The evening started off with Kondo's gallery talk.
Photo: Kioku Keizou

UJINO who was here for maintenance, kindly explained the parts of his work.
Photo: Kioku Keizou

Event Report
MAMC Night: A Members-only Event with a Free-discussion Session with Several Artists!

The latest MAMC Night, held exclusively for Mori Art Museum members, was on Tuesday, 20 April. The event consisted of two parts: a gallery talk by one of the exhibition curators and a free-discussion session in which members could talk directly with a few of the artists participating in the current exhibition, "Roppongi Crossing 2010."

Gallery Talk: The More You Know the More You Enjoy the Exhibition
Mori Art Museum Associate Curator Kondo Kenichi kicked off his gallery talk by giving five keywords useful in interpreting the exhibition. He then moved into the galleries and gave explanations of several of the works.

One of the works he introduced looks like a CD shop at first glance. On closer inspection, however, one realizes that each of the CDs on display is actually a hand-drawn copy. It turns out that this is an installation by the artist Aikawa Masaru.

"Popular music gained widespread acceptance precisely because it could be copied and distributed around the world", Kondo said. "In comparison, a work of art gains respect precisely because it is a one-of-a-kind. This artwork seems to ask us which we rate more highly." This and many other insights provided by the curator helped reveal new approaches and new ways of thinking about the artworks on display.

Halfway through the tour, the group was joined by an unexpected guest. Artist UJINO was making some adjustments to his artwork as the tour went past. Kondo handed him the microphone, saying, "Let's hear from the artist himselfE" UJINO graciously took some time out from his work to talk to the tour members. Later, he thrilled participants again with a live performance.

Free-discussion Session with the Artists
In the past we have received many requests from members who wanted the chance to ask questions and share their thoughts directly with artists. At this MAMC Night, that request became a reality. The artists who attended were HITOTZUKI, Kato Tsubasa and Aoyama Satoru.

HITOTZUKI is a unit consisting of Kami and Sasu, who are partners in life as well as in work. Their "Roppongi Crossing 2010" artwork consists of a 6-meter-high mural and a skateboard ramp.

It is Sasu who determines where the focus of the works will be and then draws the giant geometric patterns that form the basis of the murals. "I try to make the drawings at a size where at first you think they are too big, but in fact they are just right," she said. When the duo was making another work, "Kami was looking after our child, so I managed to climb up to a height of 30 meters to make the drawing myself," she recalled. Meanwhile, Kami had brought his skateboard to the MAMC Night and thrilled the members by performing all sorts of tricks on the ramp.

It was really refreshing to see two artists who are not simply in a good relationship, but who, in creative terms, really seem to be moving in the same direction.

Kato Tsubasa's dynamic projects usually involve him and a group of collaborators pulling down large structures. At "Roppongi Crossing 2010" he is exhibiting one of the structures that he pulled down in an earlier project as well as video documentation of other past works.

A member noted that in one video Kato and his collaborators pulled down a structure that was in the shape of a very long "A." "It must have been such hard work to pull that thing down," the member said. Kato confirmed that it was 12 meters long. "Everyone said it would be impossible, but we tried it," he said with a laugh. "When the structure actually falls down it only takes a moment. But in that moment you achieve a sense of solidarity and all these expressions (of achievement) on everyone's faces. They are the reasons why I do these projects," he said.

Listening to the conversation, there were certainly many members who got a sense of Kato's own big-heartedness and his belief in the power that results when people work together.

Aoyama Satoru's works consist of finely woven embroidery, but at first glance the material is difficult to identify Ethey might be photographs. But the works have another mysterious aspect: They sparkle when they are viewed in the dark. What is their secret?

Aoyama revealed the answer to this and other questions in the course of his free discussion with tour participants. You can find a detailed report in the Mori Art Museum Official Blog!(Japanese Only.) Please click through to read more.

HITOZUKI does a special skateboarding performance.
Photo: Kioku Keizou

Kato Tsubasa also participated in the artists' talk and answered many questions.
Photo: Kioku Keizou

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Aoyama Satoru
Glitters #1
2008
Embroidery (Metallic and Black Thread) on Polyester
Photo: Miyajima Kei

HITOZUKI (Kami + Sasu)
P.I.B.
2007
Latex Paint, Spray Paint on Wall
Yokohama, Japan

MAMC Night for "Roppongi Crossing 2010" - Exclusively for members
With special artist talks by Aoyama Satoru, Kato Tsubasa and HITOTZUKI!

MAMC is pleased to announce the details of the MAMC Night for our upcoming exhibition, "Roppongi Crossing: Can There Be Art?"

In addition to a talk by the exhibition curator, the event will feature a "Special Artist Talk," with three artists/units who are participating in the exhibition! Each artist will stand in front of their artwork and discuss it with members in a free conversation style. Members will be able to give their impressions of the artworks directly to the artists.
Save up your questions about the artworks while listening to the curator talk and then ask them to the people who made them!
This is a rare chance to appreciate the artworks through direct communication with artists. And it's only for members, so don't miss out!


DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 20 April 2010; 19:00-22:00 (Admission starts at 18:45)
* Last admission at 21:30
VENUE: Mori Art Museum (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53F)
ATTENDANCE:   Open to all MAMC Individual members
NUMBER OF ACCOMPANIED  
GUESTS ALLOWED:
Benefactor: up to 2 guests
Fellow: up to 1 guest
Friend: members only
ADMISSION: Free for all participants

[Gallery Talk] * Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation

GUIDE: Kondo Kenichi (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum)
TIME: 19:00- (approximately 45 minutes)
* For those who wish to join the tour, please gather at the entrance hall on Mori Tower 53F five minutes prior to the announced starting time. Advance reservations are not necessary.

[Special Artists' Talk]
* Any members requiring Japanese-to-English interpretation should inform a member of staff. An interpretter will accompany you during the event.

Special Guests: Aoyama Satoru, Kato Tsubasa, HITOTZUKI (Kami+Sasu)
TIME: 20:00- (approximately 60 minutes)
* Each artist/unit will be present in front of their own artwork during this time.

[Profiles]

Aoyama Satoru Born 1973 in Tokyo / Lives and works in Tokyo

Aoyama Satoru’s detailed embroidery is created through repetitive labor on an old-fashioned commercial sewing machine. Until recently, Aoyama’s work was based on his own photographs of everyday objects and scenery, but with the “Glitter PiecesEseries (2008-present), included in the current exhibition, he began working from print media clippings, embroidering the images using only a combination of black and metallic threads. By using a symbol of the industrial revolution to comment on technology today, Aoyama’s work poses questions about labor under capitalism and the ideal nature ofsociety.


Kato Tsubasa Born 1984 in Saitama, Japan / Lives and works in Saitama

Kato Tsubasa creates what might be called “pulling downEprojects. He sets up immense wooden structures outdoors and then has a large crowd pull them apart using ropes. The aim is to share a sensational moment with the participants and communicate with them through the collaboration. Today there are concerns that interpersonal relationships and links with local communities and wider society are becoming more tenuous. In response, Kato questions the nature of real communication. This exhibition includes wooden models, in 1/2.5 scale, of Kato's home and apartment, which were actually destroyed in his past “pulling downEevents.


HITOTZUKI (Kami+Sasu) Active since 1999 / Based in Tokyo

HITOTZUKI is an unit pairing consisting of Kami and Sasu, who together aim to expand the possibilities for street art in Japan, mainly through their collaborative mural productions. The name HITOTZUKI, literally signifying “the sun and the moon,Erepresents the fusion of two opposing elements such as male and female, yin and yang, plus and minus, and so on. It embodies the idea of creating a single, harmonious world. This new, blue-colored installation is made up of a gigantic wall painting as well as skateboard ramps designed and built specifically for the space, intending to convey what the artists envisage as a type of utopia. During the exhibition period, live skateboarding sessions by skateboarders are scheduled. Titled The Firmament, the installation proposes a new approach to art, encouraging all to engage in free-spirited imaginings.


<Event report>
Please note that reports on MAMC events, which may include photographs taken at the events, will appear from time to time on the Mori Art Museum website. Any MAMC member who finds on our website a photograph taken at a MAMC event in which they are visible, and which they would prefer we did not use, should contact us. We will remove the photograph immediately.

Kato Tsubasa
H.H.H.H. (The Home, Hotels, Harnyan, The House)
2008
Lauan Plywood, OSB, Japanese Red Pine Rafter, SPF, Tiger Rope
Performance View: Ueno Onshi Park, Tokyo

MAMC Nifht "Medicine and Art" (29 January, 2009)


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