Tetsuo Koya’s Biography and a General Idea of Works

小屋哲雄 KOYA, Tetsuo

日本語 / English


1988Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, BA in Oil Painting

1990Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, MA in Oil Painting

1993Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Ph.D. in Painting

Thesis (no.34): Studies of Abstract Painting in the Relationship between “figure” and “ground.”

Solo Exhibitions

1987Gallery Akiyama, Tokyo, Japan

1988Gallery Space Adesso, Hyogo, Japan

1994Gallery of Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan

1998,99,00,01,02,03,05,06Gallery Seira, Tokyo, Japan

2007,08,09,10,11,12,13,14Gallery Miyasaka, Tokyo, Japan

2007,09,11,13,14O Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2009O Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2012Sagamihara Citizen’s Gallery  Art Spot Gallery Staff Selection #42

“Tetsuo Koya, Classical Abstractionism -To the New Pictorial Space-”

Selected Group Exhibitions, Competitions, etc.

1985“Two-Person Exhibition,” Gallery Parergon Ⅱ, Tokyo, Japan

1985,86“Two-Person Exhibition,” Gallery of Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan

1987“Gen-Fukei (Original Scenery) 3,” Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1996“Requiem-Koji Enokura and 33 Artists-,” Saito Memorial Kawaguchi

Museum of Contemporary Art, Saitama, Japan

1997“The 15th Art Award Show of the Ueno Royal Museum,” The Ueno Royal, Museum, Tokyo, Japan

2001“Drawing Ⅱ,” Gallery 52, Tokyo, Japan

2001,04“Two-Person Exhibition: Taiji-suru Uchukan (A Pair of Face to Face Views of the Universe),” Gallery Seira, Tokyo, Japan

2004,05,06,07,08,09,10,11“Exhibition of Sagamihara Artist Association,” , Sagamihara Citizen’s Gallery, Kanagawa, Japan

2007“Petit SOL #2,” Gallery SOL, Tokyo, Japan

2008Exhibition Collaborated with Kayoko Ohashi Clarinet Recital, Tokyo Bunka

Kaikan Recital Hall, Tokyo, Japan
“Sho: Paintings Express the Aura,” Gallery Inoue, Tokyo, Japan
“Two-Person Exhibition: Taiji-suru Uchukan (A Pair of Face to Face Views of the Universe) 3,” Gallery Sagami-Ohno, Kanagawa, Japan
“Qingdao International Art Show,” Qingdao, China

2010“Exhibition of Small Pieces in GINZA: Anniversary of the Ordinance-Designated City, Sagamihara Artist

Gallery Shimon, Tokyo, Japan
Qingdao International Art Show,” Qingdao, China

2011“Emina,” Gallery Sora, Tokyo, Japan

2013Perspectives 2013 (Exhibition of 14 Contemporary Artists )GALLERY ART POINT

2014Small Pieces Exhibition of Sagamihara Artist Association;

The 60th Anniversary of the Enforcement of Municipalism in Sagamihara

Public Collections

1998Takenogawa Project, Yaei-cho Clean Center, Kyoto, Japan

1999The New Ward of Yaei-cho National Health Insurance Hospital, Kyoto, Japan

Yaei-cho Health Care Facility for the Elderly, Kyoto, Japan

2012Oketo Poppo Picture Gallery

2014Gallery Miyasaka, Tokyo, Japan

―Why do you do paintings?

Because, becoming an artist is my principal life goal, and among all artistic expressions, “painting” is the most practicable and excellent form of art for me.

―From what I have seen, your paintings may be categorized as abstract. 
How do you see abstract painting?

Considering the subject I choose for my painting, abstract naturally becomes the best choice of expression.

―Can you explain it more in detail?

Sure. There are several important things when you paint.
First of all, there is a question of “subject.” In other words, “what are you going to paint?” You could also put it as; “what is worth painting?”
Then, “technique” follows. It means, “what are you going to use to paint?”
“Selection of colors” comes next. “What sort of colors are you going to use?”
The last concern is, “composition.” Here you decide how to arrange elements on the canvas.
Now, as for the selection between representational expression and abstract one, I think the decision goes along with the subject you pick.
If you want to paint a fishbowl as the main subject, the painting shall likely be realistic.
But, if you prefer not to depict something realistic, or desire to express strong spirituality, the painting would become abstract.

―Please give us some idea on your theme, “Classical Abstractionism.”

Development of abstractionism was influenced largely by the limitation of representational painting.
Mythology, Christianity, royalties and nobilities, historic battles, and other classical subjects were replaced in the modern age by portraits of ordinary people, flowers, dishes, and other still life subjects, or picturesque landscapes.
But, these subjects are no longer expressive even employing techniques of Impressionists, Gogh, Cezanne, or Picasso and other Cubists.
Expressions by Surrealists and Klee are also temporary.
Thus, these limitations give rise to the world view which only exists within the confines of pictures.
Because of such nature, abstractionism is naturally associated with the word, “flat surface.”
But, I think even the pure abstractionism based on this concept was brought to a conclusion by works of Malevich, Newman, and Louis.
If I wanted to continue “painting” without moving on to another expression method, I thought I had to revalue and rebuild the elements of classical paintings that had been abandoned in the course of expressional purification.
This realization came to me during my postgraduate education.
Since 1997, I have been trying various expression ideas and releasing works under the theme of “Classical Abstractionism.”

―What are the various ideas, to be more precise?

I have tried the ideas of featuring square canvas, collages, and landscapes, respectively in the past solo exhibitions.
Recently, I have exhibited works with the themes of “World of Black” and “World of Colors” alternately.
The skill in monochrome painting has already been tested by drawings and grisailles, so I thought I could utilize it in abstract painting.
In most of the case, painting students start with drawings, so I think it is just a natural conclusion.
As for the colorful works, I consciously used primitive colors vividly as if there were the rebound of monochrome paintings.