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 Never Forever 

I follow two very different processes in creating my artwork. In one approach I have very clear picture of what I want to create before I make it, and I work with a planned process. In the other way, I allow the process to play itself out and emerge as a series of unpredictable accidents and outcomes. For example, in my "Miyata Jiro" project, my main focus was not the performance itself but the reactions of the audience and unpredictable happenings. Or with "Made in Sumida", I created a collaboration project with family-run-factories, allowing casual conferences, visits, and meetings to lead the project. With "Never Forever", a museum offered me space for three months to use like a studio. This square space had three white walls and one glass wall facing the corridor. The audience could watch an artist as if the artist as an attraction at the zoo.  But in this project, suddenly the role was flipped; the audience became an artist in the museum.


In Japanese language, “viewing art” is called "kan-shou." And “interruption” is also called "kan-shou" -- the same pronunciation but with a different Chinese character.  I played the word, allowed the audience to interrupt my work instead of just viewing it. I prepared tons of soft oil clay in the space, a material that never hardens or dries out, so you can change the shape endlessly. Anybody could come into the space and make changes to the clay, even during my absence. Day by day, people walked in and made changes.

Some kids come frequently to protect and fix what they created, while others enjoyed disturbing someone else’s work. The space looked slightly different every day until the end of the project. Nothing stayed forever. This type of work is impossible to save. But while it doesn't physically exist anymore, it may exist still in someone's memory.

Dimension: valuable

Material: non-dry play dough, styrofoam, wood

Fuchu City Art Museum, Tokyo (2004)

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