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Toru Sugita: ACROSS

December 7, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - January 27, 2024 @ 5:00 pm


Transmission Gallery welcomes ACROSS, a featured solo exhibition of work by printmaker Toru Sugita, reflecting on the two worlds he inhabits, his boyhood home in Japan and the Bay Area locations that inform and anchor so much of his work today. See the work through January 27th at 770 West Grand Ave in Oakland. Stop in during the regular gallery hours, noon to 5 pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, or contact the gallery for an appointment at [email protected].

Comprised of print works (etching, woodcut, monotype, & screen print) and drawings, the exhibition explores the intricacies of light and shadow that define ever changing moments while examining the complexities of a cross-Pacific life.

Showing concurrently with Sugita’s ACROSS is an exhibition of recent wood-fired ceramic works by Kathy Kearns in Strangely Familiar referencing her Greek heritage in vessels and figurative works.

All are invited to attend the Artists’ talk with both Toru Sugita and Kathy Kearns discussing their work, Saturday, January 20th starting at 2pm.

Otherwise stop in during the regular gallery hours, noon to 5 pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, or contact the gallery for an appointment at [email protected].

Toru Sugita’s Statement about the exhibition, ACROSS:

I feel moved when sunlight touches an object in the afternoon. I walk out and wander around to observe shapes of shadows. These scenes are temporary, and will change or disappear in the next moment. They are very precious because their occurrence is the unique combination of a place, sunlight, and the precise moment I happen upon the scene.

The printmaking process is reminiscent of the relationship between light and shadow. Using rich tones of black and white in etching and aquatint helps me express my interest in light and shadow. While I am working on the etching plate, I become deeply involved and identifying myself as a part of the space. I note that nothing is permanent and everything is constantly changing: light, home space, and myself.

Since my mother passed earlier this year, I have been traveling a lot between my native town in Japan and Bay Area. I feel like I live across both sides of the Pacific Ocean. I realize I am a member of a traditional family as first son, still connected and share values, even though I have been living in US for over thirty years. I started to long my native town where I grew up, where my father, relatives, and friends still live. At the same time, I feel like Bay Area is my community where I am connected to many friends, students, and professionals. Where is my home? Which country do I belong to? Where will my life end up in the future? This sentiment of uncertainty can be shared with many of my friends in Bay Area, where many of us are from another country. Even though we together form this dynamic multi-cultural society, it is complex and uneasy for each individual to have dual national identity.

This exhibition is composed of my print works (etching, woodcut, monotype, & screen print) and drawings of my hometown in Japan, and my environment in Bay Area. While I connect to my memories, I realize both places are constantly changing, yet with the visual integrity of place intact. Also this exhibition presents my recent shift of interest from geometric and architectural elements to organic shapes and textures. I see eucalyptus trees with falling barks from my Albany neighborhood have an intricate mixture of organic and geometric beauty. Gravity and time interact with the energy of the tree and contribute to the temporary and ephemeral structure. I see them as the extension of old houses in my native town.


December 7, 2023 @ 12:00 pm
January 27 @ 5:00 pm
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Transmission Gallery
(510) 835-2626
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Transmission Gallery
770 West Grand Ave., Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612 United States
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(510) 835-2626
View Venue Website