Seino at Soker: The wall works of Shoichi Seino at Soker remind us how easily we can misread - or simply fail to discern - aesthetic intent in contemporary Japanese art when it resembles American and European work.
Looking at this small survey of Seino's work may bring to mind works by Americans and Europeans who appear to argue for the artistic sufficiency of unworked materials. But Seino has a very different sense of the poetics of materials and form.
Several of his most abstract pieces use simple, enigmatic forms and the unfamiliar material of ceramic carbon to shadow artistic intent, but such intent nonetheless makes itself strongly felt.
A number of pieces, because they take the form of plaques, have an elegiac quality. It takes some study to see that the seemingly abstract "Kakoh #1" (2000) has a river delta photograph printed across its several aluminum components.

Kenneth Baker (San Francisco Chronicle)