 items from various periods, reflecting Sakata's lifelong exploration of aesthetic philosophy. Visitors will have the opportunity to encounter a diverse range of artifacts, including stone tools from Afghanistan dating back to the 2nd century BC, Egyptian fabrics from the 6th century, Yayoi pottery from the 2nd century, Dutch Delft ceramics from the 17th century, African wooden tools from the 20th century, European furniture from the 18th century, as well as everyday second-hand items. In addition, the exhibition will feature films, documents, and letters, providing a comprehensive retrospective of Sakata's poetic and profound aesthetic world.


Kazumi Sakata, a passionate proponent of the inherent beauty found in handcrafted objects, believed that even overlooked and discarded items in everyday life could be appreciated and considered beautiful. His discerning "aesthetic eye" discovered beauty in ordinary objects, emphasising the aesthetic preferences rooted in traditional Eastern philosophy that have been passed down through the centuries. Through his unconventional shop, “Furudougu Sakata," Sakata introduced and sold his concept of "beauty," challenging the conventional norms of the antique industry.


In 1994, Sakata established the "as it is" Art Museum in Chiba Prefecture, embodying his pursuit of the inherent beauty found within objects themselves. Over the course of nearly a hundred curated exhibitions, Sakata profoundly influenced numerous contemporary artists and designers, incorporating profound reflections on both contemporary art and life into his aesthetic practice.


The exhibition defies traditional boundaries by presenting priceless historical artifacts alongside commonplace objects, emphasising the relationships between objects rather than arranging them chronologically or by category and origin. This approach aims to express the "birth" of beauty through objects and spirit, offering visitors a fresh perspective and infusing the displayed items with renewed vitality and significance.

The exhibition journey begins with a long corridor, transporting visitors from the bustling real world into a tranquil art space. As they progress, they leave behind distractions and turmoil, focusing on their breathing and sensing subtle changes with each step. This experiential aspect of the exhibition aims to cultivate the audience's own "aesthetic eye" and guide them to seek true beauty.


The exhibition concludes with a serene "room" containing only a few remaining tatami mats from the closure of "Furudougu Sakata." This space symbolises the irreparable void left by Kazumi Sakata's passing in 2022 due to illness, inviting visitors to contemplate the philosophy of "leaving blank." It serves as an invisible bond, intimately connecting the audience with Sakata's inner world and leaving them enriched with healing and strength.


The intersection of art and antiques is a central theme in Sakata's artistic practice. As a unique aesthete and connoisseur, he challenged existing art mechanisms and Western narratives, preferring to discover and select beautiful items through his own vision and standards. This approach resonates with the contemporary emphasis on individual choices and independent aesthetics, encouraging visitors to embrace their own aesthetic preferences and engage in a dialogue with beauty.


About Kazumi Sakata:

Kazumi Sakata was born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, in 1945. In 1973, he opened the shop "Kodougu Sakata" in Mejiro, Tokyo, where he collected and sold antique items and everyday crafts from Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. In 1994, he established the art museum "as it is" in Chiba Prefecture. Through his artistic practice centered around "choice," Kazumi Sakata demonstrated a challenge and reflection on antiques and contemporary art, which had a profound impact on the art and design fields in Japan and even globally.


Kazumi Sakata participated in the exhibition "Birth of Antiques" at the Matsutou Art Museum in 2006 and held a solo retrospective exhibition at the same museum in 2012. In 2019, he took part in the exhibition "Bubble Wrap" curated by Takashi Murakami at the Kumamoto City Museum of Contemporary Art. He has written books such as "The Scale of Self-Appreciation" and "Japanese Folk Art Museum." He passed away in 2022 due to illness.


About the Curator:

Ryota Aoyagi was born in Osaka, Japan. After graduating from Tama Art University, he began creating art installations using found objects as materials in 2005. Since 2010, he has managed an antique shop in a small alley in the Kagurazaka area of Tokyo while also dedicating himself to recording cultural heritage and renovating old houses. In 2014, he held the exhibition "UNSOLD" with Hiroshi Sugimoto and Sophie Calle at the Koyanagi Gallery. In 2017, he held a solo exhibition in an air-raid shelter, showcasing his works "2015" and "2016." In 2019, he held a solo exhibition titled "sign" at the Koyanagi Gallery. His essay series "I, Found" has been serialised in the magazine "Bijutsu Techo" since 2018.

Catalogue Pre-sale

Pre-sale Period: 2024.3.20 - 2024.5.20 (returning to regular price thereafter)

Pre-sale Quantity: 40 copies

Pre-sale Price: 1200 yuan

Expected Official Release Date: Late May 2024

Catalog Specifications:

- Size: B5 size, hardcover

- Number of Pages: 830 pages (450 sheets)

- Includes high-definition photography 

Purchase Method: Available for purchase at the museum shop or information desk.


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