Monday, July 30, 2012


I would like to express my appreciation to those who participated, supported, joined, dropped by and enjoyed the project.
I hope that the spirit of 'living everyday by art' will continue to last within each of us.

A kind of beggining

"De-installation is an opportunity to find hints and clues for the next work." This is the advice from the artist who had a temporal studio at youkobo 2 years ago when I had a studio residency there. I hesitated to be more playful in regards to presenting the relational dynamism of works by 4 artists. "Installation process could put artists pressure to complete exhibition, but de-installation could make artists relaxed." He told me when he made a visit to the project with my favorite summer fruits. I appreciate the encouraging supports and dialogues which Youkobo receives from art communities in Tokyo and beyond. During the de-install, I played to have more frank conversation with each component of works in the space.


A kind of ending

Here are some views of 'Living Everyday by Art' after its 7-weeks progress.





Sunday, July 29, 2012

Last Day to Open

On the last day, I had two pairs of visitors whose places I usually visit to. It was an interesting and honorable experience to be in the opposite position. In discussion of working in a gallery space where the staff members are expected to welcome visitors, it teaches me when I see how people in other businesses welcome visitors. And those people who I welcomed today has an excellent attitude to their visitors in different ways.

Gu-no-Ne is a shop near my parents, Sakurajousui which is the area where I grew up. The shop sells mostly hand-made or selected products with a working studio space at the back. They only open once or twice a week, but you can view what's inside from the front which is all glass window. It was really exciting to find such a creative and interesting space in the neighborhood where there are hardly any contemporary products or art you can find. The two young creators who run the shop seemed to very much valuing the joyful moment in a day, with the belief that creativity grows from the beauty of day-to-day living. Last year when I was living there I walked pass the street in rush all the time due to the business. I wished to have an opportunity to share my creativity with them. So it was very happy to welcome my project which was slowly constructed day by day.

Hirodi is a restaurant in Ginza, where I worked a couple of years ago to support my first studio residency at Youkobo. I used to rely on hospitality industry to support my income like many artists, of course tough but it gave me a chance to contact closely with culture and people of particular localities. With Hidori, it was like in the crossing of high-end Japanese modernity and contemporary western culture. Being near Imperial Hotel and offices of white-color people, I imagined that some of them might be the clients for commercial galleries in Ginza. Even now, I cannot count the number of zero properly on their price lists but I learned human needs to appreciate something special, different from what's in the everyday. Hidori sincerely offers people dreams to eat.

Coming back to the question of what youkobo gallery can offer, I start to think, each artist who use the space will decide, direct and enjoy the encounter with visitors. What is important is really to spend time with the place and its specificity as much as exploring their own works. Once artists decide to show their works, it is decision also to present works for communication. How to communicate with viewers are up-to artists but it is fun to be original about the regards, as people do offer so many insight to artists like how it was across the 5 weeks for the project.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another layer for another Dimention

On the second last day of the project, there was a relatively big change in the content. The collaboration between the local silkscreen workshop, CLEAR GRAPHIC, and myself finally came into the shape.
Mr. Matsumura, the director of the workshop, pushed the project further to present the visual dialogue between each artist's works. It was organically developed, found and extracted, and linked poetically by my translation and mediation. This was only possible because of the length of 5 weeks' progress, and the encouragement by Mr. Matsumra.
He kindly shared his skill and interest. He says, "as a printer, I found most interesting when I understand the intention and essence of work, and I can emphasis the concept and let it stay firmly as a print work." Through his network, he printed works by various ways of printing and kinds of papers.
(top lef: Gaku, silkscreen print on cut out yellow paper / top right: Thea, digital print of a still image from her video work on paper & silkscreen print on film / bottom left: Elizabeth, laser print on tracing paper /bottom right: Utako, edited b&w image digital printed & colored area silk screened)

Skype Artists Talk & Closing Party

Quite a few people gathered for the artist talks and the closing party. Firstly let me express my appreciation for those who made their way to the physical space, the gallery, which got very hot! due to the weather against the floor cooling system, and the energy which people brought into. The artists joined the talks through skype, Thea from 11am Berlin, Elizabeth from 8pm Melbourne and Gaku from 6am New York. Thank you for the artists to be part of the night, it was wonderful to have your presence finally in the space, almost! and Also thank Youkobo to let me hold this project and the opportunity to meet and connect people through the project. Here are summery of each artist's talk.
Thea: After leaving university and moving places to live, my continuing art practice became in doubt. But this project allowed me to practice being artist while living my everyday life of having to work for survival. Post card and video postcard were the format i chose for the project in order capture what I see in between time of my everyday routine. I did not too concern about the relationship between what I do with each postcard. It was more important to pay attentions to each association that I made with each motif and encounters.
Elizabeth: Seisho Nagon wrote a lot her visual observation of everyday, and paid attention to human relationships in her writings. What she wrote about ordinary things from everyday have been lasting for long time, over hundreds years, while political history might have faded. That is wonderful.Translation between different cultures, different disciplines are very important as people are less and less facing with others, due to the division and categorization. Artists, who make artworks to communicate, are great translator and communicators, so it is important that artists join a project like this.
Gaku: It was natural to join the project as I have been presenting my artwork on my website daily, while I concern about the format of exhibiting in gallery - the idea lasts since before the Internet era. I gave sculptural shape to the weekly art manga, to be downloaded,  printed cut and construct. I find this process most exciting  so I wanted to people to also experience it. No problem that the outcome will different by each person from how I do. Most important as an artist to me now is the moment when I am making artwork, facing with the making. It is my question now, what I can leave, through those actions. 
Utako: In my work, there are always the question of belonging-ness. After long years of not belonging anywhere firmly, I moved in the place with people that I feel belong to. I took views outside of my studio window repeatedly as if I make my belonging stronger. I also trace the shadow of things inside of room with repetitive drawing movements to register my being in the space by referring to the shadow which does not have an physical existence. Also to visualize and introduce my invisible connections with other artists across the world in the context of youkobo was very important to achieve at this moment.