EXHIBITION: "LIFE"

I start to make new works for the next exhibition,

feeling both anxious and excited.

I enter a deep FOREST without a map.

I don't know what is living in the FOREST ahead of me.

But I'm sure something from this unknown world is awaiting me.


When I work, I don't have a detailed plan in advance. I start to work only at the moment I feel a certain motivation, because I want to value sudden thoughts and flashes of inspiration. When I started to prepare for the exhibition "生/LIFE", I was thinking about diversity in our society. 'Our society consists of various people, each one an individual'. This thought gave me the vague idea to write the character 'LIFE' in various ways. Normally I would use only Chinese rice paper to write on, but I decided to try other kinds of paper to express this concept of diversity. 'Oh right!, I'll try paper from across the world.' As I looked for foreign paper on the internet, I also came across different materials for writing. As a result, I came to use acrylic paint, dye, charcoal, pastel and so on. When some African paper was delivered, it made think of using coffee as an ink. Then I began to experiment even more; I began to tear the paper, carve into the paper, burn the paper....in order to express the character 'LIFE' in as many ways as possible. These were all totally new techniques to me. One day when I pinned a "LIFE" piece on a wall, it began to move gently in the breeze of air-conditioner. For me it suddenly became almost alive, and expressed individuality. Then, when I filled a wall with a lot of "LIFE" pieces, I saw a scene that represented many people, each living their own life. At that moment I decided exactly how to display my works in a gallery. All of my "LIFE" pieces would be pinned on a wall, without frames. The number of "LIFE" pieces would be 365, one for each day of a year.  I won't arrange them stiffly in the grid pattern like a military parade, but place them randomly and freely.

We are living our daily life,

being constrained by an existing sense of values.

But in a FOREST, I can encounter something unknown.

I can think something in a different way.

Then, when I emerge from this FOREST,

I will look up at the sun and feel that I've become a new 'self'.




(Japanese)

次の個展に向けて制作をはじめる
期待半分、不安半分
地図を持たずに深い「森」に入る
そこに何が待ち構えているのか

そこには日常とは違う未知との出会いがある。僕の場合、制作当初に何もかも決め込むことはしない。動機さえ固まったら早速はじめる。制作中に起きるひらめきを大切にしたいからだ。「生/LIFE」展の制作に取りかかった時は多様性、つまり「いろんな人がいて世界が出来ている」という思いから、小さな紙に「生」の字をたくさん書いてみたいなと漠然と考えていた。手元の画仙紙に書いているうちに他の紙も試したくなる。そうだ、世界の紙を使ってみよう。ネットで海外の紙を物色しているといろいろな画材が目に入って来る。そして墨にこだわらずアクリルや染料、木炭、パステルでも書くことになった。アフリカから再生紙が届いた時にはコーヒーで書いてみた。やがて書くだけでなく指で千切ってみたり、ナイフで削ったり、火で焦がしたりして「生」の一字を記していく。すべて初めての経験だった。
出来上がった順にピンで壁に留めていくと、「生」はエアコンの風でひらひらと生気を帯びる。壁に貼り詰めた一面の「生」に日々を生きる人たちの景色が見えてくる。これで展示計画が決まった。額装はやめて紙のままピン留めする。作品点数は365枚。格子状に貼ったらまるで軍隊行進のように見えたので、レイアウトは現場でのフリーハンドに変更した。

僕たちは習慣や常識、既成の価値観にとらわれて生きている
でも「森」の中では未知の何かと出会い
普段と違う頭でものを考えることが出来る
そして「森」を出た時
少しだけ新しい自分になれたような気分でまぶしい太陽を見上げることになる

LIFE/生, Art Projects Gallery -Hong Kong (China)/2019

Be Here Now, Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery - Paris (FRANCE)/2018

生/LIFE, Bunkamura Box Gallery - Tokyo (JAPAN)/2016

Charity Exhibition: Ri-Vivere, Arte Giappone - Milano (ITALY)/2011

Click please, you can see the slide show.

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At 14:46 on March 11th 2011, a massive earthquake hit Japan. The shaking was so terrible that it was impossible to stay standing. This was my first experience of such a huge natural disaster, with such massive numbers of Japanese casualties. Yet the catastrophe is not over: the fatally crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station continues to spread dangerous radiation over eastern Japan with no clear end in sight. The news of the earthquake spread quickly throughout the world; within hours I received a tremendous number of messages from abroad worrying about my safety. After confirming our personal safety, each message concluded "Is there anything I can do for Japan ?".

In the light of such a terrible disaster, I made the decision to organise a charity exhibition in Milan, Italy. The theme of the exhibition was: " REVIVAL 11/03/2011 ". Now is the time we should reconsider our relationship to the Earth. Our ancestors respected nature with awe and reverence, coexisting with nature for centuries. Perhaps remembering the ways of our past will guide us towards a better future, both for us and for the planet. The proceeds from the exhibition have been donated to victims within the stricken area. Even now, the victims of the quake and tsunami are still living within temporary shelters throughout the damaged region, and they need our help to rebuild their lives. I am grateful that so many people came to the exhibition and extended the hand of friendship from all Italians to those in the stricken areas of Japan.

Cooperation: ARTESSE Yuko Sakurada

2011年3月11日14時46分、日本に巨大地震が起きました。その時、私は立ち上がれないほどの激しい揺れに襲われました。戦後生まれの私にとって、これほど多くの日本人が命を落とす光景を見たのは初めてです。深刻な原発の事故は今も出口が見えません。地震のニュースはすぐに世界中を駆け巡り、海外からも安否を心配するメールをたくさんいただきました。それは「日本のために何か出来ることはないか」という暖かいメッセージでした。眼を覆いたくなる惨事を前にして何をすべきかを考え、アトリエを置くミラノに帰ってチャリティー展を行うことにしました。作品では、圧倒的な自然の脅威と被災地で生きる人々の姿を「生」の筆文字と新聞記事で表現しました。自然を敬い、自然を畏れながら、自然とともに生きていく。この展覧会がこうした先人たちの生き方を再認識する契機になればと願いました。なお展覧会の売上げは、義援金として被災地に送らせていただきました。被災者の方々は過酷な運命にじっと耐えながら、支え合って懸命に生きています。多くの方々が展覧会に来ていただき、応援の気持ちをイタリアから被災地に届けることが出来ました。

協力:アルテッセ 桜田裕子