Tsubasa Kato

Superstring Secrets

2020 10.1 - 2020 10.31

open: Tue. – Fri.|13:00-19:00 / Sat., Sun.|12:00-18:00
close: Mon

*There will be no opening reception at the gallery.
*The exhibition schedule may change due to the situation with Covid-19, so please check the updated information on our website before your visit.

MUJIN-TO Production is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Tsubasa Kato, “Superstring Secrets.”

The exhibition features his latest project staged in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Kato stayed in Hong Kong for three months from February to May this year to participate in an exhibition* at Tai Kwun Contemporary. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition had been postponed and he could not return to Japan for a while. Kato started the project “Superstring Secrets” in Hong Kong under such circumstances while avoiding direct interaction with people as much as possible.

It had been nearly a year after large-scale protests against the amendment to the “Extradition bill,” which would allow suspects to be handed over to mainland China, that resulted in many arrests. Coincidently, it was also just before the approval of the “National Security Law,” which bans meetings due to the pandemic and prohibits the overturn of the government.

Kato installed a collection box in underground pedestrian tunnels around the town of Hong Kong and asked passers-by to write an answer to the following questions on a sheet of paper and post it in the box:

・Confess your secret
・Confess your true feeling about the group, country, city, workplace, or school to which you belong
・Reveal someone else’s secret

Kato shredded the collected paper with secrets written on into pieces and conducted a performance to braid the strings of paper into a thick rope.

After returning to Japan, Kato set up the box near the venues of Tokyo Olympics, which is postponed to next year, and similarly gathered people’s secrets and held a performance of rope making.

In all times and places, secrets are held by individuals, families, companies, and countries, and are shared in a closed manner. On the other hand, we now have a place to anonymously express our thoughts and opinions on the Internet.

With the development of media, it has become possible to browse and obtain various information, and on the contrary, we have come to know that “something is/was hidden”.
Secrets, whether personal or not, are always inextricably linked to the social conditions of the time. The histories and stories of secrets are hard to come to the light, but they are connected and entangled like groundwater veins, and only their complicated and twisted structure emerges on the surface.

This project focuses on individual secrets, the “psychological distance” created by each secret, and the “physical distance” created in the current situation with Covid-19. These distances are presented in the collective form of the giant rope created by “tying, joining, bundling, and braiding” the secrets. And through the performance, Kato visualized the problems of history of the secret and division of human relationships.

At the venue, a huge rope and documentary videos and photos of the performance will be presented as a large-scale installation. The videos are to be viewed while “socially distancing” from each other and a collection box to post the secret will be set up at the venue which allows the visitors to participate in or being spontaneously involved in the exhibition.

“Superstring Secrets” is an ongoing project. Kato plans to continue the project in various places in the world (currently Singapore and Taiwan are on the list.)
The exhibition unveils the project for the first time with the story of the two cities, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

* The title of the exhibition “They Do Not Understand Each Other” is taken from Kato’s work of the same tile.

 Artist Statement (PDF)