March 2006アーカイブ

An encounter

It is the beginning of the summer time today in Europe. Time flies; I feel I have just set the clock back to the winter time the other day.

By the way, I finally met him! – Mr. T-back Roller Skater, who, I heard, are only around in Amsterdam in the winter. I’ve been wishing to see him the whole winter, and have nearly given up the idea of coming across with him; but finally my dream came true. I saw him roller skating along the street by the zoo.

He was tall and a good skater. Although he was wearing T-back, he gave me an impression that he is not an eccentric. Perhaps, wearing T-back is kind of usual in a professional skating context?
There is no connection between him and the summer time... but I thought it was kind of special that I did come across with him just before the ‘end’ of winter. I was happy.

Gent

I went to Gent today in order to prepare for my solo-exhibition which starts next week. The gallery is located 10 km away from the central Gent, and has a beautiful ample space almost like a museum.

Exhausted, I was half asleep on the train on the way back. A black woman who was sitting next to me was humming softly to herself. It was strange that although it was very noisy on the train and it was a faint hum, I could clearly hear it. It was a strangely haunting melody, kind of sad, as if to induce me to sleep.

OA 17

I am still planning to continue with my OA reports from time to time. Today I’d like to introduce Ryan’s works. He was my roommate last year. He is an American, and a true romanticist. He still visits me from time to time, each time leaving me an interesting episode about him. His installations and sculptures – products of his almost excessive aesthetic sense – amaze me; but at the same time there is something quite diverting about them.

OA17, Ryan Parteka

060325a.jpg
A chair made completely of salt. He uses a shape of the moon for the base of the chair. The moon is an important motif for Ryan, who is trying to create ‘a place which belongs to nowhere.’

060325b.jpg
A side view of the moon chair. The fence posts are in the shape of hands of a clock. According to Ryan, on entering his studio, Ansya Blom (one of the advisers at Rijks) said ‘this is an electric chair!’

060325c.jpg
On the wall there is a clock whose hands look like an hourglass. It moves anti-clockwise; sometimes it stops.

A Rome Trip

I’m home. I just came back from a trip to Rome organized by Rijks. They chose five artists from the participants; and with a professor of history of Rome from University of Amsterdam (he can transform himself into a specialist of various subjects: art history, archaeology, and of different artist related to Rome), we investigated every corner of Rome.

Since early in the morning to late at night, we saw so many things, learned about so many things and talked about so many things. It was such an intense trip; but it was very nice that I could visit Rome with such an excellent guide. Otherwise, I would neither have visited Rome nor have learned so much history of the city. Rome is constructed in layers and each has its political history. I hardly understood any of those when I first visited Rome seven years ago. Now I see that Rome has been the centre of Italy in many ways .

There were lots of posters for the coming election in April. Besides these posters, the cherry and the mimosa are in bloom at once. Through the tourists and the Romans, we threaded our way to the museums and the churches filled with the masterpieces of Caravaggio, or Bernini, to the squares build by Michelangelo, or by Mussolini. It was such an intensive two weeks. I was absolutely full. I cannot live on eating such proper European food every day – I do not particularly want Japanese food, but I just like to have something junky.

By accident, I lost almost all the photos... but I think I will be able to paste a few later on.

Rembrandt and Caravaggio

Since last week, there is a special exhibition on Caravaggio and Rembrandt in Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This exhibition presents their paintings (about 20 each) in pairs. I went to see it today with eager anticipation.
‘Both painters paint iconic motifs with strong shading; their works are characteristically theatrical. Due to their common characteristics, Rembrandt is called ‘the Caravaggio of the North,’ Caravaggio ‘the Rembrandt of the South’ (really? – according to the note at the exhibition). This is the prompt behind this ‘collaborative’ exhibition.

There must be pros and cons about the pairing of paintings, but I quite enjoyed it. The pair made me see the difference between them; Caravaggio’s paintings are graphically strong, while Rembrandt’s paintings seem to deal with ‘uncertainty’ in the motifs (something like an idea of age, space, or time). For me, it was a good opportunity to think ‘What are the painters trying to capture with paint?’

I’d like to introduce some pairs which I enjoyed. In this pair, while both Caravaggio and Rembrandt stick with their own technique, the characteristic of each painter seems to have switched.
(Sorry, no image of Caravaggio’s work -- the one in which Jesus is talking to his disciples at the table)

This is my favourite pair.
(Sorry, no image of Rembrandt’s work this time – the one in which a baby is kidnapped by a hawk, and... peeing)

Iwan van’t Spijker

There were lots of opening receptions of my friends’ exhibitions over the weekend. Yesterday, I went to the opening of Iwan’s solo exhibition which was in Aschenbach & Hofland galleries (Amsterdam).

Iwan is a very special painter for me. His paintings always make me feel glad of the fact that I met him.
http://www.artpointer.com/xs2art/

For a post-post-party party, we went to a gay bar. I was thinking, ‘everyone here must have seen Brokeback Mountain already...’ (I am traumatised by my previous experience). The way people’s eyes meet is different in a gay bar. The people here are very open. I really enjoyed. Maurice was in danger on his way home.

An ‘Attempt’ at Brokeback Mountain

I went to see Maurice (he used to be a gallerist). It’s been a while since I saw him last. He was fine. He said since he had quit his job as a gallerist, his life became healthier. He drinks less and has lost seven kilos. His new job sounds like a quite busy one, though.
He very strongly recommended me the film Brokeback Mountain. According to him, it is set in America in the 1960s, in the vast wilderness in Wyoming, and it is about a gay cowboy couple. So I went to see it, expecting something like American Yaji-Kita (a comic by Shiriagari Kotobuki).

B-U-T, I hardly understood what they are saying because of their thick Wyoming accent (the subtitle was in Dutch). All I understood by just following the images was that it is a sad love story more like Romeo and Juliet than Yaji-Kita, about the emotional struggle against the traditional way of thinking.

The images of the last scenes were strong enough for me to understand the sadness of their love story. But later, when I was talking to Maurice, I found out that I missed quite a few important details. ‘I see... I didn’t know that...!’ So, my ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was not quite the true Brokeback Mountain... but anyway, I heard that it will be on in Japan soon. Please check it out. (If it is on TV, can someone please record it for me? And ‘Byakuya-ko,’ the TV drama too, please?)

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