Thursday, November 19, 2009
project room: WHO
It's very rare to find a book on Japanese contemporary art in English this is why when I learnt about WHO I was overjoyed. Especially that it features Hara Takafumi whom I always wanted to mention here.
WHO is the title of the art book series featuring contemporary Japanese artists. In easy-to-follow form of an interview it restrains from using art terms and besides the art works also presents artists' daily life as a part of their extraordinary perception of the world. The first issue is dedicated to Hara Pink Window Project which he has been running in various places including Japan, Germany, Singapore and Brazil. In each of them artist picks up a building and research on its history which servived in the memories of the locals to finally exhibit it in the windows of the building. Here is a small excerpt of the interview with Hara which was made by Roger McDonald, independent curator and founding member of Arts Initiative Tokyo.
RM: Why did you start the project?
HT: [...] I wanted to go out into real world. When I showed my works at gallery spaces, I could construct my world but only relate to people who came [to the gallery] and that's all. I had the need to relate myself with our society much closely and get out of the art world [...]
RM: Is that the first time for you to use windows as medium?
HT: No. I had an exhibition at a museum in Chiba in 1998. It was an installation work, and I had to cover all windows to darken the room. If I didn't do this exhibition, I might never done the projects using windows [...]
RM: What does it mean to combine other's words within your work?
HT: I think words are expression tools that everyone has [...]. Yet, words are in its nature in flux and disappear, so I have the feeling that I would like to keep them.
RM: There are always illustations with the words.
HT: [...] For me it looks like characters in fairy tale. [...] Like Aesopus Fables. They are so realistic in original version. [Althought] over the time, through editing, simplifying and replacing they have changed still when we read them, even if they're amusing, we are sure of some horror in them [...]. I like this effect and would like to get the similar feeling in my works.
all photos come from artist's web page