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Tsutakawa: Generations—A Flow of Water, Form, and Light

Images, from left:

George Tsutakawa, Uplift, Sumi Ink on Paper, No record of date 

Gerard Tsutakawa, TONBI Fountain, Bronze, 2019 

Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn, Coronal Ejection, SLS Printed Nylon, Composition Gold Leaf, Electronics Package, 2017 

San Juan Islands Museum of Art announces its summer exhibition, Tsutakawa: Generations--A Flow of Water, Form, and Light.

Featuring the work of George Tsutakawa, Gerard Tsutakawa, and Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn 


June 13 through September 16, 2024

Every day, thousands of people interact with artworks by a Tsutakawa, one of the most prolific and influential artist families in the Pacific Northwest. Come explore the iconic and interconnected work of George Tsutakawa, Gerard Tsutakawa, and Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn. 


From public fountains, sculptures, and lighting displays to intimate pieces in private settings, the works of these three artists evoke harmony, movement, and presence with unifying themes of water, form, and light. 


George, the father, was a pioneer in the Northwest arts with global influence, Gerard, the son, first apprenticed with his father and went on to develop his own unique sculptural language, and Kenzan, the grandson, is exploring new ways of transforming space through sculptural form and light. This is the first time all three artists have been featured in the same exhibition. 


Mayumi Tsutakawa, George’s daughter shared, “George discovered the Obos form in the Himalayas and adapted it into his sculpture, opening it up in his first fountain into an expression of gratitude and joy for the flow of water in space.” Sixty-four years later, this fountain continues to engage the public outside the Rem Koolhaas remodel of the Seattle Public Library. George is one of the most prolific public art sculptors in the region with more than 75 large scale bronze sculptures and fountains in public spaces.


Gerard describes his work, “My process leads to form. Each of my sculptures are meticulously crafted by hand. Through daily engagement with my tools and materials, new forms emerge with an energy that is uniquely my own.” Gerard’s Tonbi Fountain is the centerpiece of the plaza outside Amazon’s headquarters in downtown Seattle. Other public works include The Mitt at T-Mobile Park and SeaWave at Climate Pledge Arena.


Kenzan is carrying the family legacy into the next generation, using new lighting technologies and materials to create works that are powerfully minimalist in form and actively engage the viewer and the space. Kenzan says, “Light flows like water but we really don’t understand it yet. I use new technologies to explore that flow, in this case, the reflections of light off of the static form of a cresting wave.”


George Tsutakawa Video 2024:

Gerard Tsutakawa Video 2024:

Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn Video 2024:

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