LUMINE meets ART AWARD 2014 の授賞式に参加しました。
Theme of this work is "half-invisible man".
This work consists of installing of a video, sculptures, a printing, drawings, a ceramic, etc, together in the same room.
There are two sources for ideas of this work.
The first is works of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro who is a caricaturist in Portugal.
The second is a poster of the Tokyo Olympics in 1940.
(Actually, the Tokyo Olympics in 1940 were not held. As the Second Sino-Japanese War, which broke out in July 1937, spread and became a drawn-out campaign, there was an international outcry against staging the Olympics in a nation at war. Numerous dissenting voices also appeared in Japan. In July 1938, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee was finally forced to make the anguished decision to forego both the Tokyo Olympics.)
Haniwa without arms was painted in this poster.( Haniwa is ancient figure of clay in Japan.)
On study, haniwa without arms is not unusual.
This work arose from an idea of reinterpretation of regarding "haniwa without arms" as a "half-invisible state".
There is a difference of interpretation of "half-invisible state" between Japan and Western.
According to an essay written by Junichiro Tanizaki, in Western, "half-invisible state" is regarded as a translucent state in whole, on the other hand, in Japan, it is regarded as a state of partial loss. (For example, ghosts in Western are in a translucent state, ghosts in Japan don't have legs.)
Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro created many caricatures in order to criticize monarchy at that time. "Zé Povinho" who is a typical character created by Bordalo.
A pose crossing arms of "Zé Povinho" is phallic symbol,and is known as a symbol of dissident attitude.
I created a narrative by connecting those context.
The narrative is that haniwa without arms of the poster is in "half-invisible state", and moreover those hidden arms are the pose of "Zé Povinho" .
In that case, we can read as a sign that this haniwa is pretending to be castrated.
In psychanalysis, it is thought that we are able to establish own identity by being castrated.
This haniwa is in an intermediate state between accepting and refusing in the law of the father.
(It distinguishes from others in order to pretend to establish, and at the same time, it assimilates into others.)
I created this work by focusing on this intermediate feature of "half-invisible man".
This work mainly consists of three projects;
“Pretending to Be Castrated”,
“Half Invisibility Lark”
“Five Anonymous Stones Picked Up at Five Famous Places”.
I made an installation by combining them.
“Pretending to Be Castrated”
I created a ceramic statue in the motif of haniwa without arms that was painted in a poster of the Tokyo Olympics in 1940 by referring to ceramic works of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. (Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro who is a caricaturist established a ceramic factory in 1884.)
I created a narrative that haniwa without arms was in half-invisible state, moreover those arms that are invisible crossed like "Zé Povinho" that is known as a symbol of dissident attitude.
I created a printing by connecting certain context ; "Invisible man" and "The war of the world" written by H.G.Wells, Japanese artist : Kanji Itoi, American comedian : Marx Brothers, "Alabaster" created by Japanese comic artist Osamu Tezuka, drawing of stadium of the Tokyo Olympics in 1940, atomic power plant, etc.
By doing so, I tried to create a "half-invisible state" while referring to caricatures of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.
“Five Anonymous Stones Picked Up at Five Famous Places”
This is a project that I try to create the intermediate state by using five anonymous stones picked up at five famous places.
A catalyst of this project is a memory of my stay of Poland.
I went to a flea market in Kraków.
When I looked old-looking bottle,
a salesman said me
"I picked up it at Auschwitz. This is a bottle of Auschwitz."
I bought this bottle from motives of curiosity although his mention was contrived.
What is the difference between "an anonymous bottle"
and "a bottle of Auschwitz"?
The appearance is the same.
The bottle was no longer just "an anonymous bottle"
by being termed "a bottle of Auschwitz".
However the bottle wasn't fixed as "a bottle of Auschwitz".
It held potentials for both "not being a bottle of Auschwitz"
and "being fixed as a bottle of Auschwitz".
(One of the causality of this state is that the fact the bottle was picked up in Auschwitz sounds like a lie. Actually, the salesman answered that almost items were picked up them in Auschwitz, further other salesman of other shop made similar comments. However we can't decide the fact is false because it's impossible to confirm it.)
In this case, we can't point the difference between both of them.
We can describe this situation as an intermediate place between "a bottle of Auschwitz" and "not being a bottle of Auschwitz".
However the bottle wasn't fixed as "a bottle of Auschwitz".
It held potentials for both "not being a bottle of Auschwitz" and "being fixed as a bottle of Auschwitz".
The salesman transferred "an anonymous bottle in the first place" to me as "being an anonymous bottle actively".
I picked up five stones in five famous places. We can't read anything from those stones, they are anonymous. I tried to create the intermediate state by two ways.
One is that I copied the surface of stones with clay over polyurethane, and by hand, with a small knife. This method is referred to the Japanese stone garden. The producers follow the condition of ground like walking, then they take signs and put the stones. I regarded the stones as the ground, and followed only a partial view. Differences will arise between the original form of stones and the one of copies, because I follow just the relief on the surface. Moreover, it means that there are differences between mass and detail, without collectiveness.
In addition, the quantity of stones changes all the time because I don't focus on the boundary of each stone. Moreover, since I'm a human being, I can't continue to work forever. I always hold the forgetting and the interrupting. In other words, those stones picked up by me are transformed while crossing over the boundaries, and this function makes it possible by the forgetting and the interrupting. Those pieces reflect altogether the surface of stones as sites and my physical condition.
The other way is that I perform a magic trick for another person by using those small stones, and I record this in a video. Then I teach them how to do it. Then they try to do the same magic trick for another person, then they teach them how to do it and so on. There are two requirements to enact this magic trick. One is that a recipient of magic has to pretend that they don´t know that this temporary magician have something trick despite they have known. In other words, it makes possible to enact the magic trick by denial structure like “snobbism”. “Snobbism” is a vertical view overlooking the whole. It is a process of establishing ones own identity, and means denying the environment. The other requirement is that those stones continue to be anonymous, because it is necessary to replace a stone with another one in the trick. If it is exposed, it would be impossible to enact. Stones must be anonymous. It has a view of an assimilating environment. In this context I managed to create a paradoxical system by blending views that are opposites.