Scene sculpture

I am you, and you are me

2021

Awakening the Prehistoric Self

Takakazu Takeuchi blows soap …

I am you, and you are me

Takeuchi’s works should not b…

  • Awakening the Prehistoric Self

    Takakazu Takeuchi blows soap bubbles at various places across the world and photographs the sceneries reflected on the surface of the bubbles. They range from nostalgic Japanese pastoral scenes to German churches surrounded by trees. In London, where I first met him in 2010, I remember helping him blow bubbles in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts and being warned by a security guard. The reflected view of each place distorted by the membrane of the soap bubbles is captured and preserved in the photograph. Vivid colours are woven from the light bouncing on the surface of the soap bubbles to the light that refracts and enters the inside of the membrane which is then reflected on the other side. Takeuchi once said, “What we see is always on the surface, covered with a membrane of meaning, and thus we cannot see the substance”. This made me overlap the multiple reflections of the soap bubbles on the hollow and thin membrane with a society that seems to be made up of papier-mâché, decorated with beautiful lies. As I live my life alternating hope and despair with the unfounded information overflowing on the Internet and in mass media, I somehow lose track of where I stand.

    Since presenting the installation titled “I Could See Well in Ancient Times” in 2015, Takeuchi has been incorporating the world of our distant ancestors, which was rooted in hunting and gathering, into the theme of his works. At that time, in order to survive, one had to heighten senses of the whole body to find animals and fruits. When hunting at the risk of their lives, they were expected to not only “see” their prey well, but also cooperate with their fellow hunters in harmony. The food they brought back was equally distributed within the tribe, so there were few conflicts of authority. In ancient times, I would have been able to see the world much more innocently than I do now and would have been able to communicate with my peers without relying on words. That’s how I mythologize myself in ancient times.

    I don’t think that Takeuchi’s works encourage us to return to primitive times. However, I do think that through his works, he is seeking the physical senses and sensibilities of ancient humankind, which we have lost due to the benefits of civilized society. In his co-authored book, An Encouragement of Retrogression, martial artist Hidetoshi Mitsuoka describes our excessive dependence on modernized technology as a “crazy situation”, as stated below.

    There is a sensitivity that makes us feel that this crazy situation is normal. That is why, if we want to question the root of life, we have no choice but to try to ‘retrogress’ in the coming age and look deeply into our own senses.
    (Issho Fujita and Hidetoshi Mitsuoka, “An Encouragement of Retrogression”, Shobunsha, 2017, p. 6.)

    Like Mitsuoka, Takeuchi may see various aspects of modern society as a crazy situation and practice his own kind of ‘retrogression’ with an eye toward prehistoric times.

    In addition, Takeuchi’s previous work has focused on time as a circle, as opposed to the linear concept of time in daily life; he has been developing works using soil, leaves, and plants which remind us of circulation since the 1990s. Moreover, in an attempt to explore deeper into time and the world of the unconscious, specifically on the theme of sleep, he has taken photographs of his own sleeping postures with long exposure and has created a sleeping person using soil. These works capturing the world distant from the linear time of everyday life seemingly reflect the sense of discomfort that Takeuchi felt while working in Germany after graduating from art school in Japan. It was his criticism of Western modernity, where verbal definitions are absolute.

    However, in the writings of Bruno Latour and Robert McFarlane, we are recently hearing interest in the earth and underground world from art professionals living in Europe. Through numerous discussions and criticisms about modernity, which is twisted like the multiple reflections of soap bubbles, we may possibly be in the pursuit of deepening our understanding of time and the meaning of life. Now that society has been shaken by the Corona virus and death has become much closer, what is the meaning of life? To explore this question, one approach is to confront the soil and the underground world and conceptually touch the depth of time. We can also refer back to the time before the first person ‘I’ was declared in the Medieval Ages and the Modern Age, and even further back to the Agricultural Age, when the Chinese character ‘I (私)’, originally meaning ‘private farmer’, was born. The prehistoric ‘I’ who lived in the Paleolithic era, in a hunting and gathering society, may give us some input to reconsider our humanity.

    Assistant Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Hayato Fujioka

  • I am you, and you are me

    Takeuchi’s works should not be regarded as a mere anti-modern praise of the indigenous. For the premise of his expression is not modern, or rather the concept of modernity itself has reached its limit. The earth can no longer be described as mother earth, the awe-inspiring nature. Simply put, the context behind the works have completely changed; the living environment of humans is no longer the same as before. Therefore, when viewing these works, we should not feel as if we are being taken back to the ancient hunter-gatherer life, nor evoke nostalgia of innocent primitivism. Moreover, it is not an encouragement of the increase in aesthetic value of the shrewd postmodern (market).

    By contemplating and meditating on his works, we need to fundamentally rethink the civilization of the modern Anthropocene, where the fatal damage of the biosphere (which the SDGs cannot catch up with) is underway.

    Art Critic  Kentaro Ichihara

Scene sculpture

I am you, and you are me

2021

開催場所
KOMAGOME1-14cas (Tokyo / Japan)
material

earth / iron / ceramic / glass / wood / leather / feather / video / photo and etc

Out of Ancient Earth

2019

Scene sculpture

Out of Ancient Earth

2019

material

earth/glass/wood/ink/paper/leather/feather/pressed flower/video/mirror and ect

Operation the cave

2019

Scene sculpture

Operation the cave

2019

material

earth/stone/stuffed specimen/artificial flower/leaf and ect

size

330X250X240cm

Drift in the Air

2017

Spricht man in der deutschen Sprache von „Leere“ oder „Leerheit“, s…

  • Spricht man in der deutschen Sprache von „Leere“ oder „Leerheit“, so stellen sich eher negative Assoziationen ein. Fühle ich mich völlig „entleert“, so ist dies ein sicheres Anzeichen für den Burnout. In der europäischen Geistesgeschichte ist ein Horror Vacui festzustellen, der sich beispielsweise in der bildenden Kunst darin ausgedrückt hat, keine leeren Stellen auf dem Bild zu lassen. Erst im 20. Jahrhundert werden europäische Künstlerinnen und Künstler unter dem Einfluss asiatischer Malerei mutiger, Flächen auf dem Bild frei zu lassen, so dass die Leere eine neue Bedeutung erhält. Vor allem in der alten Landschaftsmalerei in Ostasien ist die leere Fläche auf dem Bild seit alters sehr wichtig. In vielen Bildern scheint aus der Leere die Form hervorzuwachsen, so dass Form und Leere im lebendigen Wechselspiel stehen.

    Vor allem die buddhistische Tradition hat diesen Zusammenhang in vielen Texten entwickelt. Einer der wichtigsten Sätze stammt aus dem sogenannten Herz-Sutra: „Form ist zugleich Leere, Leere ist zugleich Form“ (jap. shiki zoku ze ku, ku zoku ze shiki). Nach diesem Satz gilt es einzusehen, dass jede einzelne Form nur in Abhängigkeit mit allem anderen entsteht und die Form nur für sich gesehen „leer“ ist. Diese Leerheit ist aber nicht negativ, sondern der grundlose Grund der eigenen Existenz, die immer nur in ständiger Verwandlung aus den Beziehungen entsteht.

    >Das Zeichen, dass im Chinesischen für „Form“ verwendet wird, kann auch mit „Farbe“ übersetzt werden. Zieht man dies in Betracht, so ist der Titel der Ausstellung von Takeuchi eine direkte Anspielung auf das Herz-Sutra. In den Seifenblasenbildern hält er Momente des Entstehens in Abhängigkeit fest, die in höchster Weise fragil und vergänglich sind. In einem Augenblick spiegelt sich die Welt in einer Seifenblase, die bereits im nächsten Augenblick wieder platzt. Dies erinnert auch an die Sandmandalas des tibetischen Buddhismus, die über Tage in konzentrierter Arbeit mit farbigem Sand gestaltet und dann in einer Zeremonie wieder zerstört werden. Hierin ist eine Übung zu sehen, die den Zusammenhang von Formen/Farben und Leerheit immer wieder neu mit den Vollzügen unserer eigenen Existenz verbindet. Hier entsteht ein Wissen um die eigene Vergänglichkeit, das den Tod nicht wegschiebt, sondern in das eigene Leben integriert. So heißt es bei Kamo no Chomei, einen japanischen Literaten aus dem 12. Jahrhundert, im Hojoki: „Unaufhörlich strömt der Fluss dahin, gleichwohl ist sein Wasser nie dasselbe. Schaumblasen tanzen an seichten Stellen, vergehen und bilden sich wieder – von großer Dauer sind sie allemal nicht.“ Wir selbst sind diese Schaumblasen, die inmitten der Leere entstehen und nur, wenn wir uns mit dieser Leere verbinden, entgehen wir dem Horror Vacui.

    Eine andere Skulptur von Takeuchi deutet an, wie wir wahrnehmen können, um uns mit der Leere zu verbinden. Eine Skulptur, in der das Gesicht fehlt, zeigt, wie sich alles, was uns begegnet, ohne Verarbeitung durch eine kognitive Instanz, in unseren Körper dringt. Es ist als würde das Gesicht zur Luft- und Speiseröhre. So wie es beim Atmen einen ständigen Umschlang von Außen und Innen gibt, so scheint die Skulptur eingelassen in diesen direkten Wechselbezug. Leer von allen Konzepten atmet die Skulptur die Wirklichkeit ein und aus. Im ständigen hin- und herschwingen verschwimmen die Grenzen von Subjekt und Objekt sowie von Innen und Außen.

    Dies zeigt auch das Motiv des Vogels, dass für eine Befreiung von festen Strukturen steht und sich gerade im Flug des Vogels zeigt. Bereitet ein Vogel seine Flügel aus, so legen sich diesen in den Wind und können so auf kleinste Veränderungen reagieren. Der Flug des Vogels variiert die „Farbenspiele der Leerheit“ zu „Windspielen der Leerheit“. Auch hier ist es die Erfahrung des Entstehens in Abhängigkeit, die uns wieder in den grundlosen Grund unserer eigenen Existenz führt.

    Rolf Elberfeld (Universität Hildesheim)

Scene sculpture

Drift in the Air

2017

material

wood/plaster/japanese paper/photo/acrylic glass/motor/resin/ceramic/stuffed specimen/feather/ink/acrylic color/india ink

size

1270X2200cm

I will fly

2017

Scene sculpture

I will fly

2017

material

duck / feather of duck / color / iron / wood / artificial turf / drawing

Primitive man,I can see better

2015

  • Primitive man, I get it

  • Bulls eye

  • Primitive man, I am sharper

Scene sculpture

Primitive man,I can see better

2015

material

soil / wood / stone / vine / plant / artificial flower / glass / feather / terra cotta / candle

Only to Wake from this Dream

2014

Scene sculpture

Only to Wake from this Dream

2014

material

terracotta

The Dry Trap

2012

Scene sculpture

The Dry Trap

2012

material

iron, terracotta

The white everyday

2006

Melting Surface

Scene sculpture

The white everyday

2006

Melting Surface

material

wax

size

installation size

Woman and snowflakes

2006

Scene sculpture

Woman and snowflakes

2006

開催場所
Kunstverein Leverkusen Castle Morsbroich e.V. (Germany)
material

wax、acrylic glass

size

installation size

Sculpture

I get you,you get me.

2016

Sculpture

I get you,you get me.

2016

開催場所
Gellery 301 (Seoul / Korea)
material

stuffed specimen, feather, imitation diamond

size

30cmX3mX3.5m

The overloaded dining table

2008

Lions hunt only when hungry but humans crave abundance like the story of Roman vomitoriums.

Sculpture

The overloaded dining table

2008

開催場所
Museum Haus Kasuya (Japan)

Lions hunt only when hungry but humans crave abundance like the story of Roman vomitoriums.

material

porcelain, cloth, table, sound

size

installation size

On four legs

2002

conversation with an empty bucket.

  • EPSON MFP image

Sculpture

On four legs

2002

開催場所
Kunstverein Gelsenkirchen e.V. (Germany)

conversation with an empty bucket.

material

earth, wood, mirror, performance

size

installation size

Surface Reflection

Bubbles (Insatiable Appetite)

2009

Surface Reflection

Bubbles (Insatiable Appetite)

2009

material

photo

Bubbles (Ubiquitpus Consumption)

2009

  • Prada

Surface Reflection

Bubbles (Ubiquitpus Consumption)

2009

material

写真

Bubbles(Tansformed Landscapes)

2009

Surface Reflection

Bubbles(Tansformed Landscapes)

2009

material

photo

BubblesⅢ

2008

Everything that enters our field of vision is nothing but surface;we can not see what is inside.

Rainbow Ball

A sculpture rising from the fr…

  • Rainbow Ball

    A sculpture rising from the fragile tension between its inside and outside, the soap bubble is a tiny cosmos that reflects the outer world enveloping it. Born of a single human breath, it briefly portrays a flickering virtual world in ever-changing colors and then disappears.

    Bathed with light, all things that enter our field of vision sparkle on our retinas. These material phenomena derive from nothing more than a play of conceptual surfaces; there is nothing there for us to grab.

    In such a world, what is it that we truly see? I make art in pursuit of an answer.

    Takakazu Takeuchi

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Surface Reflection

BubblesⅢ

2008

開催場所
Kunstverein Bochum (Germany)

Everything that enters our field of vision is nothing but surface;we can not see what is inside.

material

photo(90cmX90cm), glass

BubblesⅡ

2007

Surface Reflection

BubblesⅡ

2007

開催場所
Seoul Museum of Art (Korea)
material

photo (90cmX90cm)

BubblesⅠ

2006

Surface Reflection

BubblesⅠ

2006

開催場所
Kunstverein Leverkusen Castle Morsbroich e.V. (Germany)
material

photo

Do you see yourself ?

2000

What would the world look like if each lens in our eyes had a different distortion?

What is it that I see?

Surface Reflection

Do you see yourself ?

2000

What would the world look like if each lens in our eyes had a different distortion?

What is it that I see?

material

mirror, resin, paint

size

3.5mX5mX2.5m

In Sleep

Sleeping in the cave

2004

The empty colors that ascend from my eye, nose and mouth during sleep.

  • EPSON MFP image

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In Sleep

Sleeping in the cave

2004

開催場所
artothek Koeln City Museum (Germany)

The empty colors that ascend from my eye, nose and mouth during sleep.

material

porcelain, carpet

size

6mX4.5mX0.38m

Traces of the night – Summer 2003

2003

Meaning and phenomena are tightly bound. In sleep,I return to my past. Here, there is neither language nor meaning.

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In Sleep

Traces of the night – Summer 2003

2003

開催場所
Museum Bochum (Germany)

Meaning and phenomena are tightly bound. In sleep,I return to my past. Here, there is neither language nor meaning.

material

30sheet photo

Dream of the cave

2001

In Sleep

Dream of the cave

2001

開催場所
Kunstraum Dusseldorf
material

cardboard, white tape, photo,mirror,resin

size

4.3mX2mX2.8m

What do you perceive when you sleep?

2000

Liberation from the flesh is like a ship setting sail.

In Sleep

What do you perceive when you sleep?

2000

Liberation from the flesh is like a ship setting sail.

material

water, vinyl, wood, paint

size

2mX2m

Untitled(Pillow and doze)

2000

In Sleep

Untitled(Pillow and doze)

2000

material

resin, earth

size

installation-size

Four billion years of memories

2000

Drool stains on a pillow - Traces of the unconscious.

In Sleep

Four billion years of memories

2000

開催場所
galerie januar (Germany)

Drool stains on a pillow - Traces of the unconscious.

material

lightbox

Earth and sky

1999

In Sleep

Earth and sky

1999

material

earth, metal, photo, glass, chair

size

installation size

Untitled (sleep on grass)

1999

In Sleep

Untitled (sleep on grass)

1999

開催場所
Museum Beginenhof (Belgium)
material

earth,pillow,grass

size

3mX4.5m

Sleep tree

1997

I cut the letters t-r-e-e into leaves and rearranged them to create new words.

Who named the words we use in conversation and thought?

In Sleep

Sleep tree

1997

I cut the letters t-r-e-e into leaves and rearranged them to create new words.

Who named the words we use in conversation and thought?

material

tree, bed, leaf

size

3mX3mX6.5m

BIRTH,MEMORY

1997

While inside my mother's body, I evolved into a person from a single cell. What did I see during this process.

Into sculptures made of earth, I wanted to carve the world "BIRTH" and the word "MEMORY". But since there were other letters carved into the works, these two words were unrecognizable.
When I was born, I had no language.
It is the memory of cells engraved within me.

In Sleep

BIRTH,MEMORY

1997

While inside my mother's body, I evolved into a person from a single cell. What did I see during this process.

Into sculptures made of earth, I wanted to carve the world "BIRTH" and the word "MEMORY". But since there were other letters carved into the works, these two words were unrecognizable.
When I was born, I had no language.
It is the memory of cells engraved within me.

material

earth, mattress

size

68×75×74cm 
90×180×73cm 

Sleep-earth

1996

In Sleep

Sleep-earth

1996

開催場所
galerie januar (Germany)
material

earth, pillow, mat

size

installation size

Meditation-along with nature

Dream of the Wooden Hut Ⅱ

2009

Meditation-along with nature

Dream of the Wooden Hut Ⅱ

2009

開催場所
Tokorozawa Biennale of Contemporary Art (Japan)
material

earth, stone, wood, plant, photo

size

5mX3mX3m

Dream of the Wooden Hut

2004

The flow of the river ist ceaseless and its water is never the same. The bubbles that float in the pools, now vanishing, now forming, are not of long duration; so in the world are men and their dwellings.

Hojoki - An Account of My Hut
Komo no Chomei, (1155~1216)

Meditation-along with nature

Dream of the Wooden Hut

2004

開催場所
Nagoya City Gallery Yada (Japan)

The flow of the river ist ceaseless and its water is never the same. The bubbles that float in the pools, now vanishing, now forming, are not of long duration; so in the world are men and their dwellings.

Hojoki - An Account of My Hut
Komo no Chomei, (1155~1216)

material

earth, plant, wood

size

5mX3mX3m

Untitled(reverse head)

2002

The reversal of the axis.

  • EPSON MFP image

Meditation-along with nature

Untitled(reverse head)

2002

The reversal of the axis.

material

earth, plant

size

20cmX20cmX48cm

A stage for a tree

2000

Meditation-along with nature

A stage for a tree

2000

開催場所
Hullhorst (Germany)
material

tree, wood, stone

size

5mX3mX4.5m

From the tree to home

1997

Meditation-along with nature

From the tree to home

1997

開催場所
BauhausFischer(Wuppertal・Germany)
material

earth, tree, house

size

12mX15m

Untitled(hill and figure)

1997

  • EPSON MFP image

  • EPSON MFP image

Meditation-along with nature

Untitled(hill and figure)

1997

開催場所
Kunstpalast(Germany)
material

earth, plant, wood

size

6mX4mX3m

Sea and sky

1996

Meditation-along with nature

Sea and sky

1996

material

earth, tub, lead

size

installation size

Peaple of the forest

1995

Meditation-along with nature

Peaple of the forest

1995

Seven doors

1994

Meditation-along with nature

Seven doors

1994

開催場所
Toscana (Italia)
material

hencoop, earth, olive tree

House for stump

1993

Meditation-along with nature

House for stump

1993

開催場所
Kronenburg (Germany)
material

stump, branch, string