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Guestroom "Sougetsu no Ma"

Completed on:1 / Jun / 2019

Location:Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

Concept and theme:Contemporary Japanese Style


The Kanayama residence is located close to the temple Ginkaku-ji, or Silver Pavilion, which was constructed by Yoshimasa Ashikawa, the 8th Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate.
It was Yoshimasa Ashikawa who established 'Higashiyama Culture' which includes such elements as Renga (collaborative poetry), Noh and Tachibana (the oldest school of the art of flower arranging).
One of the rooms of Ginkaku-ji, the Togudo Dojinsai, is considered to be a typical example of a particular style of architecture called 'Shoin-zukuri'.

When Mr. Kanayama gave me the theme of 'Contemporary Japanese Style', the element of 'Japaneseness' that I connected with was 'the tea room'.
As I researched the location of the residence and the tea ceremony, I came to realise that the 'Shoin' tea style was not only focused on the ceremony of tea. It was equally focused on enjoying the beauty of objects such as an imported tea container in the pursuit of a 'perfect beauty'. I decided then that I would like to decorate the wall of the tea room with my work so I set up a space which was divided with partitions into a tea room.

After the Shoin tea ceremony style, tastes shifted towards a new style called Wabicha, with a 'wabi' aesthetic in which unbalanced and imperfect objects were seen as perfectly imperfect and beautiful. I wanted to express 'wabi' in my work, like photographs of dying flowers illuminated with 'kintsugi' (gold joinery), and the symbolic simplicity and beauty in the triangular roof wall.

In order to add a further sense of 'Japaneseness' I expressed the world in a video projected through the lattice window inspired by the 'Katomado window' of Ginkaku-ji through which the memory of the moon shone as a poignant sense of time, just as Soseki Natsume once shyly translated the words 'I love you' to the more appropriate Japanese translation "The moon is beautiful".

When all the elements of 'Japaneseness' mentioned above come together, it makes me think about the word 'contemporary' again. It can be said that contemporary art by nature itself embodies this term, but I would like to think in a broader sense that the way
people are, and their thoughts, are all by nature 'contemporary'.

Many people, including myself, who live in this contemporary time, feel that 'modernism' is hiding under unconsciousness. I love the disciplined idea of which form follows function, and function follows form, but on the other hand I seek a feeling and energy more rough and unbridled in my work and production processes. It's like looking for a real feeling of living in a very efficient and sophisticated system.

When the viewer's consciousness of modernism comes into contact with my work of contemporary art in the space, it might connect with this idea of 'Contemporary Japanese Style'. I now understand the reason why Mr. Kanayama offered me the opportunity to create this work.

I hope you enjoy the emotional moment that is realised for the first time when 'space, people, and contemporary art' come together.

Works Data





Single channel video / Full HD video | 17min36sec / Size variable


The image produced on the theme of "memory of the moon through the window" is printed on film. On top of that is placed cracked ice, and it is a work recording how the ice and ink mix. Melting ice makes the image clearer, but at the same time the ink melts with water and the image collapses.

The wall of the triangular roof is regarded as a contemporary light window, and it expresses emotional memories and time to let the moon shine its feelings.





Photography / latex print on fabric| 128×350cm


I taking pictures of dying flowers and plants and printed on fabric.
The objective of the works I express Limited time and existence/preciousness of life and its beauty.





Mixed media / ink-jet print, opaque ink, gold | 30×30cm


This work of photographs of broken glass of clock, reconstructed to bear their intended forms. After printing on paper, I apply gold to fill the cracks made by chance. 

Inorganic industrial products are reborn as one and only organic entities through the production process.

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