Katsuhiko SATO


April 10, 2008 - May 20, 2008

The Ippodo Gallery will present paintings of Buddhist guardian deities by Katsuhiko Satoh in the exhibition Ah-Un from Thursday, April 10, to Saturday, May 3. Satoh is well known in Japan for his exuberant paintings, drawings, and painted pottery that celebrate the joy of life. The show at the Ippodo Gallery will be his first solo exhibition in New York.

Born in Japanese occupied Manchuria, Satoh experienced postwar privation as a child and barely survived a serious bout with tuberculosis in his 20s. Those experiences ingrained in him a rare appreciation for the gift of life. "Simply being able to see, to hear, to touch," he declares, "is a miracle." And he conveys that sense of gratitude irresistibly in his diverse works.

The Ah-Un exhibition will feature Satoh's endearing renderings of the fierce guardian deities of esoteric Buddhism. Those deities are a familiar presence in Japan as the paired Nio (nee-oh; Sanscrit: Vajrapani) at the entrances to large Buddhist temples. The term 'ah-un' refers to the acts of exhalation and inhalation and, by extension, to the beginning and the end of the earth and of the entire universe.

Ippodo, a familiar name to discriminating gallery-goers in Tokyo, opened its New York gallery in Chelsea in March 2008. Since 1996, Ippodo has presented the work of living exemplars of traditional Japanese arts, including newly emerging artists and established masters alike. It displays new possibilities in painting and sculpture and in diverse genres of craftwork.

Katsuhiko Sato

1940 Born in Japanese-occupied Manchuria
1947 Evacuated to Japan; lives in Okayama Prefecture
1960 While hospitalized with serious case of tuberculosis, witnesses death of friend and discovers joy of life
1963 Graduates from Tottori University and becomes teacher at private elementary school in Nara; prompted by children's love of making things to begin drawing; discovers pottery of Shiro Tsujimura and paintings and other works of Kazumasa Nakagawa
1975 Attains fame with 80,000 hand-drawn works for quarterly magazine Ginka; begins creating and exhibiting paintings, drawings, and pottery -including painted pottery- at furious pace
Continues to exhibit extensively