Opening: Kota Ezawa @ Haines Gallery, San Francisco

January 10, 2012

This past Thursday, Kota Ezawa's show The Curse of Dimensionality opened at Haines Gallery in San Francisco. Ezawa's work begins with archiving images from popular culture that range from news stories to photography of national parks. Working in a variety of mediums including paper cut outs, animated films, Duratrans transparencies illuminated by light boxes, and sculptural arrangements, Ezawa's various mediums all inform each other. While much of the drawing starts in illustrator on a computer screen, projects flow between an array of finished products. Some projects begin as a film but lead to a series of paper cut outs, while others begin as still images that lead to film projects in the future.


Many of the images are recognizable even in their simplified state, while some others are more obscure and provoke a curiosity in the viewer to investigate the image and find some signifying detail to reveal the ultimate relevance of the picture. A still from the Apollo space mission feels noticeably more iconic than a bird's eye view of what seems to be an everyday parking lot. However the images all have a subtlety to them that suggests a larger significance. Past works like Ezawa's The Simpson Verdict from 2002 emerge in more current work as new paper cut outs and three dimensional arrangements. Some of the images are not immediately telling of their original source, but prior knowledge of these cultural events and Ezawa's past work further enrich the obvious play between past and present.


Ezawa's approach to simplifying images takes these moments, and creates a graphic artwork that feels more memorable and more identifiable. Although it is entirely new representation of something the audience may have seen before, it adds a degree of separation that makes the image easier to recall. His stereoscopes in the show also play with the modification of an original image to create a simplified yet easily recognizable picture. Some stereoscopes present photographic images revealing these subtle differences in how we see the image and how Ezawa is modifying the way we see. —Max Karnig / Juxtapoz

Caption, above:

Woodstock, 2012

Paper Cutout

Frame: 18.5 x 22.75 inches / Paper: 13.25 x 17.25 inches

Photo by Monique Deschaines / Haines Gallery



Yosemite, 2011

Duratrans transparency & lightbox

Lightbox: 22 x 32 x 2 inches / Image: 20 x 30 inches

Ed. of 5

Courtesy of Haines Gallery


Still of City of Nature, 2011

DVD, 6 minutes

Ed. of 10

Courtesy of Haines Gallery



Kota Ezawa

The Curse of Dimensionality

January 5 - February 18, 2012

Haines Gallery

49 Geary St. Suite 540

San Francisco CA 94108