29 Sept – 22 Oct 2017, Shoji Kato, Mountains and Valleys

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte


Shoji Kato’s exhibition looks at our need to build monuments. At Hippolyte they are present as one installation, Mountains and Valleys (2011–2017), which consists of photographs, works on paper, sound, lists and a structural element. Placed in a theatrical setting in the gallery space, previously a cinema, the installation however contains no obvious actors, narrative or dramatics. With all things veiled with a haze the viewer will be faced with moments of both confusion and contemplation.

Shoji Kato has explored monuments as both geometric actors and traces or means of co-operation, of coming together – sometimes against others. Looking at monuments as geometrical formations with agency, Shoji Kato finds them to facilitate realms not accessible in other ways. The name of the exhibition, Mountains and Valleys, refers to the folding of paper in the practice of origami. Folding marks the meeting point of two sides, an agreement. For the artist, this folding is an act of creating a narrative and represents the acceptance of unacceptable, or unreachable. Through finding points of agreement, the distinction of I as an individual and we as a collective becomes blurred.

Monuments can of course act as symbols of both community and destruction, whilst over time the meaning they carry may change dramatically. The question the exhibition focuses on in its exploration of monumentality is; how to live together with different reasonings? The setting encourages the viewer to look beyond what is apparent and listen to what is not said.

The exhibition includes a discussion on Sun 8 October 2017, 3 p.m.
Visual artist Shoji Kato, professor of sociology Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen and architect Mika Savela will exchange cross disciplinary ideas around human places, built spaces and objects in relation to Shoji Kato’s exhibition. Read more…


Shoji Kato is a visual artist based currently in Helsinki. He has a DFA from the The Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. His works have been shown in exhibitions around the world since 2000. In his work Shoji Kato sets distance and proximity between shared movements and individual moments. These are often seen and imagined through marks, traces, and compositions. Abstract ideas and figurative forms naturally interact with Kato’s variable viewpoints, changing scales and shifting temporalities. Kato works with ’places’ or meta-locations of subjectivity, and the ways in which these can appear and disappear in relation to that with which they come into association.

Prior to Hippolyte Shoji Kato’s most recent solo exhibitions have been in Helsinki at Forum Box in 2015 and at Helsinki Kunsthalle in 2014. His work has also been included in recent group exhibitions e.g. at Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Germany (2017) and Taksu Gallery, Singapore (2014). The exhibition at Hippolyte continues on the themes of Shoji Kato’s series of exhibitions under the title My Marks, the first of which was shown in 2008 at Galleri Bergman in Helsinki. Kato’s work is included in several public collections in Finland, Korea and Mexico, e.g. The Finnish State Art Collection and the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma in Helsinki, to mention a few.

Thank you: Arts Promotion Centre Finland

29 September – 22 October 2017
Mountains and Valleys

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Yrjönkatu 8–10 courtyard, 00120 Helsinki, +358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi
Opening hours: Tue–Fri 12–5 pm, Sat–Sun 12–4 pm

image: Shoji Kato, from Mountains and Valleys, 2017