Life and Work

Katsura Funakoshi © BE

Funakoshi is considered a leading name in the field of visual arts in his country. Funakoshi's father was also a sculptor and soon he felt the same vocation. He studied in the University of Art and Design, from 1971 to 1975, and in the University of Fine Arts and Music, from 1975 to 1977. He started carving in camphor wood, in 1980. His works, usually depicting human figures from the waist up, have a great poetical effect, and are striking and distinctive. Funakoshi works this material in a personal way and leaves visible both the grain of the wood and the marks of carving. The artist carefully utilises the grain for modelling and leaves part of the head unpainted, normally the crown.

He has exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale, the São Paulo Biennale, the Documenta IX, and the Shanghai Biennale, and his work is represented in several art museums in Japan and other countries.


1951 Born in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
1971 – 1975 Studied Sculpture at the Tokyo Zokei University, Art and Design
1984 Awarded Excellence Prize 'Oyama-City with Sculpture'
1991 Awarded Takashimaya Charitable Trust for Art and Culture Prize
1995 Awarded the 26th Nakahara Teijiro Prize for Excellence
1997 Awarded the 18th Hirakushi Denchu Prize

Works (Selection)

Katsura Funakoshi, Drawing No. 1111, 2011
Katsura Funakoshi, Drawing No. 1111, 2011
Katsura Funakoshi, Drawing No. 1105, 2011
Katsura Funakoshi, Drawing No. 1105, 2011
Katsura Funakoshi, Panther going back to the City, 2002
Katsura Funakoshi, Panther going back to the City, 2002
Katsura Funakoshi, Dancing as a pupa (Homage to a dancer), 2001, © Katsura Funakoshi
Katsura Funakoshi, Dancing as a pupa (Homage to a dancer), 2001, © Katsura Funakoshi
Katsura Funakoshi, Untitled (DR 01 01), 2001
Katsura Funakoshi, DR 0424, 1998
Katsura Funakoshi, Smell of Snow, 1998
Katsura Funakoshi, The Words of Winter, 1997
Katsura Funakoshi, Irregular Caesuras, 1993
Katsura Funakoshi, The Distance from here, 1991
Katsura Funakoshi, The Book half read, 1990

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2020 Katsura Funakoshi: dancing as a pupa, Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2016 Funakoshi Katsura: The Sphinx in Myself, Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Tsu, JP
Katsura Funakoshi, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, FR
2015 Katsura Funakoshi: Sculpture and Drawing, Galerie Albrecht, Berlin, DE
Katsura Funakoshi, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, DE
2014 Drawings by Funakoshi Katsura, Ando Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2012 Suzaka Hanga Museum, Nagano, JP
Menard Art Museum, Aichi, JP
2011 Recent Sculptures and Drawings, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
2010 Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Katsura Funakoshi, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, JP
2008 Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Katsura Funakoshi: New Sculpture, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, US
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
Katsura Funakoshi, Ando Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Tohoku University of Art and Design, Yamagata, JP
2007 Galley Art Composition, Tokyo, JP
2006 Cité Du Livre, Aix-en-Provence, FR
Katsura Funakoshi: New Sculpture, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2005 Katsura Funakoshi. A Map of Time, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
Tokyo Zokei University, Zokei Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2004 Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, JP
2003 Katsura Funakoshi Works: 1980-2003, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, JP

Group exhibitions (selection)

2018 50 Years 50 Artists, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
2015 40 Years plus, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2014 Nishimura Gallery 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2013 Zokei University Museum / Gallery Saoh & Tomos, Tokyo, JP
Re: Quest –Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1970s, Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Corée, Tokyo, JP
Toward Holiness, The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, JP
Six Solo Exhibitions, The Bonds between us, Karuizawa New Art Museum, Nagano, JP
2012 The Magic of Ceramics ~Artistic Inspiration, The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shiga, JP
The Story of Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
The Power of Japanese Contemporary Sculpture, AKI Gallery, Taipei, TW
When to Be Free, Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, Okayama, JP
The Power of Three-dimensional Shape, Sapporo Art Museum, Sapporo, JP
2011 I wanna hold you! Modern Japanese Wood Sculpture: 19th century-, Takaoka Art Museum / Hekinan City, Takaoka, JP
Released from the Procession, Gallery Saoh, Tokyo, JP
Graphics, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2010 Nobuyoshi Araki and Katsura Funakoshi “An Image of Love Supreme”, Takahashi Collection, Hibiya, Tokyo, JP
2009 35th Anniversary: Seven, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Hundred Stories about Love, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, JP
2008 Self / Other, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, JP
Form from Warmth of the Wood and Play, Nerima Art Museum, Nerima City, Tokyo, JP
DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow, The National Art Center, Tokyo, JP
Inspiration from Buddha sculpture, Kodaira Hirakushi Denchu Art Museum, Kodaira, Tokyo, JP
2007 Vital Signs: Reality of nine contemporary artists, Yokosuka Museum of Art, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, JP
Forest of the 20th Century Art, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, JP
2005 Katsura Funakoshi Ernst Barlach: A Map of the Time, Ernst Barlach Haus, Hamburg, DE
2004 Time of My Life, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Art in Wood, Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi, Gunma, JP
2003 Yasutake Funakoshi and His Family, Morioka Takuboku and Kenji Museum, Morioka, JP
The Presents from the Artists, Niigata City Art Museum, Niigata, JP
2002 Sculptors of Eastern Japan, Tokyo Station Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Beauty of Tohoku, Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukushima, JP
2001 Between Earth and Heaven, Museum of Modern Art, Ostende, BE
2000 Expo 2000 Hannover, Pavilion of the Holy Sea, Hanover, DE





  • Artists: Rania Akl, Gerhard Altenbourg, Nikos Aslanidis, Roger Ballen, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bertozzi & Casoni, Louise Bourgeois, Herbert Beck, Joachim Brohm, Jewgeni Chaldej, Lucien Clergue, Gehard Demetz, Lorenza Diaz, Joachim Elzmann, Katsura Funakoshi, Marianna Gartner, Wolf Hamm, Aspassio Haronitaki, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Hoehme, Leiko Ikemura, Monica Ursina Jäger, Lia Kazakou, Julia Kissina, Jürgen Klauke, Susanne Kühn, Daecheon Lee, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Robert Longo, Robert Lucander, Xavier Mascaró, Richard Mosse, Hartmut Neumann, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Chris Reinecke, Katharina Schilling, Norbert Schwontkowski, Valentina Seidel, Norbert Tadeusz, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Miriam Vlaming, Stefan à Wengen, Robert Wilson, Thomas Wrede
    Editor: Ute Eggeling, Michael Beck
    Text: Charles Baudelaire, Kirsten Nordahl
    Design: Beck & Eggeling (Antonia Eggeling, Martina Löhle)
  • German, English
    Softcover, 24 x 20 cm
    128 pages, 115 illustrations
  • Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag, 2017
    ISBN 978-3-94606312-4
  • 20 €
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