yasuhiro suzuki exhibition zipper boat

“Zipper Boat” (2004) | unless otherwise noted images courtesy the artist

He’s parted the waters of a lake using a zipper, he’s turned castles to chocolate and he’s made eyeballs fall from the sky. But he’s not the next savior. He’s Yasuhiro Suzuki, a young Japanese artist who has a penchant for re-envisioning the ordinary as extraordinary.

yasuhiro suzuki exhibition ginkakuji

“Ginkakuji Chocolate” (2009) – Japan’s Ginkakuji, or Silver Pavilion, is not actually coated in silver. So Suzuki decided to take matters into his own hands.

Suzuki’s big break came early in 2001 when the artist – still only 22 – created an installation for the NHK TV show Digital Stadium. Suzuki filmed children playing on a jungle gym during the day and then projected the imagery onto that same jungle gym at night, creating a haunting yet arresting perspective.

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“perspective of the globe jungle” (2001) | exhibition photos courtesy wonderwall

yasuhiro suzuki exhibition blinking leaves

“Blinking Leaves” (2003) – An installation of leaves with open and closed eyes printed on the front and back. They blink as they flutter down.

This not only won Suzuki national attention, but also the trust he needed to pull off grander installations such as a large funnel that would spew hundreds of leaves into the air. The leaves, which had images of eyes wide open on one side and shut on the other, would appear to be blinking as they fluttered to the ground. Another memorable piece was a zipper-shaped boat that steered across a lake creating the illusion that water was being unzipped.

yasuhiro suzuki exhibition apple kendama

“Apple Kendama” (2002) – the traditional kendama toy gets a makeover with a bright red apple.

Now Suzuki’s artwork is the subject of an exhibition at Art Tower Mito in Ibaragi, an hour and a half Northeast of Tokyo. The show, which runs through October 19, will feature a mix of new and old work that will make you look at your surroundings differently. Suzuki’s subject matter is often banal – a traditional toy, a zipper or a tree stump. In the most literal sense, his work is devoted to the design of daily life.

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The exhibition space was designed by Tokyo-based Wonderwall. “The spaces are partitioned with walls so that the line of flow converge and cross each other as one advances through the exhibit,” says lead architect Masamichi Katayama. “This has allowed us to effectively display the artist’s signature large-scale works, such as ‘Perspective of the Globe Jungle,’ ‘Balloon Being,’ and ‘Blinking Leaves.'”

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