Sayaka Ishizuka (b. 1980)

Born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1980, Sayaka Ishizuka is an artist whose quietly arresting installation works are matched by the attentiveness to the lived histories, cultural associations and evocative potential of the commonplace, found objects that are frequently her chosen medium.

The idea that the universal can be accessed and expressed in art by way of the personal is one that is realised with striking clarity and a humbling lack of self-consciousness in the artist’s works. Taking as their medium objects unremarkable in their ready availability or often-overlooked presence in daily life—rice, thread, used articles of clothing, utensils and household items—and paying heed to the social and cultural associations they carry, Ishizuka’s installations subtly transform these items into leitmotifs for interconnectedness in the broader sphere of human existence.

Significant in this process is that each of Ishizuka’s installations is resolutely grounded in the lives “lived” by the objects from which it is composed, and the lives of the people that these objects inhabited. Taking her cues from the dialogue and interaction that occur between these “objects with a past” and the installation space, the artist weaves them into spatial configurations—often suspending items from the ceiling—of the messages relayed to her by the space and the medium. Beginning her creative process on the level of the real, the lived and the experienced, rather than the grandiose and abstract, Sayaka selects personal histories, memories, daily rituals and processes—all of which are tied to site and place—as the point of departure in fleshing out her simple yet profound spatial diagrams of the ties that bind us.

Sayaka Ishizuka graduated from the Painting Department of Joshibi University of Art and Design in 2004 before going on to establish her practice in installation art. In 2009, she participated in the Wellington Asia Residency Exchange artist-in-residence programme in Wellington, New Zealand. She has held several solo exhibitions in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Japan, and her installations have been shown widely around Japan in group exhibitions, as well as the Setouchi Triennial and the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial.