Münster Sculpture Project, Sagamihara
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Kanuma Park, Sagamihara

Taking inspiration from the Skulptur Projekte Münster established in 1977 and held every 10 years, ‘Münster Sculpture Project in Sagamihara’ gathers together a group of international artists inviting them to work in the open and encourage the public to encounter what they make. From the sanctity of the gallery, work now involves an audience they’re unlikely to normally meet, but also challenges the artist to respond to an unknown and inquisitive world beyond. Like the project in Münster, Germany, this exhibition spreads itself over a wide area although more conservative than its counterpart. Kanuma Park near to Fuchinobe Station is within short distance fo the three major art universities in Japan, which many have graduated from. And while the work is challenging the format of sculpture and gallery, what makes something sculptural is also up for grabs. Rittai 立体 (meaning three-dimensional object, suggesting something coming into existence) expresses this middle ground and territory where artwork casts furtive glances at painting, image and object, coming into existence somewhere between all three. It’s a territory mirrored in by the park, with work hidden, buried or nestled behind bushes, hanging from trees, floating on water, or moving around the park of its own accord.

 

Yuya Koyama, Walking together (About behavior of working and rest) (2018)

And while artwork is a mixture of hasty fabrication and momentary madness, the nature of this Münster Sculpture Project is the need for introducing work where opportunity and unexpectedness await. There are nods to yamiichi 闇市, post-war ‘black markets’ in Japan that once were the only way to afford food and clothing. The exhibition takes place unofficially in the park, happening only during weekends and packed neatly away during the week. The aspect of ‘treasure hunt’ finding work with a barely readable map is a nostalgic nod to a childhood spent foraging through parks and woodland. Indeed, the group that organized the outdoor exhibition is named after the local swimming pool (MAMBO) which has long since closed down.

 

Yuya Koyama, Walking together (About behavior of working and rest) (2018)

With the majority of work being in situ, parts of the exhibitions are more unpredictable and dependent on mobility and the artist being there. Yuya Koyama’s performance piece Walking together (2018) has him carry a weight of boxes around Kanuma Park while carefully negotiating the other people there oblivious to what is going on. For the most part, the exhibition is an event that people encounter rather than approach. Koyama’s movements negotiate his own performance alongside the business of others while stopping to catch a breath and look-on. There are nods here to the art collective Hi-Red Center active between 1963 and 1964 and performances involving public transport and the unsuspecting rush hour audience as much as the brave group members challenging social etiquette with physical acts of humor and absurdity. Yet, it’s actions such as these along with Koyama’s own performance that highlight the persistence of routine and ritual behavior in public at the expense of the personal, and how rigid our impression of place is when everyday societal norms are confronted head on by something as innocuous as a box carried around a park for several hours.

 

Yuya Koyama, Walking together (About behavior of working and rest) (2018)

Other works take remnants of everyday society and present them as Franz West-ian Passtücke (Adaptives), reconsidering the making of an object as explicit and singular, and thinking of value in terms of good and bad. As soon as objects become reproductions of-a-sort, they imply the mechanical process they were born of. Given the right context, even an H&M shopping bag is a work of art when presented so. Yet, you can imagine the viewer finding it difficult to detach the experience and familiarity of images they might encounter in the midst of the park, stretching a willingness to embrace everything as a work of art and treat each piece as a moment of playfulness. In this sense, the idea the exhibition is not merely about sculpture relates, underscored by its sense of rittai. Coming into existence is maybe the best way to picture the exhibition as a whole. It passes through arbitrary images conjured on the spot, dealing above and below ground, with solid and liquid, as well as spontaneity and unpredictability. These threads inevitably lead back to other events such as the Tokyo Biennale in 1970, Between Man and Matter, albeit on a grander scale. A convert sense of agency happens in broad daylight taking cues from the need in local cultural history for the black market and applies them to this outdoor exhibition. Goods traded are not rice and cloth this time around but a community spirit vital for an artist where community is in short supply or simply unsupported.

In the 1966 film「男の顔は履歴書」(Otoko-no-kao wa rirekisho / You shall know a Man by his Face) directed by Tai Katô, a young Korean man pulled from a car crash awakens to find himself in hospital with little or no memory of his past. Gradually he begins rebuilding his life with the aid of those around him and through a series of flash backs, his nefarious past and the yamiichi he was embroiled in become context for his eventual physical and cultural reawakening. While ‘Münster Sculpture Project in Sagamihara’ is definitely more lighthearted, the exhibition treats artwork in a similar way, freed from geographical or theoretical origin, and treats the experience of artwork and the exhibition as vital for placing them in the local artistic landscape and necessary for fabricating ways for an artistic practice vividly coming into its own.

 

Yusuke Saito, Thirst and moisture #1 (2018)

Yusuke Saito, Thirst and moisture #2 (2018)

Yusuke Saito, Thirst and moisture #2 (2018)

Yusuke Saito, Thirst and moisture #1, #2 (2018)

Ute Müller, Untitled (2018)

(Inspired by a book from the library of artist Franz West, Müller took a doodle drawn by West himself that made oblique connections between body, sculpture and the language of Jacques Derrida’s Vom Geist. As a symbol of something useless or random, she edited that doodle, expanding it to become a surface, an island floating in a pond, a blank against black water.)

 

Ute Müller, Untitled (2018)

Ute Müller, Untitled (2018)

Shogo Shimizu, Artud (2018)

(「卑性な猿と濡れそぼった犬の糞便を使って雪遊びは楽しいなぁ」”It’s fun playing in the snow with monkey shit and wet dogs!” — Shogo Shimizu’s auto portrait is made from melting a cast of the artists face and a block of ice on top of canvas. Next is a portrait made the day before, and a photograph of the piece before it withered away stapled to a tree.)

 

Shogo Shimizu, Artud (2018)

Shogo Shimizu, Artud (2018)

Miho Dohi, Buttai (2018)

Miho Dohi, Buttai (2018)

Kumiko Sato, Branch Dog (2018)

Kumiko Sato, Branch Dog (2018)

Kumiko Sato, Branch Dog (2018)

Fuyuki Ono, Sculpture (2018)

Fuyuki Ono, Sculpture (2018)

Fuyuki Ono, Sculpture (2018)

Fuyuki Ono, Sculpture (2018)

Chan Cho Kiu (BUNCHI), Sand bag (2018)

Chan Cho Kiu (BUNCHI), Sand bag (2018)

Chan Cho Kiu (BUNCHI), Sand bag (2018)

Chan Cho Kiu (BUNCHI), Sand bag (2018)

Kenji Ide, Dad 1 (2018)

Kenji Ide, Dad 2 (2018)

Kenji Ide, Kid will see tips in the moon (2018)

Koji Nakano, Kuru Kuru (2018)

Koji Nakano, Kuru Kuru (2018)

Koji Nakano, Nori Maki (2018)

COBRA, The Re(public) (2018)

COBRA, The Re(public) (2018)

COBRA, The Re(public) (2018)

 

Ken Kagami, Artists cemetery (2018)

(Ken Kagami’s lollipop graveyard of dead artists on ice—Mike Kelley, Gordon Matta-Clark, Sigmar Polke, Yves Klein, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, On Kawara)

 

Luo,Jr-Shin, Transiting (2018)

Luo,Jr-Shin, Transiting (2018)

Christoph Meier, Untitled (2018)

(Christoph Meier’s recreation of an unrealized mausoleum by architect and theorist Adolf Loos designed for Austrian art historian Max Dvořák is a 1:50 scale reimagining of the proposed edifice, considered a precursor to Post-modernism and now realized as a water feature and by-product of modern injection moulding and mobile battery technology. Seen in context with nearby urban landscape, the original design is stripped bare of its forebears classical detailing becoming the ultimate “duck”, a piece of nomadic architecture rid of the original “triumphalism” by being reduced in size, scale and purpose and based internally around the proportions of the tatami mat; a trickle-charge battery now powering a trickle of water pumped continuously through its apex, while cradled in a plastic box bought from a local hardware store.)

 

Takuya Ikezaki, Hand Massage (2018)

Installation, featuring works by Christoph Meier, Takuya Ikezaki

(L-R) Koji Nakano, Kenji Ide, Fuyuki Uno, Shogo Shimizu with Soshiro Matsubara’s Two Pinks (2018) behind

 

Münster Sculpture Project in Sagamihara
August 11, 12, 18, 19, 2018
12:00−19:00

神奈川県相模原市中央区鹿沼台2−15
2-15 Kanumadai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan

https://munster-sagamihara.jimdofree.com

お問い合わせ先
MAMBO Club

Takuya Ikezaki
Kenji Ide
Fuyuki Ono
Ken Kagami
COBRA
Yuya Koyama
Yusuke Saito
Kumiko Sato
Shogo Shimizu
Miho Dohi
Koji Nakano
Soshiro Matsubara
Chan Cho-kiu Bunchi (Hong Kong / Tokyo)
Luo JR-Shin (Taipei)

Supported by XYZ collective, MISAKO&ROSEN, Gallery SIDE 2, HAGIWARA PROJECT, Satoko Oe contemporary.

*Work and installation images courtesy Mambo Club.

Gallery SIDE 2, Hagiwara Projects, Misako & Rosen, Photo report, SOC, XYZ Collective,

  • © 2018