My exhibition A DROP BECOMES THE OCEAN is live now at MeiPam 2 Gallery on Shodoshima – it was lots of work getting everything ready but I am very happy with how it looks/functions and as with many creative acts, making it ‘real’ has already had lots of beneficial effects.
The day I got the prints made in Osaka I was like a small child on Xmas morning: practically jumping up & down excitedly at the counter as each print was produced. Same thing happened when the prints arrived from the framer… But installing the prints & the video works in the gallery was an even greater evolutionary stage for me.
If you happen to live in or visit Japan and are considering a trip to Shodoshima, first stop is MeiPam 1 Gallery:
Directly across the street is the excellent MeiPam cafe – highly reccomended for a coffee, lunch or an oishi raspberry soda!
The MeiPam collective actually consist of four galleries and the cafe…
Up the street one block and around the corner is MeiPam 2 Gallery
Part of the excellent MeiPam ethos is repurposing old buildings, and MeiPam 02 is based on an old Shoyu-ya and rice warehouse which has been stripped to reveal the beautiful beams and sandstone walls. Apart from exhibitions MeiPam02 has also been used as a performance venue, and stepping through the door into the large space is a visual delight – it was such a pleasure to devise and install high resolution visual work there!
The work in my exhibition was created both on Shodoshima during my artists residency last year, and during my artists residency in Little Huia, New Zealand as well as subsequent work. But as I explained in my talk at the opening, all of my work is deeply influenced by my time spent on Shodoshima – it was such a pleasure to spend months of my life focused solely on personal work, and the ramifications of that time flow through everything I have done since and will do in future….
On the big screen/video projector are four works:
– ONE BILLION HEARTBEATS – 11’23″
– BIRDSONG PRELUDES: UGUISU – 3’49
– A DROP BECOMES THE OCEAN -5’14”
– KAITARIKIHI GRAINS – 2’46”
On one TV set EPHEMERAL ISLANDS – 9’25″ is looping
On the other TV set BIRDSONG PRELUDES is looping:
– BIRDSONG PRELUDE: BELLBIRD – 1’37″
– BIRDSONG PRELUDE: TUI – 4’30″
– BIRDSONG PRELUDE: KOKAKO – 3’42″
– BIRDSONG PRELUDE: RURU – 3’31″
The remainder of the space features eight black & white prints: NEAR SILENCE
Two final thoughts
First, huge thanks to all of the MeiPam team. None of my work is for sale, this is purely an experiential exhibition and I greatly appreciate the opportunity for the work to be seen and enjoyed.
Secondly, in any form of creative endeavour there is profound benefit in completing the cycle: of creating, finishing & releasing work. I caught up with a friend of mine in Osaka yesterday who is in the early stages of publishing a book of his fantastic photos and we had arrived at the same realisation: as people who create work digitally and publish it online, it had been an unexpected joy and life altering process to see our own work transcend the digital world and become real. In hindsight this is slightly absurd, but creating the final works for this exhibition was literally the first time I have had any of my photos printed! But it has a similar effect as working away on a film for months and then attending a screening, or writing, recording & producing an album & suddenly having an actual album in your hands. I think it will be my mantra for 2015 & perhaps ever more: MAKE IT REAL!
all I want for Xmas is… an 80 inch gong! (thank Richard)
▶ hear yourself happy?
▶ beautiful tech: mechanical calculators dissected
▶ fascinating insight into the reggae scene in Japan
▶ this is a great listen & quite funny – John Cage Q&A mp3 (thanks Greg)
▶ “_______ makes you more alive to your surroundings and, since the main ingredient of living, though you might not think so to look at most human beings, is to be alive, this is quite a worthwhile by-product”
▶ cats with eyes, of course!
▶ How to properly maintain your ears and earwax – comments worth a read too eg “I am an audiologist and I’ve seen my fair share of impacted wax due to Q-tips and even a few injuries… The best thing to do is to leave your ears alone.” YMMV
by Daniel Sierra – more info here
▶ “Some of the most interesting sounds come from the most boring sources, like there was a tumble dryer backstage in Boston, it was making this very rhythmic, rolling sound. I used it as the basis of a loop of a kick drum. I don’t subscribe to the idea of recording things because they’re an interesting thing to record, rather that they’re an interesting sound.” – guess the artist
▶ now this is how to cook!
whoever chose that music at the end made me LOL!
Just got back from a SUPER busy 3 day weekend:
first to Shodoshima where the above photo was taken. Finished installing exhibition at MeiPam2, attended opening & made a speech about sound, time, collaborating with nature & making new works.. then visited beach in photo, then to Haikyo Peacock Farm, then very slightly dinged our rental car while getting lost trying to find an infamous cafe, met at least six super helpful policemen who provided help & verified incident for insurance purposes, then caught ferry to Mitzushima Port, went for tour of very large scale ship factory (handy fact: it takes 2.5 years to make a ship!) then recorded some seriously beautiful ambiences aka spatial clang fest, from exterior perimeter of ship factory… then a couple of chemical factory ambiences & then drove 3 hours back to Osaka – love those expressways, so many tunnels!!
Food. drinks. sleep. in that order…. more photos/sounds to come..
We visited a couple of temples in Kyoto on Sunday, to see the changing autumn leaves… and we weren’t alone – it felt a bit like attending a sports event (not that I have actually done that in decades) but it provided a lovely insight into how much reverence Japanese people have for such things – the trains were all super busy getting to & from Kyoto, and each temple had long queues… Funniest moment was visiting Genkoan – this temple has a beautiful garden which at one point can be viewed through two windows, one circular and the other square. Apparently the square one is called “The window of hesitation” and the round one “the window of enlightenment” and there was a queue to sit and experience the views, which equated to rows of people sitting on the tatami floor, and as each group of people finished their viewing and exited sideways the whole room of sitting people would shuffle forward… like a human conveyor belt to enlightenment?
As with some other iconic temples I’ve visited no photos were allowed inside, but you were allowed to buy postcards of photos – was it actually an issue or simply fundraising? Wish they would offer an option to ‘take your own photo for Y300′ rather than the buy generic postcards…
As dusk fell we headed to another temple, which was beautifully lit up and again being enjoyed by large crowds of people!
“yes, I can confirm the gaijin is lost, over” (lovely bokeh thanks to Zeiss ZE 50mm F1.4 lens on my 5D)
So nice to have a walk through the quiet back streets of Kyoto..
I am very happy to announce that next weekend an exhibition of my film, sound/music and photographic works will open at MeiPam Gallery on Shodoshima, Japan!
Last week and this coming week I am completing the finishing touches and installing: yesterday I had an exciting & frankly exhilarating experience having prints made, which are now with the framer.
The exhibition runs from Saturday 29th November through until Sunday 8th March 2015, so for anyone living in or visting Japan I highly reccomend you schedule a weekend excursion to Shodoshima – all of Setouichi is such a beautiful peaceful place, it is my favourite part of Japan! But Shodoshima has many special treats of its own, for the intrepid explorer.
Best of all for me, the exhibition means I get to revisit Shodoshima twice: once early next week to install and again for the opening next weekend where I will be doing a talk and presenting some un/sound ideas before exclaiming ‘kampai’ and indulging in a few celebratory drinks!