Petzel Gallery is pleased to present They Live, a solo exhibition of new works by Hiroki Tsukuda. The show will be on view from March 5 to April 18, 2020 and marks Tsukuda’s second exhibition at the gallery’s Chelsea location. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, March 5th, from 6–8pm.
In reference to John Carpenter’s 1988 cult classic film with the same name, They Live presents a dystopian reality whereby current society has become surreptitiously controlled by humanoid extraterrestrials. Enamored by sci-fi since early childhood, Tsukuda has drawn inspiration from dystopic thrillers, apocalyptic novels, and cyberpunk manga. These fictions have percolated into the artist’s consciousness, transforming his ideas and artistic practice.
Working in the realms of drawing and digital collage, Tsukuda creates multi-dimensional pictures by compositing a profusion of found and created images and coding them with computerized characters and cryptic hieroglyphics. The resulting images appear in states of controlled chaos and organic mutation, edging on a pictorial language that merges cyberpunk fantasy and real-life space exploration. Some of these abstractions hang off of large hollow wooden enclosures while a set of four bionic figures suspend from vacant steel-pipe scaffolds. Rocks, driftwood, and other organic materials are presented on wooden shelves alongside these cybernetic environments.
This exhibition also features work that combines photographs and improvisational drawings, and engages with a new technique in which geometries and cartographic representations are rendered onto acrylic frames through silkscreen printing.
Hiroki Tsukuda was born in Kagawa, Japan in 1978, and graduated from the Department of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Musashino Art University. In recent years he has received increasing international acclaim with numerous solo exhibitions including Monolog in the Doom, Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2019; 199X Storm Garden, Capitain Petzel, Berlin, 2019; 199X, Nanzuka, Tokyo, 2018; Hour of Excavation, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany, 2017; Hiroki Tsukuda, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, Germany, 2017. A largescale work was recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work is included in private and public collections worldwide.
Hiroki Tsukuda discusses why he became an artist and how societal issues have influenced his work in his latest exhibition "They Live" at Petzel Gallery's Chelsea location. Film by ArtDrunk.