Saturday, April 2, 2011

video: Hiraki Sawa

Hiraki Sawa, Figment, video, 2011
"A boy closes his eyes for 25 minutes and wakes up with the world gone from behind his thoughts. His language slips and shifts, he tastes orange juice without knowing anymore to describe it as sour, he likes numbers but cannot put names to faces. His room is filled with a thousand records and many more. He sees the records, unable to listen. He can't see the floor, has never seen the floor beneath them, wouldn't recognise it if he met it in the street. He meets people in the street and his only option is to trust that they know him when they say they do. His records become opaque, circular slabs of the unknown and the unknowing. A fog of landscapes without contours, without borders, that can only be read by touching. To move forward he must step out, one foot then the other, and believe that he is indeed moving. His mind like an emptied lake, the sky welling upward and outward, unable to contain the depth of it all, the bottomless, fathomless wealth of the things he lost in his sleep"*.

A new work in which Sawa explores the phenomenon of amnesia and the devastation of severe memory loss through a series of abstract visual sequences.

*Text by Dale Berning


On the ocassion of the Singapore Biennale Japan Creative Center presents Akira Yamaguchi new project Singa Planet along with few previous pieces. In the catalogue forward we read: The characteristic feature of Yamaguchi Akira's work is his way of incorporating various manners and events from different ages and cultures, as well as scenes of contemporary life into the formats of rakuchu rakugai zu (panoramic scenes of urban life during the Edo period). This time however Singa planet was inspired by the contemporary life of Singapore and its publicly governed and developed housing facilities populated by over 85% of society.

Department store: New Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, 2004
From the previous works that attracted me a lot is the one above partly because it shows my neighborhood, party because it brings new dimention to the discussion about Meji-era Nihonbashi Bridge and the Metropolitan Expressway arching above it. The later was built in 60s. when Tokyo underwent major makeover before Tokyo Olimpics and is considered a symbol of landscape distruction since it was built over the old bridge. When the city competed for 2000 Olimpics there had been some plans to hide the expressway underground. But there are also voices that the present landscape is far more precious and Tokyoesque than Nihonbashi bridge which is after all just a mere copy of something one would find in Europe.
In his painting Yamaguchi adds another bridge to the landscape which is the orginal wooden bridge from Edo-era built over the expressway and a cinical comment to the whole discussion.

Yamaguchi witty painting style with sense of play and enterteinment makes his picture accounts for his popularity among the viewers and the rising prices for his works which I experianced personally buying recently one of his prints.