We have been facing a phrase of drastic change in our lives, including the spread and prolonging of coronavirus, climate change, and destabilization of world order and the economy. Under the idea of wanting to look at and express the condition of a more universal human being in this period of transition, Kenji Hirasawa held a solo exhibition on the theme of the “portrait.” Beginning with the premise “if love is quantifiable,” the theme of the exhibition expanded to and considered in more depth the emotions, human existence and memory, and was explored in a variety of mediums and expressive methods that included photography, video, text, sound, light, food, installation, and performance. During the exhibition run there were also performances by MIRA-shindento and Yuki Kobayashi/Ryuichi Ono.
Kenji Hirasawa (b. 1982), while studying at the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio University, acquired the technology of remote sensing employing satellites and began creating artworks using one of the tools in the technology: a thermal imaging camera. He then moved to England to learn photography at the Royal College of Art’s graduate school. His early photographic works of portrait, created by capturing the light emitted internally by organic bodies rather than by natural or artificial light, evoke in the viewers a sense of wonder and awe at the life phenomenon itself. Hirasawa’s well-known “Celebrities” series, in which he photographed the wax figures of living celebrities with a thermographic camera, paradoxically raises questions about the boundary between life and non-life. After the death of his girlfriend, Hirasawa became interested in more dynamic expressions and emotions, expanding his subject matter to include animals and butoh, and actively adopting new mediums and technologies to broaden the scope of his creative activities.
BUoY, Adachi City, Tokyo