One of the things we’ve been doing whilst in Japan is introducing 1SSUE to the artists we’ve met. Several books were on exhibition in the gallery at Sapporo and we also took some with us on our visits to artists’ studios. It’s been a really good way to introduce work by other British artists and also, there’s been interest shown in taking part in a future ‘international’ edition.
Yuki Yamamoto in his studio
On our last day in Sapporo we arranged to visit Naebono art studio, a relatively new artist run space. Yuki showed us around the studios and gallery space. It’s an impressive building, studios are spacious and the artists are doing interesting things with paint, objects and vegetables!
The gallery is currently showing work curated by Japan/US artist Kio Griffith entitled ‘Mexicaido’, featuring artists living on both sides of the US/Mexico border.
Following my brief spell using the gallery at Tenjinyama studios as a project space, Paul and I have a short exhibition. I think the format of his video projection has influenced my decisions on configuration of ink drawings; the result is an ‘almost’ rectangle of similar proportions. Paul made a short (and amusing) film of their installation which you can see here.
Puddle Drawings 1-79. 2.4 x 1.4m. Ink on paper. 2018.
Puddle drawings detail
Detail from ‘Looking’ . Video by Paul Hazel
Pocket Remains – April – August. 45cm x 45cm. Papers and Sharpie. 2018
Pocket Remains – March – August. 90cm x 90cm. Stitched tissues. 2018
The other thing we’ve been able to do is exhibit a small selection of 1SSUE publications to show the work of other artists in the UK and promote the idea of an international 1SSUE in the near future.
We were invited to attend an evening at Benizakura Park, recently renovated and hosting what is planned to be an annual art event in it’s lush and leafy woodland. As seems to be the tradition here, the event began with a conversation between curator Sachiko and the participating artists. Needless to say, we couldn’t understand the verbal content but we could connect the artists to their work through the slides shown.
As the light began to fade we took off into the park to look at the work. We saw a fraction of it and much of that, in darkness so my photos are very poor. It was never the less (or perhaps because of this race against time) a really memorable encounter. Probably my favourite piece of those that I saw was the work of Ryo Yamada; a fine structure constructed in light wood, geometric in form with open corridors each leading to, and enclosing a tree.
Other artists to note include Akira Takaishi who produced a subterranean earthwork, Keiko Kimoto who made some large suspended drawings in a tatami room and Shunsuke Tsuchida who made floating wooden globes.
You can find out more here, and on Paul‘s blog.
This week I’ve been in the gallery at Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studios, initially using it as a project space. I’ve been testing out a way to involve other people in my Pocket Remains project.
Curious resident artists, staff and passers-by have popped in to see what I’ve been doing in the middle of the gallery and also to see what will happen to the objects they hand over. The method is simple; it involves marking the perimeter of the object on paper then flooding the surface with water and ink. The process is slightly magical to watch and the results are strange and beautiful.
I’ve also put some 1SSUE artist books in the gallery and have been talking to visitors about the initiative. I’m hoping some of the artists we’ve met will want to get involved in my next editorship.
You can read about this on Tenjinyama Art Studio blog here.
Yesterday, we went to Moerenuma Park in the north of Sapporo. The park was designed by Isamu Naguchi and is an inspiring transformation of a landfill site. It took almost 20 years to come to fruition, from initial concept designs in 1977 to the grand opening in 2005. Noguchi died before construction began in 1988 (aged 84 years) but his designs were carried out as instructed. Unlike the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona which has been mucked about with by too many others since Gaudi’s death, this place has the stamp of one artist’s vision.
It’s a really tranquil place and whilst obviously popular with visitors, there is so much space it is open and airy. The land has been sculpted into a range of planes, hillocks and pyramids, also echoed in sculptural works and architecture. This all sounds very grown up, but within the design are boating lakes, paddling ponds and shady woods. Quite a transformation from it’s original state.
You can read more of our travels in Japan at: www.paulhazel.com
More lovely drainage and man-hole covers in the city centre. Each area seems to have it’s own range of designs…