Monday, June 25, 2012
project room: Shinro Ohtake
Located in Kassel's Karlsaue park Shinro Ohtake's installation for dOCUMENTA (13) Mon Cheri: A Self Portrait as a Scrapped Shed takes its title from an out-of-business snack bar in Uwajima, whose neon sign Ohtake found 10 years ago. Artist attached it to the prefabricated shed filled with objects and materials accumulated in different countries. At the core of the shed are huge scrapbook representing artist life's work and series of sound collected over the course of year that are activated by the movement of audience. The shed operates like as a living self-portrait accumulating and shedding different materials in the same way that we preserve and jettison memories and therefore it reflects the conditions of humanity in the 21st century.
As we read in official guidebook to dOCUMENTA (13) Shinro Ohtake has developed new visual language in Japanese contemporary art that responds to mass-media imagery, underground music culture, and the urban environment. His divers activities include writing, noise music, and several architectural projects. Recycling everyday materials like neon signs, poster, photos and images from various publications, products, countries and eras, as well as other discarded items, he organizes them into assemblages that address the intense physical and temporal processes that affect how things are perceived, understood, and remembered. The approachh is rooted in his Scrapbooks, a series begun in 1977 that now comprises 67 books filled with cutouts from vintage comics, packaging, and other ephemeral that he edits together with maps, ticket stubs, flyers, CDs, newspaper clippings, and photographs. He subsequently integrates these with drawings and paintings, transforming the books into sculptural objects. Ohtake had his first solo exhibition in Tokyo i early 80s. and in 1985 was the first Japanese artist to show at ICA in London. He has since presented major retrospectives in Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima. In 2009, Ohtake created a functioning bathhouse for Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, an architectural project that expands his practice of combing found materials, painting, and drawing in multilayered, engrossing composition into an experience of a whole environment.