The Order of Shadowboxing, a two-person exhibition by Alex Ito and Greg Ito that ran at San Francisco’s at Et Al. from September 25 to October 31, 2015, looks at intimacy and romance through an installation of painting, digital prints, sculpture and three-dimensional maquettes.
Shadowboxing is a method used in sports training to spar against an imaginary opponent. The player creates a tangible scenario out of an invisible energy conjured up in their mind and a two person relationship forms in one body. The push and pull associated with the title sets the tone of the exhibition; the reference becomes an omnipotent presence that hangs over the conversation between the two artists.
Spread across the entire floor, the red and yellow paint creates the shape of a yin and yang symbol. The room is sparse and subdued, an aesthetic similar to a controlled corporate environment. Alex Ito’s print series ‘Not to be Reproduced’, homogenizes individual figures, forming one identity among them.
The 3D model made of plastic and foam placed on a yellow plinth and titled ‘Proposal (Future 1)’ is an empty plea of half-assed investment. Similar in restraint, Greg Ito’s paintings and sculpture lack the virility of emotion. Arranged token visuals of love display a hollow definition of romance. Plucked from a widely distributed and universally ‘agreed’ upon language, the messy chaos of intimacy is compressed into a coherent and singular narrative.**
Exhibition photos, top right.