“MOT Satellite” is a serial project that was inspired by the idea to connect with the area that immediately surrounds the museum, with the aim to unearth the hidden charms of the city. Since 2017, the program has been implemented four times on four different themes – “By the deep rivers,” “Connecting Scapes,” “To become a narrative” and “Wandering, Mapping” – at the museum and locations across the Kiyosumi-shirakawa area. At this fifth and final installment, titled “High Five – Our Envisioned Voices,” two pairs of artists show their works at two public spaces inside the museum.
The human society is divided in invisible ways, according to conflicting doctrines, allegations, and various other factors. While the current pandemic has emphasized and accelerated this division, the need to overcome the difficult situation has also inspired creative new ideas and attitudes of solidarity. “High Five” is what we do when we are happy or have accomplished something, and want to share that joy with others. “Our Envisioned Voices” refers to our thoughts and feelings about people, things and occurrences that we encounter in daily life, which we share/exchange in a similar “high-five” kind of style with other people. The first step in this chain of interactions is certainly to listen to the “envisioned voices” of others, that are different from our own.
For this exhibition, two pairs of artists created new works with a focus on “our envisioned voices,” in the museum’s immediate environment. Tomoko Aso and Akiko Takeuchi, together operating under the name Wataridori Keikaku, captured the most impressive sceneries and experiences made while traveling around Kiyosumi-shirakawa and the greater Fukagawa area, in formats as varied as karuta (Japanese playing cards), shiori (leaflets), paintings, pottery and video works. The respective places that are featured on the playing cards are also marked on a map put up at several locations in and around the museum, which creates a loose connection between the museum and the area around it. Takuya Takahashi + Shinya Matsuyama focus on the culture that revolves around the relationship between humans and water, and on individual personal stories, based on examinations of the Onagi River that runs through Kiyosumi-shirakawa. Through the multi-media installation that is shown here, they attempt to rouse the viewer’s memories and sensations.
These diverse and polyphonic works are installed within the coming and going of a wide variety of visitors at public spaces inside the museum, as artificial projections of aspects of the surrounding city. A visit will be an opportunity for listening to the artists’, the local people’s, and also one’s own “envisioned voices” both in and outside the museum, and thereby encounter a variety of new and unfamiliar ideas and perceptions.
Wataridori Keikaku (Tomoko Aso and Akiko Takeuchi)
Wataridori Keikaku is the name that painters Tomoko Aso and Akiko Takeuchi use for their projects in which, just like migratory birds (wataridori) traveling to different places in pursuit of warmth and food, they go on journeys in search of subjects and exhibition spaces. At each of their destinations, Wataridori Keikaku create and exhibit works inspired by, and in accordance with, the respective locations and exhibition venues. This time they traveled around the Fukagawa area including Kiyosumi-shirakawa, where the MOT is located, and captured the most impressive sceneries and experience made along the way, in a number of different artworks. Items on display here include “Hand-colored Journey Postcards,” and ”Hand-colored Fukagawa Journey Karuta” with pictures based on illustrations on the former, as well as several paintings, ceramic works and video pieces. In addition, put up in and around the museum are ”Fukagawa Journey Leaflets by Wataridori Keikaku” with maps on which the artists indicate the various spots that inspired the respective works. This encourages visitors to view artworks at the museum, and then step out into the streets to examine the places that inspired them. Following in the artists’ footsteps using these journey leaflets as guides, visitors will enjoy discovering the city from a fresh new perspective. At the Information corner in the museum’s basement, a new installation work based on playing cards is on display, along with a selection of hand-colored postcards, and a map tracing Wataridori Keikaku’s creative journeys of the past twelve years.
Takuya Takahashi + Shinya Matsuyama
Musician Takuya Takahashi and designer/engineer Shinya Matsuyama examined the basin of the Onagi River that runs through Kiyosumi-shirakawa, and created a work themed around the age-old relationship and culture that connects the water network in the Fukagawa area with the local people. The artists collected images and personal stories, which they visually and acoustically translated into a multi-media installation titled “When the lightning dreams of the boat and the catfish.” Fragments of these images and stories are projected as combinations of video, photo, graphic and sound elements, onto two monitors installed next to each other. At the same time, sensors detect visitors’ movements around a bench and a water feature, from which they generate new, unique images that are incorporated in real-time into the original images on the screens. As a result, the “narratives” of visitors and locals blend together in many different ways, continuously creating new ones that fill the exhibition space with visuals and sounds, to stimulate people’s subconscious senses, and extract individual memories and emotions. Exhibited in the Information corner in the museum’s basement is another new work, ”Subtracting Narrative.”
Wataridori Keikaku is the name of a project in which painters Tomoko Aso and Akiko Takeuchi travel around the country in search of subjects and exhibition spaces, and eventually create and present works inspired by, and in accordance with, the respective locations and exhibition venues. From their first exhibition in 2009, up to 2021, Wataridori Keikaku realized exhibitions and workshops at about thirty locations across Japan. In addition to their participation in group exhibitions and solo shows, both artists are actively engaging also in their own individual creative work, making picture books (Aso) and original textile drawings (Takeuchi).
Painter, born 1982 in Saitama. Graduated in Painting from Tokyo Zokei University’s Department of Fine Arts. Captures ordinary yet somehow special, memorable scenes of daily life, in uniquely composed and textured paintings that make the viewer feel as if being part of the respective painted scenery.
Painter, born 1983 in Kumamoto. Graduated in Painting from Tokyo Zokei University’s Department of Fine Arts. Creates pictures characterized by a poetic mood and freewheeling compositions of shapes and colors, for which processing all things through her own filter, and facing the canvas with a neutral mindset without thinking, are essential aspects of her artistic approach.
■Takuya Takahashi + Shinya Matsuyama
Previous works include ”MOMENTum” (exhibited as a work by the creative collective “KAPPES” in 2014 at Salone del Mobile.Milano), and the installation “Expose” (2015) made as a meditation space for residents of a rental apartment building. Takahashi and Matsuyama also collaborated on the sound direction for ”JOMON: 10,000 Years of Prehistoric Art in Japan” (2018, Tokyo National Museum).
Composer, music producer, born 1975 in Saitama. Head of Oyster Inc. Has been creating works beyond the boundaries of existing formats, based on the idea of music as a circuit for communicating and translating between nature and the human heart and mind, comparable to dreams and magic.
Designer, engineer, born 1978 in Toyama. Head of siro Inc. Initially studied engineering, and graduated from Tama Art University’s Graduate School of Art and Design. Has realized numerous works in collaboration with creators from other fields, while exploring ways of bidirectional artistic expression through analogue textures created using digital technologies.
*Program content is subject to change.
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Saturday, January 9 Wednesday, January 13 – Sunday, February 14 2021, 10:00 – 18:00