More Than Meets The Eye


September 30 – October 22, 2022
GALLERY HOURS :11:00 – 19:00
Opening Reception:September 30, 18:00〜20:00

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


Starting September 30, 2022, Kaikai Kiki Gallery will present “More Than Meets The Eye,” a solo exhibition of new works by TENGAone.

TENGAone grew up in a neighborhood near an American military base in Japan where he frequently encountered American-style graffiti done by the stationed soldiers. The sights he saw had a profound impact on him, and he began creating his own graffiti using spray paint at the age of 14. 

In this exhibition, TENGAone presents a series of “carved imitation-cardboard” works he makes by carving MDF boards, creating his painting substrates from scratch. The series is based on the artist’s feelings he experienced during the time he spent making graffiti. He depicts motifs inspired by Japanese robot anime of the ’80s and ’90s, as well as characters of his own creation, on the exquisitely prepared “imitation-cardboard” substrates.

The English idiom, “more than meets the eye,” which is the title of the exhibition, means something deeper exists than one can see, hidden from one’s sight. This phrase is also the hashtag that the artist has been using when he introduces his “carved imitation-cardboard” work on social media in recent years. The artist’s experience of immersing himself in street culture, including graffiti, made him realize how people’s consciousness is only directed to superficial things and how they miss various facts of daily life due to their assumptions. The phrase reflects the artist’s intent and the inspiration for the series of works.

Conceived over the past several years, this exhibition will present not only his medium-sized “carved imitation-cardboard” works shown at art fairs around the world in recent years, but also several larger works that the artist has been working on for this exhibition. TENGAone’s “carved imitation-cardboard” work, which begins with the sculpting of the painting substrate, is simultaneously a painting and a sculpture, and each piece requires a great deal of time to produce. This exhibition, which will mark the artist’s first solo show in four years, will be a rare opportunity to see a large number of works in this series at once in the Kaikai Kiki Gallery’s space.
We invite you to visit Kaikai Kiki Gallery and enjoy the details of each work up close.

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

Message From The Artist

Most of the works in this solo exhibition are new works. I have spent most of my waking life working on these pieces since I started this series. 
Day after day, I paint robots on carved “cardboards” and my hands are sore and beat up. But I’m the one who chose this path. Then I guess I have no choice but to continue. I could have quit before now, and I’m sure I had a chance at some point to switch and show other types of work. So I carry on. I choose to do the opposite of what I want. At any rate, I keep going.


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

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.

Page Top