29.03.2021 #art



“TSUGI” uses satellite imagery to express a glimmer of hope by depicting the Earth and nature being restored with “kintsugi”.

At a time when travelling and discovering new cultures has become difficult, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, has launched an initiative to promote the uniqueness and multi-dimensional appeal of the Japanese culture. Called CULTURE GATE to JAPAN, the project consists in a series of exhibitions held at seven airports across the country. The Tokyo International Haneda Airport and the Narita International Airport are both hosting VISION GATE as part of the initiative: an exhibition of eight groups of Japanese artists from all generations curated by MoMA Senior Curator of Architecture & Design Paola Antonelli. While Yuri Suzuki and Miyu Hosoi present the sound installation « Crowd Cloud », six groups of artists present their vision of Japanese tradition and future through a series of videos displayed in the airport’s arrival concourse and various places. acky bright, Jun Inoue, Mariko Mori, Monika Mogi, PARTY, and Sachiko Kodama all give their own interpretation of their country’s unique culture for people to experience just as they get off the plane…

What does the idea of ‘vision’ evoke to you as artists?

During a discussion with Paola, she stated that from an outsider perspective, Japan is truly a visionary country. When I heard that comment, I couldn’t believe it. I had to add: “I’m surprised to hear that other countries think that way of Japan. Most Japanese people would honestly believe otherwise.” I asked her what she meant by “visionary” and she responded: “In contrast to Western countries, Japan has a vision that encourages the coexistence of the past and the present, the old and the new, by connecting them.” I remember being mind-blown and very inspired by her answer.

How much is your work influenced by your Japanese roots, and the tension between past and present, tradition and innovation in Japanese culture?

Paola had mentioned that the “vision” particular to the Japanese also stems from Japan being prone to numerous natural disasters. Lately, the word “resilience” has been frequently used. What came to mind was that the power to recover and be resilient has been ceaselessly inherited by the Japanese, and this spirituality is perhaps at the core of the Japanese aesthetic.

Can you tell us about your work presented for ‘VISION GATE’ and displaying it in an airport as opposed to an art gallery?

Paola’s thoughts were the starting point of this work. The theme of “TSUGI” represents global warming caused by the excessive human interference with nature. We used actual satellite images to express a glimmer of hope by depicting the Earth and nature being restored with “kintsugi,” an aesthetic born from the resilient spirit of the Japanese people. Exhibiting at airport terminals means that there is a high probability that our work will be one of the first experiences of the Japanese aesthetics visitors will make. In such a special context, we created this piece with the wish that it will comfort tired travelers after their long journey.

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