MUJIN-TO Production is pleased to announce Tsubasa Kato’s solo exhibition, “Reach Out.”
This exhibition aims to showcase overall activities of Kato, featuring unreleased works from “Pull and Raise” projects in the past as well as the new works created in Australia and Malaysia with the local communities from the end of 2014 to early 2015.
In Kato’s “Pull and Raise” projects (see following,) what lies beneath is the intersection of the time shared with others, the history of the place, and the emotions of people interacted through the medium of the structure.
In recent years, Kato is working on new projects such as focusing on communication with others = people who live “there” and interaction of the strangers who have spent different times in different places.
Kato would be based in Seattle, U.S.A., starting from this March for next two years with fellowship programme by the Agency of Cultural Affairs in Japan. We hope it helps you to imagine Kato’s new journey through this exhibition, the people he would encounter and the works he’d create in the future as in his projects there is human-relationship in the process of creation.
Also, MUJIN-TO Production is going to have solo presentation of Tsubasa Kato at Art Basel Hong Kong, （https://www.artbasel.com/en/Hong-Kong） which starts on 15th March. If you’d be in Hong Kong during the art fair, please stop by at out booth (1D48). You’d enjoy finding something different from the exhibition such as very unique and special edition boxes of video works.
【Tsubasa Kato’s past activities】
Tsubasa Kato had been making huge wooden structures and pulling down and up by rope with large number of people, documenting them in the form of video and photographs since he was in the college. These projects were initially called “Pull and Down” as pulling down the structure to the ground. Afterwards, Kato named the projects to pull the structures up as “Pull and Raise,” to clarify the intention of the projects.
In early “Pull and Down” projects’ the structures made were representation of buildings related to his friends and family. Although the participants were mainly people close to him in the beginning, gradually he expanded the scale of project as well as the relationship to the participants.
Turning point was the project in Osaka, "H.H.H.A (Home, Hotels, Hideyoshi, Away)" *1 in 2011. It was the first project for him to hold at an unknown place (away) from close relationship (home). He chose local staff’s residences as the models of the structures. It was the project, which made Kato to realize without touching the reality of people living there it wouldn’t become the collaboration in the true sense.*1
Great East Japan Earthquake had occurred just a day before the performing day of the project. The collaborative experience in Osaka and the wild disaster made him re-consider the meaning and the concept of his own projects. After these events, his project would be mainly called “Pull and Raise” instead of “Pull and Down.”
Kato has spent some time in Iwaki city, Fukushima, working as a volunteer deconstructing the affected buildings and at soup kitchen. He established the idea of "the Light Houses – 11.3 project (2011)"*2 through conversations with local residents. He’s reconstructed the lighthouse which was the landmark of the area from the rubbles of demolished buildings and “Pull and Raise” it with the local residents.
Kato had acquired new vision through the projects, which took a long time to establish and building together with the locals of unfamiliar places. He then shifted his eyes to abroad and went on travelling in the U.S.A. for a few months from the end of 2012. He drove all over the U.S.A., and started photograph series "Abandon"*3, in which he pulls abandoned houses and cars by himself at deserted places he had found on the way.*3
In the same summer, he re-visited the Native Americans he has encountered on the trip. He succeeded to have two projects with them. One project is to “Pull and Raise” the movable house ‘Tepee’, their cultural symbol (Tepee Rocket, 2013). The other project is to “Pull and Down” the ‘Boarding school’ (Boarding school, 2013), where cultural assimilation took place and still remains as negative memory for the Native Americans.
“Pull and Raise” projects are not only about joining the force to overcome the difficulty, feeling catastrophe and sense of accomplishment but evolved into something that reflect social issues as well as will, wish and emotions of people involved in the projects.
Recently he is developing new series such as "They do not understand each other"(2014)*4, which features two people, who speaks different languages, tried to communicate with each other and drove a sign board with the information of the spot into where they’re standing and "“I”dentity"(2015,) a video work in search of conscience which various people hold for the community.*4