Sawa's poetic videos conjure an intimate world, full of strange moments that feel at once like distant melancholic memories and playful daydreams. His imaginative animations draw us into a world just askew from our own reality, full of mystery and quiet wonder.

All works courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery.



9:21 minutes
Ed. of 8


9:57 minutes
Ed. of 5


4:11 minutes
Ed. of 8


From the artist:

"I have the idea of a border in the house for example, you've got walls to divide where you sleep and where you eat, where you have a bath. In traveling through those different rooms, it would be the same as what we are doing outside of the house. That's the idea of Dwelling, quite simple. . . . Living in London for me I never feel I'm becoming English, but at the same time I wouldn’t say I'm losing my Japanese identity but I can't really be Japanese. So I'm just floating, really I feel like floating in the middle, living somewhere else." 

- artist interview by James Cohan Gallery



Hiraki Sawa (born 1977, Ishikawa, Japan) received his BFA from the University of East London and his MFA from the Slade School of Art at University College, London.  His work has been featured in the 2013 Biennale de Lyon, the 2010 Biennale of Sydney, 2008 Busan Biennial, the 2005 Yokohama Trienniale and the 2003 Biennale de Lyon.  Sawa’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Chisenhale Gallery, London; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne;  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; Wooster College of Art, Wooster; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; Firstsite Contemporary Art Centre, Essex; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie et Musée du Temps de Besançon with Le Consortium, Dijon.

Hiraki Sawa’s works are included in the public collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan; CAB, Burgos, Spain; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Leon, Spain; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC; Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan; UBS Art Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.  Hiraki Sawa lives and works in London, United Kingdom.