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[Artist] YAMAGUCHI Akira
[Date] February 11th – May 13th, 2012

Dear visitors,

Thank you for coming to see my exhibition.
This humble piece of writing, composed upon request by the organizer of the event, shall guide you through the exhibition to help understanding my works.

The first thing you will see upon arriving shall be a row of objects that look like utility poles. This work titled Unforgettable Electric Poles was inspired by my boyhood self who loved everything “mech”. These poles have no function whatsoever: in fact, they are the existing pillars to which I simply attached the accessories. Needless to say, they are useless, but look so shamelessly smug. I gave these poles fewer telecommunication lines and low-tension lines than the real utility poles to achieve a more streamlined look. We could liken them to an ikebana arrangement made with fake flowers.

The next work, Right yet Wrong is an installation that resembles a room with a slanted floor. We normally live in an environment where the vertical axe of a building corresponds to the direction of gravity. When they don't, we feel dizzy or may not even be able to stand upright. This problem occurs because the sense of balance we have developed from our experience interferes with the equilibrium we try to keep based on our perception. In other words, while trying to be “right” based on our experience, we find ourselves ‘’wrong’’ in this particular situation.
I hope that this work inspires you to reflect on such ideas as “right” and “wrong”, “the vertical axe” and “the gravity”, the plane on which we stand, empirical rules, the tilted floor, et cetera. This is my intention behind the work – at least officially. Truth be told, however, I just wanted to have fun recreating the excitement I felt when I visited the Toshimaen amusement park as a small boy.
It is probably only natural that an artist makes works that he/she wants to experience himself/herself. As an artist, therefore, this selfishness may be justified. As a human, not so sure – I might be “wrong” in a sense.

Lastly, you will see a flat work titled Tokyo Shan shui, representing a panoramic view of Tokyo according to my vision. This brush-and-ink drawing is based on six maps from different ages, a Google Map, my personal memories and my illusions. I dip my brush in sumi ink and start drawing, and as I draw on, the lines become fainter and fainter until they look nothing but blurred shades. Also, the lines inevitably grows thicker as the tip of the brush wears out, so much so that I have to give up detailed drawing in some areas. At the same time, the sumi ink thickens as the water evaporates, so the first stroke after I dip my brush anew in the ink always comes out much stronger and incongruous with the earlier faint line. And it starts all over again.
The underdrawing remains visible in patches as if the skin of the city has been torn open or the buildings in the area have been completely demolished. They could be a beginning or an end of something. I am still brooding over how to reconcile these patches with the other parts.

This text is only an introduction, but as I do not wish to bore you with tedious details, I put down my pen here.
I invite you now to relax and enjoy the exhibition.

Yours faithfully,
2012/01/13 10:20