Kyoto based artist, Teppei Kaneuji, investigates the mass consumption of contemporary culture, sourcing materials from everyday life, found objects and characters from Japanese comics to create sculpture that is at once playful and menacing. In his signature series White Discharge (2002-ongoing), Kaneuji takes small, inexpensive objects – plastic containers, balls, cooking utensils, ropes, action figures, etc. – and uses them to create quasi-architectural structures. “White discharge,” or plastic resin, is then repeatedly poured atop the structures, slowly dripping as it pools to the bottom. As the dripping resin slowly hardens upon the objects, it transforms the composite structure into a vaguely familiar, yet, strange visual experience.

The interplay between object and meaning continues in his series, Muddy Stream from a Mug (2004-2009). Inspired by an accidental coffee stain on a piece of paper, Kaneuji uses a mundane mishap as a sculptural tool to create energetic cut-out paper collages and constructions, ranging from amorphous splotches to towers of artificial food. In his series Teenage Fan Club (2008-2009), Kaneuji recalls seeing the backs of peoples’ heads swaying together at a concert as he reassembles the removable hair of plastic figurines to create monsters and superheroes.

Kaneuji further explores the ideas of representation, meaning, and assemblage in the two other series included in the exhibition. Ghost in the Liquid Room (2014) is composed of distorted images of seemingly melted metal printed on wood, creating Dalí-esque sculptural forms. In Games, Dance, and the Constructions (Soft Toys) (2014), Kaneuji prints his drawings of various objects – bones, driftwood, toys – on stuffed “soft sculptures” that are packed into a transparent acrylic frame. Evident throughout his work, Kaneuji celebrates the infinite possibilities discovered in found objects and the importance of “encountering things that seem familiar, but that we do not really understand.”