An interview of Takashi Kuribayashi about

  • An interview of Takashi Kuribayashi about

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An interview of Takashi Kuribayashi about "DEBEYA"


"DEBEYA" 2019

I recall that twenty-eight years have already passed in creating artworks, and now that I am more than fifty years old, it seems to be important to look back at what I have produced rather than rushing into the pure creation.
At this point, I was invited to participate in Setouchi Triennale 2019.
The Autumn Session of Triennale I participate in will start on September 28. As you know I have to work hard for deadline of Autumn Session, however, I am working here in Daikanyama for solo exhibition for certain reason: I created works in the gallery this time, following inevitable artistic problems in natural flow.

"Tree of ibuki No.2" 2019、 425x600mm、print, drawing, plant and glass on handmade Japanese paper (2019/09/10)

I created the works for the exhibit in three days mostly in this place.
Before I collected materials during my journey from Fukushima to Ibuki Island where I work for the Triennale. Especially noted is the Japanese paper I myself made by hand in atelier Awagami in Tokushima. I printed photo image on this paper, and brought it here to draw on paper, on which I casted seeds and continued watering it. These drawings are just "growing". I scheduled the seeding for today of vernissage, but there are variations in growing level from many sprouts to less buds, according to the date of seeding from one weeks ago to yesterday. Even during two hours today, some seeds are moving forward to sprout, which in all is a strange work.

"Tree of ibuki No.2" 2019、 425x600mm、print, drawing, plant and glass on handmade Japanese paper (2019/09/20)

Debeya, as the exhibition title goes on, is a place in Ibuki island where island’s expectant mothers spent a month before and after giving birth. The women there used to bring up their babies helping each other in Debeya. I chose as the site for my work in Triennale the place of Debeya because it will arise many questions.
At present we are confronted with various problems, forcing us to reconsider the meaning of "birth" and of "death". That is why I create a work of art in Debeya, entitling this gallery show as Debeya, where I created Debeya of my own.

"face 3 " 1993/2019、595x840mm、print and draw on handmade Japanese paper

These four photo works in the central room were my works at the age of twenty-five. I made them 25 or 26 years ago when I installed in Germany. In Germany, I decided to re-start my artistic life leaving behind what I had learned in Japan. When I asked myself what I am, I produced my death mask on which I casted seeds in the position of eyes, nose and mouth. I really didn't know why I was moved forward to such action, but recently for current exhibition, I photographed these old works to print in black and white in multiple editions. Then I realized, for the first time, that these works really overlap with present myself, to look at myself again at this stage.

"DEBEYA" 2019 (central room)

Needless to say, problems of Fukushima are still in myself. In the past ten years I have visited many times Fukshima following the problems of nuclear power plants there. We still continue to think a lot about Fukushima especially for the prospect of next generation of our children in ten years, twenty-five years and fifty years, without sealing it as something finished.

For this latest work, I mixed up the soil of Debeya and that of Fukushima. This gallery G is first of all the original room. Paper laid in the center is a hand-made paper by myself using soil of Fukushima and Kozo or paper mulberry, into which I inserted seeds to be dried. For me, it looks like a field of vegetation, and I worked on this field just like a "gardener" to bring up the vegetation, but that in the action of printing or drawing. That is the rough process of my art making.

"TAO follows its own nature" 2019 (detail)

In Gallery A, a body which is myself is laid with plants from Debeya, growing out of soil of Fukushima in a vinyl house. That contains countless meanings, and the work is fostered during the exhibition. Sentences written like a boundary around the house come from text by Laozi on the subject of boundaries between life and death, of exist and non-exist. I am so dedicated to such text by Laozi, referring here on both glass window and on the vinyl house meaning that "TAO follows its own nature."

"invisible world" 2019、print, drawing, plant and glass on handmade Japanese paper、1015x1510mm(2019/09/10)

We have smaller works mostly on the hand-made paper with soil of Fukshima. The work in the depth of the room is the photo of "Fle-con bag" or Flexible Containers bag taken in 2011 in Tomioka-cho with thousands of bags containing decontaminated soil. However, at present, there are no such bags leaving us to question where did they go. What is clear that we the peolple are not informed about the soil which is said to have been scattered all over Japan.

Anyway we are not allowed to have even such information, and I decided to visit and see the real place to get not only information but also experience to feel and represent the sense into artworks. That is why I used the photos by Rai Shizuno for eight pieces of the work with his photos taken by our annual journey to Fukushima.

This time, I added the soil of Fukushima onto the photos of Fukushima and try to bring up the seed of Kaiware or radish sprouts within the piece of work. Radish sprout is an articificial plant, symbol of men's intervention, and I used on purpose to bring up during the exhibit. If people regularly water it, it will grow, only to die toward the end of exhibition. However, to die or to wither is just a proof of their having lived, as is expected at the end of exhibition. I myself look foward to seeing the outcome of my own action, and hope to share this feeling with you, with those who attend the opening, since the present situation of the work is ever changing. You are seeing what you can see only today. I hope you will have such interest to watch out the following situation of the plants.

"New chapter 2011"(detail)2019、1010x1510mm、print, drawing, plant and glass on handmade Japanese paper(2019/09/10)

This exhibition is for me a pivotal one for these passing years, where I was confronted with myself through text by Laozi to question what I am creating right now. Thank you for listening to me.

「Tree of ibuki No.1」2019、340x438mm、pencil on paper, frame

I will go again to Setouchi area, to finish work in real Debeya site, although this gallery also has Debeya. There in Ibuki Island, I am making a root of "Tree of Life". Rather trunk itself, I focus on its root, approximately 4m50 to 5m high. You are very welcome to the site from September 28 on, for those who are interested in such root.
My work is a permanent one, so you can enjoy watching it to grow up not only during the Triennale session but also after the Triennale without limit.

Takashi Kuribayashi : DEBEYA
2019. Sep. 6(Fir) - 29(Sun) 
@Art Front Gallery , Tokyo

Setouchi Triennale 2019
September 28 (Sat) to November 4 (Mon), 2019
@Ibukijima, Kagawa