Appreciate the Artist: Kenzi Shiokava


Kenzi Shiokava

Kenzi Shiokava, an artist born in Japan and raised in Brazil, is known for natural, earthy pieces created from a surrounding urban world. Many of the pieces in his collection contain finds that were available to him: railroad ties, old telephone poles, beams, roots and other objects. An article penned in the LA Times, just 2 months shy of its 20th anniversary, speculates “that his heritage prepared him for this work, wood being a particularly precious resource in Japan and a source of global controversy in Brazil, home of the rain-forest disappearing act.” (Los Angeles Time, 1996)

After attending the Chouinard Art School Los Angeles and Otis Art Institute Los Angeles, Shiokava took up residency is mostly local art galleries in Southern California with the exception of brief showings in Japan and New York from 1972 to present day. He was located at Stremmel Gallery up until recently as you can now find him at The Hammer Museum, a part of the ‘Made in L.A.’ exhibit.


“Archeology makes the mind wonder and brings an appealing emotion as well as understanding, and an indelible mystery of presence. From its very process I find inspiration. From any discarded material that has gone through the process of history and humanization is the potential of presence, not only physical but also spiritual. I feel in them the mystery of history and seek to bring out the spiritual essence and presence inherent in such materials. I strive to achieve in my work the spirituality that goes deep through the humanity in each of us.”

– Shiokava