Hidetoshi Nagasawa

Born in Tonei, Manchuria, in 1940, Hidetoshi Nagasawa graduated in architecture in Tokyo in 1963. He was always interested in the artistic avant-garde, which he came to know through the Gutai group. At 26 years of age, he left his homeland and travelled by bicycle through Asia and Europe, reaching Milan where he settled in 1968. He established strong friendships with artists such as Fabro, Trotta, Nigro and Castellani. He founded the Casa degli Artisti in Milan together with Fabro and Jole De Sanna. He devoted himself initially to performance and scriptural works before focussing from 1972 on sculpture. He adopted materials such as paper, wood, stone and metals to incorporate in his works contributions drawn from eastern and western cultures and religions, with the theme of travel often appearing. In the 1980s, he began creating his first environments, exploring the confine between sculpture and architecture: the idea of suspension and the attempt to create “anti-gravitational” works represent the central nucleus of his work from this period. In the 1990s instead, the garden became the preponderant theme: a personal exploration of a topos of eastern culture, starting out from the Zen gardens of the Japanese tradition. Nagasawa was a lecturer at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. He participated in the Venice Biennale in 1972, 1976, 1982, 1988; he was invited to Documenta 9 in Kassel in 1992 and in 2006 participated in the XII Biennale of Sculpture in Carrara. He has also held solo shows at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan in 1988, the Galleria Comunale in Bologna in 1993, the Fondazione Mirò in Palma de Majorca in 1996, the Torre Guevara in Ischia in 2006. From July 2010 he was featured in solo shows in the leading Japanese museums: the Museums of Modern Art in Saitama and in Kawagoe, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, the Museums of Modern Art in Kamakura and in Hayama and the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum.