A Place for Art
(Oct. 27) Laugh or cry, I can only work here for one more week… I am busy as hell but it feels good, and every day I’m in a state of half-crying and half-laughing.
Even so, I still have these desires coming over me, to cut down trees, to do a collaboration with Mutsumi, they just don’t stop.
Starting last week, Hiroko-san and the mesdames of Uetsuno led by Kuniko-san have been helping me. The mesdames of Kamiyama have cute girl’s talk, and being surrounded in their conversation as I work is a very comfortable feeling.
My installation work in the Yorii-za Theater is just about done. I’m always overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone’s light footwork and strength.
I was really bowled over when Mr. Iwamaru brought in all the paper cranes he’d folded at home.
Another artwork which will be displayed outdoors is leaping and bounding towards completion.
I asked Mr. Shiratsuchi to make a big round cabin, and I’ve been taking on the tasks that I feel I can do myself. I’m savoring this treat of being able to work under a professional craftsman like Mr. Shiratsuchi.
Really, this is the height of luxury…
I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’m not going to post a picture of the work just yet.
Yesterday, Mr. Nakahara, Mr. Sugimoto, and Mr. Nikishima cut the grass on the land where this large work will be displayed. Today, Mr. Mori and Mr. Aihara leveled off the ground for me. (I could cry!)
Also, Mr. Mori and Mr. Aihara have helped out a lot in making the guide markers that will lead up to the cabin.
As I make them, I imagine the lanterns slowly getting covered in moss and blending into the environment. (ha ha)
I’ve been treated to dinner at many people’s homes in the past few days…
Today, I had nabeyaki udon next door at Grandma Kawano’s house.
Sitting under the kotatsu, watching TV and eating mikan together… this too is a special time for me.
I really am moved by how everyone is working together to create a work of art.
As I work here, I’m constantly being struck by what it means to have a “place for art.”
I have an aquaintance who I respect very much, who, as curator of an art museum, is always debating about “a place for art.” He’ll talk about it with everyone and everyone. While he is a very capable curator, he also believes, “Art must be able to exist even if it’s not called “art”.” I’ve recieved some of that strong spirit from him, and his way of thinking helps to motivate my work, and in searching out a space for art I interact with the people living in that place… I think that’s what the artist’s role is and that’s how I’ve come to where I am now.
And the spirit I’ve received here is also very strong… That’s what’s insipred me and gotten me into this fix…
If I can take the fruit I’ve borne here and make it work at another location, I’ll be really happy… I’m thinking I could be like a honeybee. (ha ha)
Now, tomorrow I have my workshop at Jinryo Elementary School. I’ll give it my all!
KAIR2008 ArtistArticles by Rika Aki