Island Love


October 28 – November 26, 2022
GALLERY HOURS :11:00 – 19:00
Opening Reception:October 28, 18:00〜20:00

*During Art Week Tokyo (November 2 – 6) Open daily from 10:00-19:00.

©2022 MADSAKI/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. 


Kaikai Kiki Gallery is pleased to present “Island Love,” a solo exhibition of new works by MADSAKI, opening on October 28, 2022,

In August of 2021, when the world was gradually returning to normalcy in the pandemic, MADSAKI was feeling something akin to anger toward the atmosphere and the state of the world at the time. He spent his days in relentless frustration, unable to visit the Big Island of Hawai’i, his adopted hometown where he had been going on vacations for many years to reset himself, for over two years. His wife, who couldn’t stand seeing him in such a state, suggested that he go ahead and make a trip there. The artist hesitated to travel on his own knowing his family wouldn’t be able to join due to various reasons, but his wife insisted. She knew that MADSAKI had always spent time in the Big Island emptying his mind and regaining himself in order to return to and focus on his production; it always had a significant impact on MADSAKI’s mentality. And so he headed alone to the Big Island for the first time in a long while.

There, MADSAKI stayed for three weeks with Nick, his Japanese friend of more than 20 years who has lived in the Big Island for over 30 years, at his current home in Hilo. He spent his days between Nick’s yard and the ocean and nowhere else. For the first time in a long while, he was away from his family, spending time alone with Nick, who is of his father’s generation. MADSAKI gradually regained his true self and felt his spirit restored while toiling daily in sweat at Nick’s home yard and swimming in his “most favorite ocean in the world,” at the beach loved by local residents.

MADSAKI describes his time on the island as follows. “Every morning I woke up early and drove out with Nick to enjoy the empty beach, and around noon, when more people started to arrive, we would go back to the house for lunch together and have a smoke. After working in the yard in the afternoon covered in dirt and sweat, I would head back to the beach again to spend the evening relaxing in the ocean until the sun went down. By repeating this cycle back and forth between this home and the ocean, my mind gradually emptied and reset. I felt happy just to get up in the morning and sit down, and I was absolutely satisfied just to be alive.” For MADSAKI it was a very content and fulfilling experience, living more like one of the locals, with absolutely no touristy travel element. He also expressed his contradictory state of mind: “Being in Hilo suits me the best; there, I can be my true self. I feel closer to the true nature of mankind, a feeling I cannot have when living in Tokyo. I know that. Yet when I am on the Big Island, I am spiritually fulfilled, so I don’t feel the need to paint. It is being in Tokyo that my yearning for Hawai’i urges me to paint.”

MADSAKI has long had the idea of painting works themed around the Big Island, a place he has visited for years. With the outbreak of the pandemic, which made it difficult not only to travel but also to leave one’s home in the first place, he felt for the first time that the timing was right to create works on this theme. MADSAKI returned from his three-week stay in the Big Island to Tokyo, where his studio is located, and reviewed snapshots he took during his trip. He selected photos that captured the fresh moments in his simple life on the island and worked on his paintings. The scenes that appear in the resulting paintings are from his three weeks spent in uninterrupted repetition of “yard work and the ocean,” depicting nothing but highly personal space. They capture the true charm of the Big Island that MADSAKI has experienced through his years of friendship with Nick, completely different from the the Big Island tourists may seek out. The artist says he produced this body of work with his affection for Hilo, as well as his respect towards Nick and what he has learned from him over the years.

The title of this exhibition, “Island Love,” derives from the time when Nick and MADSAKI were driving home from the beach and the KAPA RADIO (a local radio station) played “Island Love” by The Peter Moon Band, a beloved local classic tune. It led to a moment of felicity that they both cheered and enjoyed.

MADSAKI has tackled many personal themes in his painting in the past, including the “WANNABIE’S” series based on famous paintings and movie scenes of personal importance for him, the “Wife Series” based on his wife, and a series of paintings based on his family photos. The series in this exhibition focuses on MADSAKI’s psychological landscape and process of spiritual restoration. In a sense they are based on his previous bodies of work, while they further delve into the core of the artist’s mind.

We hope you will enjoy the artist’s cherished moments on the Big Island, his exceptionally private days spent away from the city and his family, and the Big Island portrayed as his “soul,” unreservedly unalike from what tourists see, all embodied in the exhibition “Island Love.”

As precautionary measures to help contain the further spread of COVID-19, visitors are asked to wear masks and sanitize their hands before entering the gallery.
(Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance. Visitors without masks will be refused entry.)
Please refrain from visiting the gallery if you have any symptoms such as fever or cough.

Our staff will also adopt frequent hand sanitation and wear masks. The gallery will be routinely ventilated and high-touch areas will be regularly disinfected.

*Please check our website or Instagram for the latest information regarding opening hours, as the gallery schedule is subject to abrupt change due to unpredictable circumstances.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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