Teppei Kaneuji at COCOLAB, Akita


Akita is at first sight a depressed and depressing place. With its population declining by 20% in a few years, it’s a place that few creative people might choose to live and work in. But some of the best things come from the margins, as I discover when I am invited to give a talk in the city about my research. In an abandoned factory workshop by the river in the old entertainment district, designer Chigusa Sasao runs an art space for exhibitions and talks, as well as a base for her design enterprises. She shares the building with a number of friends and colleagues running an art bookstore, a kissaten, and an exquisite couturier workshop (designer Rui Takagi) that itself looks like a gallery. In fact, I spy a strange installation inside—a small gothic looking mannequin with a deer’s head hanging from the ceiling, by local artist Ruriko Murayama, who is something of a celebrity around here.

My talk is part two of a series called “The Great Escape” following up a recent double header talk show by two of Tokyo’s top young rising artists, Teppei Kaneuji and Lyota Yagi. Kaneuji had some six months or more previously created an installation with a number of works for sale in the small gallery upstairs, and it is my first live encounter with his work. I missed the much talked about Yokohama show – a brave move by museum director Taro Amano to invest in a still relatively unknown young artist – and I had heard mixed reactions. The catalogue looks beautiful, but is there something too easy, too throwaway (too “micropop” maybe?) about numerous works taking everyday objects and dripping them with the tell tale white plaster discharge, or disfiguring them with other noxious liquids?

The Akita show convinced me that there is something quite special about Kaneuji’s methods and materials. He tends to work in situ, bringing his materials and producing a plenitude of works for the space at hand. Most of what I saw at Akita seemed to have been amassed originally at a local DIY store, and it is perhaps most impressive how he manages to steal some beauty out of some of the most banal, mass produced and functional objects in today’s banal modern civilisation. I have spent far too long at too many Home Depots in the US to ever have thought that plastic buckets, household tools and building materials might reveal an aesthetic side. Yet there is something quite sinister and panic inducing about all that plaster filling the empty spaces of the installation, and holes of the buckets. The white solidity is quite deathly alongside the childish plastic colours; it’s an impressive effect. I’m less convinced by his disfigured footballers – which I feel like I’ve seen some place before – but I do like the white discharged vandalised guitar, where the plaster seems transfixed in movement, as it moves through the strings, like through some wind tunnel. Kaneuji, I think, shares something of the scientific, exploratory methodologies of Kohei Nawa or Motohiko Odani, and I see them as part of a whole current of significant new sculptors in Japan.

My talk in the evening goes well. It’s an absorbed and talkative crowd, and the bilingual arrangement seems to work fine. Most of the audience are young women, as are all the entrepreneurs of the various shops/companies in the building. I don’t know whether this says something about the demographics of Akita, or the fact that many of the most dynamic people in the Japanese art world today – such as younger gallerists, curators and organisers – are women making things happen.



私が下落人口の過度の関心の表明を考える 愚かです。 下落人口は単に自然のバランスです。 人口vs教育と収入は、すべての非常に種々の変数です。 特に秋田で where 無駄な時間つぶしの仕事とunderfunds教育の自由民主党GIVES豊富な量 。 別の人口ブームを作成することは危険で、生態学的に敵対的な行為です。 (それの70年後に起こること???)(そこで昨年ここで少しの新聞を読んだてください どこへの1兆円無駄になった築いている道路、および地方の日本の1つの鎧戸を付けられたトンネルもではなかった 。 今日の子供が財政支出と習慣寄与を二倍にすると、人口を増大させることは別の~25+年の間税金資金に社会のより大きい荷を追加します。

それがおなじみに触れる層のTeppanyakkiについて、それは、Petahコイン、デイビッドAltmejd、銀行ヴァイオレット、マイクケリー、ルーブ・ゴールドバーグなどの作り直しです それを空にしてください そうである 。 IN それ まさに冷たいレベルのnot の仕事を始めているものを見る仕事を空けてみてください。 私は、容易な材料を促進することによって売られるこの自身打破ナンセンスの代わりに、日本が強烈な考察と分析的であることとしてのその場所を矯正するのを見たい。 美術館は、レーベルの値段の付けをする無線局ではないけれども、その人が、若者、ヒップ、および取って来ることであるので、それらの考えられている権限において、出版についての責任を保持し、notのアーティストを調査する必要がある組織は、それを祝福します。

2009/07/08 13:19





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