Ataru Sato

First Love 2

9/December/2023 - 20/January/2024

KOSAKU KANECHIKA is pleased to present Ataru Satoʼs solo exhibition “First Love 2” from December
9, 2023 to January 20, 2024.


Sato not only understands himself, humanity, and the world around him through the act of drawing and painting, but also communicates through it as well. He uses fine linework and brushstrokes as a tool for expressing various themes such as obsession, fear, and romance. Fact and fiction, real life and fantasy ‒ all well forth, intertwined, through diverse media, including paintings, drawings, installations, and painted boxes.


In his practice, Sato has not been interested in novelty or finding meaning. Viewing contemporary art as a “world of tolerance,” Sato explains that painting is a way for him to receive a certain kind of acceptance that it is all right for someone like him to exist. Often, what he depicts are things that many shy away from, without having understood them properly, things that we conceal deep within ourselves, and turn our backs on. Perhaps that is why they resonate deeply as something painful, or, at times, sweet.


Sato has provided the following statement about the “First Love 2” exhibition.


I had always pondered about what title to give my solo exhibitions after first having completed some works.
However, this time, I decided on “First Love 2” early on.
It had been floating around in my head for a while, so I began painting after having selected the title.
This peculiar title had just come to me off the top of my head, but each time I painted, it lingered in the back of my mind.
While there are many facets to “First Love 2,” now that I am in the most exciting phase of the preparation for the exhibition, I realize that I chose this title out of a desire to get in touch with myself and others once more.


The primary focus of this exhibition is on the artistʼs portraits. In the past, Sato often drew from a world within himself. Yet by depicting others, the artist says he has been able to come into contact with the power that each individual possesses, allowing him to step out of his own world, and head in a different direction. By adopting a broader, more “positive” perspective that gently accepts these realities of pain and darkness, and even shows glimpses of hope, this new body of work constitutes an important turning point for the artist.


We cordially invite you to attend Ataru Satoʼs solo exhibition “First Love 2,” which features approximately 25 new paintings.


General information

Ataru Sato "First Love 2"

December 9, 2023 - January 20, 2024
Opening reception: December 9, at 5 pm - 7 pm

*The gallery will be closed for winter holidays from December 29, 2023 to January 4, 2024.

11 am - 6 pm
Closed on Sun, Mon and National Holidays

TERRADA Art Complex 5F
1-33-10 Higashi-Shinagawa

Free admission

Ataru Sato

Ataru Sato was born in Chiba Prefecture in 1986 and is currently based in Tokyo, Japan. In 2009, he graduated from the Advanced Art Course in the Department of Information Design, Faculty of Arts and Design at Kyoto University of Arts and Design. In addition to his 2011 and 2015 solo exhibitions at Gallery Koyanagi, the artist has also held shows in cities such as New York and Brussels. The artist’s major group exhibitions include “10000 Lives: The 8th Gwangju Biennale” (2010), “Yokohama Triennale 2011: OUR MAGIC HOUR ‒ How Much of the World Can We Know?” (2011), “Inside” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2014), “Interpretations, Tokyo” (Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, 2019), “Dojima River Biennale 2019” (Osaka, 2019), “Yanbaru Art Festival” (Okinawa, 2023), and “LA MORSURE DES TERMITES” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2023). Sato’s works have also been acquired by the Takahashi Collection and by Louis Vuitton Malletier. This will be the artistʼs fifth solo exhibition at KOSAKU KANECHIKA following his exhibitions in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2022.


  • Civilization

  • Temptation

  • Two seconds

  • Exchange

  • Daily life

  • One person

  • Dream

  • Infatuated

  • Cataclysm