P O H W A N G (Botan san & Hiroko san)

Aritst interview 2010.9.19



Over the next few days I will be getting to know the artists a little better by asking them the same 26 questions in the form of an interview. The transcriptions have been edited but just fractionally; I have exchanged single words or removed words or added words (if I felt it would clarify a particular point) but only where absolutely necessary since I wanted to try to keep the original dialogue as pure as possible for the sake of humanity.

Here, we have POH WANG which consists of Botan san and Hiroko san from JAPAN (TOKYO):

What made you apply for the Kamiyama Artist in Residence program?
We have two reasons. One is, we loved the name Kamiyama, God's Mountain. We were really impressed by that name! The second reason is Uchiumi san. The artist Satoshi Uchiumi who stayed in 2007 (KAIR 2007), he is a friend of mine and he told me Kamiyama is a very special place in the countryside.

Describe your work in one word

Do you have a special method for generating your ideas?
Ideas come from the feeling (we get) wherever we stay.

What is the most frightening experience you have ever had?
After we came to Kamiyama, at night when I was walking out of my studio I felt something on my foot. Then I looked down at my foot ‘Oh my God! There's some big worm on my foot!' Then I danced the Awa Odori (to get the worm off my foot). It was a mukade.

What is your favourite Japanese food?
Misoshiru (Miso Soup).

What do you enjoy most about creating art?
We usually make artworks that we want to see (exist) so after finishing the work we can see a real-life version of the idea.

What is the process behind creating your art?
First, I make an image of what I want to see then secondly, I just make it!

How did you discover your passion for art?
The passion is always falling down from the sky to me!  So, I don't discover it just comes!

Do you think you have a particular technique/style?
Usually not. The important thing is the works not the technique or style.

Do you find art difficult?
Sometimes yes, when the time is limited.


What do you think about face-shaped processed ham?
Sugoi ne! Kawai!

How do you feel in Kamiyama?
People are so kind and warm and open and also the distance between people is very close. Right now, we live in Tokyo and when we are in Tokyo people make a wall between themselves and other people. But in Kamiyama people don't have a wall, the window is always open, although I think that sometimes too open!

Do you think you have a role as a KAIR?
I think that the artists are the spice for Kamiyama.

How would you like your art to relate to Kamiyama and its residents?
We usually make artworks outside of our territory that means we always want to receive some (kind of) influence.

What would chairs look like if our knees were upside-down?
A chair usually has armrests I would make an armrest for my feet like this, so you could sit like this (indicates strange position).

What other types of work have you done and how does it relate to your art?
When I was a university student, I did printing, etching. After I came back to Japan, I started to make a picture book for children and I did some graphic design for a friend. Right now, I paint and make sculpture work with Hiroko.

What do you dislike about your work?
I don't have practical knowledge of (skills such as) electronics or musical things. Sometimes I want to make a special artwork but I don't have enough technique or experience so I usually ask someone (who does).

What is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?
Do it this way!

In your opinion, how important is art to society?
I think art must be one part of society…we hope!

What is your favourite outfit?
Botan san: T-shirts.  Hiroko san: Evening dress. But we sometimes wear traditional kimono.

Who is your least favourite famous artist/creator and why?
I don't know a specific artist but the type of artist who copies their own artwork again and again. I don't like that type of artist. Artists must make new work and discover (something new).

Can you describe Kamiyama in one word?

What would you like for your birthday? (Please do not expect anything….)
Hiroko san: A sudachi. Botan san: A letter.

How do you feel when you present your work to the public?
At first I always feel relief, then I feel (shy). We are interested how people feel when they see our works (so we secretly watch!)

If you are a vegetable, what kind would you be?
Botan san: I'm a Gobo. Hiroko san: A Tomato.

Do you have a weakness?
I'm weak.


NEXT: Midori Hirota



Itoi-san - Kanuma soil. Likes salmon sashimi, dislikes entrails of sea cucumber. Ru-san - Lancashire hotpot. Creative type. Likes being outdoors. Dislikes status. Together we are ITOI ARTS a project in divergent creativity in the mountains of Shikoku, Japan. 四国の山奥、多様な創作、アートとは。 //イベント時のみオープン// \\ふだんはただの家//

Articles by itoi+ru-san


  • No comments.

To comment


メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 が付いている欄は必須項目です

このサイトはスパムを低減するために Akismet を使っています。コメントデータの処理方法の詳細はこちらをご覧ください