Ataru Sato

Art Collaboration Kyoto 2021
Booth A03
5/November/2021 - 7/November/2021

KOSAKU KANECHIKA is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Ataru Sato at booth A03 at Art Collaboration Kyoto from November 5 to November 7, 2021.

Sato attempts to understand himself, humanity, and the world around him through the act of drawing or painting. Expressing themes such as obsession, fear, and romance through fine – perhaps excessively fine – pencil lines and distinctive brushwork, Sato emphasizes that his works are created for himself. He sees art as being created by people who are alive to express their lived experiences and has no aspiration to create art for art’s sake, art that is novel, or art that seeks to be meaningful. Sato’s images continually propagate, driven by his need to comprehend the indiscernible aspects of life. Born from a core of personal questions, his work is characterized by a powerful energy that penetrates deeply, leaving a lasting impression on its viewers.

Sato provided the following statement about the exhibition.


The works you see here today are mainly pieces that I exhibited in Brussels in 2019. Though I don’t clearly recall what I was going through at that time, when I look at these images, I get a good understanding of what I was thinking. The works you see here are entries in a visual diary of the senses. I feel it was this act of journaling and relieving me of my daily unease that allowed me to somehow make it to today.


This exhibition presents a total of 35 works, consisting of paintings, drawings, paper collages, and a painted box, all of which are being exhibited in Japan for the first time, alongside Sato’s works on porcelain plates.


I have a rather dark personality, and I usually take things negatively. The word "tomorrow" simultaneously evokes a sense of hope and of hopelessness. But I push myself to live and see each new day by displaying my vitality as much as possible. – Ataru Sato
Oil on panel
36.4 x 25.7 cm
Acrylic, ink, oil on panel
36.6 x 25.7 cm
Photo by Chikashi Suzuki
Over the rainbow
Mixed media on canvas mounted on wooden box
40.0 x 29.8 x 5.8 cm

I love fruits and usually eat some kind of fruit every day. I especially love pineapples, but my stomach always hurts when I eat them. Once I received a pineapple from a friend, which I put on my desk and sketched until it rot. My room smelled increasingly sweeter by the day. – Ataru Sato
It's not living if it's not with you.
Oil on cloth mounted on panel
30.0 x 30.0 cm
It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)
Oil on wooden board
11.0 x 16.0 cm
Oil on canvas
24.4 x 33.3 cm
I'm yours
Oil on panel
36.3 x 51.4 cm

It's not that I particularly like cats. If anything, I prefer dogs. Among gay people, the person who penetrates during sex is called the "top" and the one who receives is known as the "bottom". In Japan, the top is referred to as "tachi", and the bottom as "neko," which means "cat" in Japanese. In this composition, dozens of cats are waiting to receive food from God. I am mixed among them, also waiting. – Ataru Sato
Midnight Nightingales

I was a sickly child who was often hospitalized. Because of this, I constantly have dreams where I am surrounded by many nurses. At first, it's quite soothing, but I gradually begin to feel unsettled, and then I wake up. A kind face does not always mean kind intentions. And a person with a scary face is not always scary. In this painting, I aimed to depict complex human expressions and psyche. – Ataru Sato
Stretch suit
Acrylic, oil on canvas
41.0 x 41.0 cm
Oil on panel
30.0 x 30.0 cm
Living Plate
Ink on porcelain
h.22.6 x w.22.6 x d.2.0 cm
Handwork Plate
Ink on porcelain
h.15.6 x 15.6 x d.1.5 cm
Photo by Chikashi Suzuki

You may go from being friends to lovers, but once you fall out of love and break up, there are times you can’t go back to being friends. I often look back on my memories of him. As I continue to draw him as how I remember him when he was young, he continues to grow further away. – Ataru Sato
Pencil on paper and paper collage mounted on panel
36.5 x 25.8 cm
Acrylic, pencil on paper and paper collage mounted on panel
27.2 x 22.4 cm

Ataru Sato was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan in 1986 and is currently based in Tokyo. 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. 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), and “Dojima River Biennale 2019” (Osaka, 2019). Sato’s works have been acquired by the Takahashi Collection as well as by Louis Vuitton Malletier.

© MP・Risaku Suzuki