Kōhei Nawa is a Japanese sculptor exploring digital culture and contemporary spirituality. Perhaps best known for his PixCell series, he creates works by covering found objects such as taxidermied deer with an intricate layer of glass beads, prisms, glue, plaster, and spray foam. Nawa’s transparent husk is then removed, ultimately creating a light-filled facsimile of the original object. “The approach of making sculpture from granular materials eventually emerged when I was searching for my own means of expression, and is associated with the concept that the whole world is made from cells and cellular structures,” he has explained. “At the molecular level, all natural and man-made articles are groups of particles.” The artist is inspired in part by digital pixels—which use light to construct images—as a conceptual gesture, thereby making his sculptures a real life analogue to the digital image. He also cites artists such as Katsuhiro Otomo and Antony Gormley and the architect Antoni Gaudi as lasting sources of inspiration for his practice. Born in 1975 in Osaka, Japan, Nawa studied at the Kyoto City University of Art where he received his BFA and PHD in fine arts, and also spent one term as an exchange student at the Royal College of Art in London. His works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne, among others. Nawa lives and works in Kyoto, Japan.


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