It is an excerpt documenting the workshops of Graphic Movements, an exercise of humanity, in South Africa, with a family in Cape Town, children at a primary school, and viewers at an art institution in Johannesburg.
Encountering the philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’, and associating it with the form of a Chinese character for human ‘人’, I started to evolve workshops of a basic movement of contemporary dance, where two people stand back-to-back supporting and leaning on each other in South Africa, inspired by the dichotomies and affinities based on humanity I experienced. It uses workshop as an art form, and its documentation becomes the backdrop for the succeeding workshops.
Graphic Movements, 2019, workshops + installation
(metal grid structure [mobile art rack], light-weight cotton cloth, projector)
projection surface: 255x158 cm
part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption: Verbal Acts & Graphic Movements
at the Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
It is an excerpt from the documentation of a workshop, which took place at the group show 'Daisy Chain' at TOKAS Hongo in Tokyo.
The workshop used the installation 'Graphic Movements (Lean on Me)' as its backdrop and prop, where the documentation of previous workshops in South Africa was projected on three stripes of phosphorescent PVC sheet hang in the middle of the exhibition room to divide the space, with a piece of artificial turf placed below at the right angle, which served as a platform for the workshop.
I conducted the workshop from a remote island in Sweden, connected to TOKAS Hongo via Zoom. The workshop was documented with a fixed camera as well as a handheld camera and a thermal camera by the participants.
The workshop came with variations: refraining from talking and touching directly to reflect the COVID rules, and not allowing the priming to match the timing between the pair and only communicating through the movement of their back muscles to make the exercise more difficult. There was also a new attempt, to stand up alone without using hands, during which other participants gave advices and cheers to the one whose bottom stuck to the floor.
I invited two people, who had never known each other and whose backgrounds evoke the intricate international relations, to write words in their languages on the window: One writes a word that she translates from the word the other has written, and while one writes, the other traces, as R-L in Södertälje. They exchanges the roles to lead and follow alternately. I recorded their verbal exchange. At the presentation, the recording was replayed with the loudspeakers by the window, and another clean window was prepared for the public to experience the jam themselves.
Duet of Lines (side by side), 2019
workshop + trace installation (pigment marker on glass, sound recording playback on stereo loudspeakers)
sound: ca. 40 min
at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria
2020 (excerpt, 2 min 37 sec, with transcript of Kansai dialect & English translation)
It is a vocal trace of an attempt to reconcile with my distant 'mother tongue' after the double experience of linguistic estrangement - having my regional dialect 'corrected' as a child and my relocation overseas. Some may find awkwardness in vocabulary, expressions, and intonation. I repeated it over and over in an attempt to find 'how it should sound', and seven recordings were extracted and played back. When presented at TOKAS Hongo in Tokyo, the Japanese transcript and English translation were supplied separately for those with difficulties accessing the work.
A voice in Kansai dialect, pronouncing a series of poetic words that depart from a gliding vowel 'o-u'. It amplifies to connect distant places, people, events in the world, including English 'owe' as inter-lingual homonym, and the coincidental match of an expression in the dialect with a Zulu expression with prefix 'owu', reflecting social divisions, globalisation, work-life balance, political corruption, etc. and relating loosely with other exhibited works at TOKAS Hongo to become their background storyteller.
act +sound installation (podium placed upside-down, loudspeakers)
sound: approx. 2 min 30 sec per round, 15 min 10 sec in total
at TOKAS Hongo, Tokyo, Japan
It is an excerpt documenting the workshop where I invited two South African artists, whose interests and personality resonate with mine in a respective way, asking to give me a new name through discussion.
It is one of the ‘essays’ of my experiment in verbal acts, playing with my phonological affinity with the local languages (Bantu languages and Afrikaans) in South Africa, being liberated from the literal and logical.
Finding new name was not the actual goal: What I aimed was to create a discussion with three people with different backgrounds, where we present our own perspectives on names, name-giving traditions and rituals, and trying to find the meeting point where all can agree.
Verbal Acts (Name-Giving Trilogue), 2019, workshop + mixed-media installation (calligraphy, video, notebook, coin, fabric, plants, etc.)
discussion: ca. 60 min
part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption; Verbal Acts & Graphic Movements
It is an interview made by Clémence de Montgolfier for the BCC channel episode 5 'Empathy, Knowledge, and (self-)government' about my practice where I talk about the social intervention Pure Diffusion (2015-6) in the first half, telling its concept and process, showing the sketches and documentation. (-03.00)
Pure Diffusion was durational process performance, intended as an antidote for Parisian 'bad atmosphere': polluted air and people in a bad mood. Propagating 2 air-purifying plants as ‘mothers’ into more than 80 plants in 9 months, I gave them away to the public and the passers-by in the residential area where the project was presented, with a mini-workshop sharing the knowledge on growing plants and air pollution. Afterwards I received some messages from the plant-adopters to report how the plants live and grow with them.
In the latter half of the interview, I talk about my perspective and philosophy upon buying banana, which somehow relates to the concept of After-Ripening & Corruption (2018-), a project around the translations in the life of people on the move.
Audio: English, Subtitle: French ( 日本語字幕オプション有り [ "CC"をクリック ] )