イセタン ザ・スペース

「Tom Sachs:Retail Experience」



Contemporary artist Tom Sachs presents the second “Tom Sachs: Retail Experience” exhibition on the occasion of Isetan’s 90th anniversary, opening Tuesday, September 20 and running through October 23, 2023. The exhibition will feature new paintings, sculptures, boomboxes, ceramics, pieces from the Tom Sachs Furniture line, clothing, and other merchandise. The exhibition will be held at ISETAN THE SPACE at the main store in Shinjuku.


Following Sachs’ innovative presentation at ISETAN THE SPACE in 2020, “Tom Sachs: Retail Experience” will continue Isetan’s mission to share the ways in which their customers can incorporate fine art and design objects into their daily lives and homes. Tom Sachs’ artistic practice celebrates the accessibility and integrity of materials, the visibility of the artist’s hand, and the celebration of the ritual of making, all of which are on full display in Isetan’s presentation. Every item in the exhibition is a carefully crafted sculpture, whether it is a painting for your salon, a chawan for your matcha, a shop chair for your office, a jacket for fashion week, a notebook for your list, or a boombox for your parties.


The works you see in the exhibition were made by hand in the USA: chairs, zines, sound systems, ceramics, paintings, vases, and jewelry. The objects are all sculpture, just as the entire space and 11 windows have been transformed into Sachs’ sculptures. Clad in Sachs’ signature plywood, the spaces are complete installations that have all been built to the studio’s code, from the carefully selected colors to the screws shipped from the artist’s supplier in the US. The installation was developed specifically to maximize the experience in the space, so all visitors feel they are able to visit Sachs’ studio.


Tom Sachs Studio and the Isetan team have continued to develop their strong relationship since the success of the 2020 exhibition. Tom is so grateful to have been visited by Isetan in his New York City studio while planning the 2023 “Tom Sachs: Retail Experience”. In partnership with the Isetan team and Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tom Sachs is thrilled to be presenting brand new and never-before-shown artworks, merchandise, and furniture pieces at ISETAN THE SPACE.




Tom Sachs

Artist, born in New York in 1966


A relentlessly innovative and subversive sculptor, Tom Sachs is best known for his elaborate, bricolage recreations of masterpieces of engineering and design. Humble foam core and plywood replace the gleaming aluminum and polycarbonate of mass-produced items, fabricated with the combination of industrial vigor and handmade artistry that have become his trademark. The themes central to his universe focus on American culture and society, which he treats with a heavy dose of humor and irony. He playfully engages with the corporate ecosystem and the idea of 'brand image' by riffing on luxury consumer items and global brands, which are transformed through their inclusion in an art context.


In the 1990s, Sachs spent days studying Piet Mondrian's paintings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, using duct tape on plywood to recreate several of them. It was through these early explorations that he began to develop the ethos of his studio, reconstructing objects he desired with the materials that were available to him and intentionally revealing his process, with all its challenges and imperfections. His works are conspicuously handmade and heighten our awareness of production techniques, in a reversal of modernisation's trend towards cleaner, simpler and more perfect machine-made items.


Beyond the studio, Sachs has further solidified his focus on the artist’s hand as proof that anything he makes is sculpture - from the blockchain to sneakers. As a pioneering figure in the realm of digital art, he has embraced blockchain technology and decentralized platforms to create and distribute his digital artworks. By exploring the intersection of art and technology, Sachs has become a prominent leader in the art as NFT movement through Tom Sachs: Rocket Factory bringing his creativity and innovation to the digital realm.

Sachs is also recognized and celebrated as a designer and collaborator with Nike. The iconic Mars Yard sneakers and Nikecraft projects have allowed Sachs to seamlessly blend art, design, and functionality, creating products that push boundaries and challenge traditional notions of both art and fashion. Sachs says, “Whether it is a painting, a sneaker, a cathedral – its all sculpture to me.”


With his multifaceted career, Tom Sachs has left an indelible mark on the art world. From his meticulously crafted sculptures and vibrant paintings to his pioneering work in Web3 and NFTs, as well as his boundary-pushing designs and collaborations, Sachs continues to inspire and challenge conventional artistic practices, always pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation.


His work has been exhibited in many countries and is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Whitney Museum in New York, Pompidou Center in Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. , Prada Foundation in Milan, and many other countries and museums. He has had major solo exhibitions at Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2021), Tokyo City Opera (2019), Nasher Sculpture Center, Houston(2017), Noguchi Museum, New York (2016), Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco (2016), Brooklyn Museum, New York (2016), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016), Lyon Biennale, France (2013), "Space Program: MARS " Park Avenue Armory, New York (2012), Venetian Architecture Biennale (2010), Prada Foundation,Milan (2006), Guggenheim Museum, Berlin (2003).


Sachs lives and works in New York.





-------Could you tell us your impressions what we organized an exhibition at Isetan in 2020 during covid?


Tom Sachs  :  We began planning the first exhibition at Isetan in 2019. When COVID made things more complicated, Isetan persevered and continued their dedication to the project.


It was the ultimate cybernetic experience. Doing something that complex and far away, entirely digitally, and having it be as successful as it was is a triumph of technology.


I am so grateful to be able to work with Isetan for this second exhibition in 2023.



-------What is your impression in April when you came to Japan after covid?


Tom Sachs  :  My heart exploded with love. I have a spiritual connection with the culture of Japan and it is heartening to see how even COVID cannot injure the spirit of the Japanese people.



------- Could you explain us what you think for 2nd exhibition at Isetan and theme of this exhibition in September.


Tom Sachs  : I was so proud of what we did in 2020. It was a real highlight during a dark time for all of us. I don’t care if it is a painting, a sculpture, a movie, a book, a chawan, a shoe, a t-shirt, or a chair, it is all sculpture to me.


This second show is a follow up where we are able to expand on the ideas we developed, refine them, and bring them to another level. The window display is an art gallery on the street. I’m very proud of the windows. We’ve spent as much time on them as we spent on the works inside of the space. The window display is another opportunity to bring art to everyone who passes by, whether they come into “Isetan the space” or not. The ideas of art are free.



-------We know all of art pieces and products are very special. But if you have to choose one, which is the most special item for you?


Tom Sachs  : I don’t have a favorite, I love all of my children. I take the same degree of care and detail in the largest gesamtkunstwerk installation as the smallest detail.


It is not about how much money you have or what you possess, but the way that you take care of the things around you, including planet Earth.



-------Mr. Tom Sachs is one of the kind artists known as not only art pieces but also furniture, products, collaboration with others and so on. People cannot find the other artist like Mr. Tom Sachs in the world. When you work with the other categories, are there any connection or different way of idea?


Tom Sachs  : It is important that the best virtues of each material show through. Don’t force something to be what it can’t. Embrace what is before you. Admit it, accept it, and celebrate it.


Whether it is a painting, a sneaker, a cathedral or a department store – it's all sculpture to me. I approach all projects in the same way that I approach my sculptures and my artwork, it's all connected.



-------If Mr. Tom Sachs does not mind, could you tell us new project in the future?


Tom Sachs  : I’m very proud of the Retail Experience. In the studio, we do a lot of things: painting, sculpture, filmmaking, furniture, industrial design. I will continue to make art accessible to everyone.