Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Indefinable Cities → Japan : Day 7

The second of 5 exhibitions opened tonight at Art Takahashi - a purpose built house/artist studio/gallery in the rural city of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture - a couple of hours drive north of Osaka.

Purposely chosen as the site for Ben Cove's "Look-See" for its architectural singularity, Art Takahashi proved a challenging but ultimately ideal space for Ben's work. The plasterboard dry walls struggled to hold some of Look-See's heavy individual components, but working well with Koh-san and Mio-san we worked around the few problems, finishing about 5 minutes before we opened.

This is a familiar right-to-the-wire experience at AirSpace, and from talking to others in the artist-led world, in lots of spaces. But I think we caused a little consternation for Takahashi's owners as we neared the 6 o'clock opening, and a bit of a(be)musement for some of those early visitors who got the bonus of watching us finish the install.

Once open, again, the night was great - really busy - over 40 guests in a small space - really engaging with the work - Koh and I did our now smooth double act, presenting AirSpace, the Indefinable Cities project and Ben's work - and we got a sense that the audience were fascinated with Ben's architectural, modernist-anti-modernist thing. Amazing food and drinks - including some Japanese red wine from the local area - really helped after a couple of full-on install days.


Look-See runs at Art Takahashi for the next three weeks, alongside (or opposite actually) a work by Gallery owner Ryo Takahashi. The large scale wet charcoal and ink drawing, depicting a mountain-scape full of a myriad of natural components, was a muse, for Ryo, on the journey from birth to death.

The two works had quite an odd relationship, almost sitting in opposition to each other, completely different in scope and form and material - a comment on the differing arts practices of two different arts cultures.

A late night drive back to Ashiya, via Kyoto to drop IC artist Ayaka off, and tomorrow onwards and westwards to coastal Uno, Okayama for Hirofumi Suzuki's Diary of a Stranger and Onomichi in Hiroshimaya Prefecture on Friday for Emily Speed's Garbuglio/Tangle.

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