Permission to Fail

April 3 – May 15, 2010
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, April 3, 6 – 9 pm

Los Angeles, CA—Sam Lee Gallery is pleased to present Permission to Fail, its second solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist Macha Suzuki. The show opens Saturday, April 3 and closes Saturday, May 15, 2010; the gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, April 3, from 6 to 9 p.m.


Permission to Fail represents Macha Suzuki’s latest series of 7 mixed media sculptures that are visually lighthearted yet conceptually serious. The pieces, often mixed with the artist’s personal experiences and his fantasies, tackle relevant notions from the human condition such as failure, change and desire. The outcome is a delectable collection of storytelling for the senses.


Central to this impressive array is Suzuki’s meticulous process of the handmade; he often employs ordinary materials and alters them into highly crafted structures. The artist transforms lowbrow supplies into highbrow edifices. An example of this can be seen in Permission to Fail, a 9-foot wide, wall sculpture resembling a web of branches and leaves made from wires, aluminum foil, floral tape, transparencies and yarn. Here, “FAIL” is spelled out on the branches; the brightly colored word serves as a beacon. It’s nature’s way of giving us the permission to fail, so we may know the actual meaning of success.


Just a Tree (2010) is a wacky self portrait, inspired by the artist’s childhood memories of visiting a Buddhist temple in Tokyo where he used his own body as a tree for birds to land and feed. In this work, the human sized figure, modeled after Suzuki’s own body, has a tree trunk and branches for its head and is standing upright with outreached arms, presenting a mysterious, geometric orb to the public. As a life giving tree, what is this sentinel being offering?


In Nice Try (2010), a circular, multi-colored bulls-eye disk is punctuated with arrows all around the periphery. Not a single arrow has targeted the center. For Suzuki, hitting the mark is not of utmost importance; the journey of trying is greater.


Suzuki, born in Japan in 1979, currently works and lives in Los Angeles. In 2006, he received his master’s degree in fine art from Claremont Graduate University, California; in 2002, Suzuki earned his bachelor’s degree in fine art from Azusa Pacific University, California. Recent solo exhibitions were featured at the Harris Art Gallery of the University of La Verne and at the Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, California; Suzuki’s work has also been exhibited in group exhibitions in numerous museums and galleries throughout the country including San Jose Museum of Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, d.e.n. contemporary art, Concrete Walls Gallery, David Lusk Gallery, and the Harrison Center for the Arts. His work is in the collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation.


Digital images are available for press purposes. Please email ( for reproduction requests.


Sam Lee Gallery is located at 990 North Hill Street #190, Los Angeles, CA  90012, Phone 323-227-0275, Facsimile 323-227-0256. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 6 pm and by appointment. For detialed information, please visit the gallery's website,