Izumi Kato

Born in 1969 in Shimane, Japan, Izumi Kato is a distinguished contemporary artist animates paintings, sculptures and installations with haunting, almost primitive figures that sbridge between the physical and spiritual realms.

Currently based between Tokyo and Hong Kong, Kato began his career as a painter, graduated from the painting department at Musashino University in Tokyo in 1992. He later expanded his practice beyond painting, working intuitively and applying pigment to surfaces directly with his hands. Gathering material from his surroundings, Kato combines painting with stitching, knotting and carving to create sculptures and installations.

Kato’s idiosyncratic use of bold clashing colours depicting figures of children with unusual faces, bulbous heads attached to slim bodies, not unlike the figuration of Francis Bacon, led him to create one of his most notable works. Untitled (2004, Takahashi Ryutaro Collection, Tokyo) is a painted wood sculpture that demonstrates his ability to evoke deep emotional responses through minimalistic yet powerful imagery.

Kato’s works have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums worldwide, garnering international appeal. In 2021 Christie’s Hong Kong sold Kato’s Untitled (2012) painting for HK$4,375,000.

Kato continues to push the boundaries of contemporary art, blending traditional techniques with innovative concepts. His ability to create compelling and enigmatic figures that resonate on a primal level ensures that his work remains influential and highly regarded.