SHIBUKAWA, Gunma Prefecture--A retrospective exhibition devoted to the wacky works of artist Izumi Kato is currently being held at the Hara Museum ARC in this city’s Kanai district.

Kato is known for his mysterious and enigmatic portrayals of people, which are often suggestive of fetuses and ancient masks.

Titled “Like a Rolling Snowball,” the exhibition looks back at the 25 years of his career with 145 pieces from the early years to the present, as well as previously unreleased ones.

It is the first time for the prefecture to hold an exhibition of his works, one of the largest to be held in Japan to date, museum officials said.

Kato, 50, entered the international spotlight at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and went on to hold solo exhibitions and other events in and outside Japan.

“It’s been 25 years since I started working on art at the age 25 or so when I had no intention of becoming an artist,” he said. “I’m feeling two ways, like ‘This is how it is’ and ‘I have come a long way without getting tired of it.’”

His works are characterized by the use of a wide variety of materials, including soft vinyl, fabric, stone and charcoal. His latest work, “Untitled,” is a 404-centimeter-long painting of a human depicted with acrylic paints, leather, embroidery and other materials and techniques on fabric.

“I can’t give witty explanations, but I’d be happy if people understand that it is intended to show how I wish to live as an artist,” Kato said.

Another exhibition featuring more than 30 of his contemporary works is also being held at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward. Kato will give a lecture at the Tokyo venue on Nov. 16.

Both exhibitions will run until Jan. 13, 2020.

For more information, visit the museum’s official website at (