Upon exiting the ATM Workshop, return to Room #6 of the
Contemporary Art Gallery, where you must pass under the
"Bandage Gate." This leads you to the works of Hiroshi Kariya,
a production artist residing in New York since 1977.
The current exhibition shows his "Installation 1993," intended
as a record of world events in 1993. For the work, Kariya has
used material from the reports of everyday news, including
newspapers and magazines. He has labeled such a format as
"reportage pictures" and "reportage sculpture." These works
treat the lives of human beings as their main theme, as well
as the record of the traces those leave.
photo: Saiki Taku
Colupsed girl and Vulture waited
Colupsed girl; made of bread from 5 different continent (style).
They hunged from the ceiling with fishing thread.
Vulture; made of plaster wrapped with trash bag, facing girl.
They situated on the chalkboard of each entitled:
Food, Killing, food, killing, connected each other.
Kariya calls his works "sutra" Indeed, ever since 1997, he
has repeatedly attached the words "is the now" to materials
he collects every day, just as if he were copying sutras in the
fashion of Buddhist monks. These include a broad variety of
items such as wood floating on the Hudson River, waste
material from construction sites, and stones that Kariya has
been picking up piece by piece each day.
Various daily object wraped with canvas cloth, or linen.
photo: Saiki Taku
In his "Wall of the World (Bosnia Ripped Apart)" installation,
Kariya has hung a great many blackboards along the wall.
The boards are made of masonite, a common construction
material. Having written the words "is the now" a countless
number of times on the boards, Kariya has termed this work
his "blackboard sutra." The printed words pasted onto the
boards are headlines from newspaper stories, and the articles
themselves are pasted ontothe back. Each board has been
cut to match the size of each article, resulting in different sizes.
The articles are arranged in chronological order from left to
right along the wall, beginning in January 1993 and ending in
December 1993. Here and there, several blackboards are
missing, leaving cloth hanging in their place. These are the
stories about Bosnia, and have been moved to the
brown-colored "Wall of Bosnia" that lies further back.
Torn Bosnia (Wall of absence)
This wall work has a relationship with Mizuma Art Gallery installation; Wall of absence .
photo: Saiki Taku
The hanging of boards on a wall is reminiscent of the Japanese
custom of hanging "ema" votive placards at shrines, and
represent wishes or prayers.
Lying along the floor is Kariya's work, "That Which Wraps One
Hundred Bodies." As the title indicates, there are one hundred
bodies, alluding to corpses. A blackboard has been attached to
each of the bodies, and an obituary has been pasted on each
board. A requiem sutra has also been written upon each of the
In Kariya's "Stretcher," a photograph has been attached of a
nurse in Sarajevo carrying a bloodstained stretcher. In his
"Girl and Vulture," Kariya has brought together a photograph
of a vulture waiting for the death of a girl on the verge of
starvation, along with a blackboard with stories about famine, etc.
Kariya's "Red Cross Wall" and "United Nations Wall" works are
made from materials thrown away from the Hidetoshi
NAGASAWA Exhibition held recently. Looking through the hole
cut through the first work, one can read the words,
Red cross Wall (left), UN Wall
Re-assemble of the discarded wall materials
from previous installation Hidetoshi Nagasawa's devided wall materials.
Work is related to Kariya's 1990 ICA Philadelphia Installation: Memory / Ilya Kabakov's Wall
"STOP THE BLOODY MURDER." The hole in the second work,
then, appears to be a hole punched into a silhouette of the
Pacific Ocean. His "Desert Wall" comprises blackboards with
photographs of flabbergasted people staring at a flood of the
Mississippi River, and a flood in India.
In his "Turkish Wall," Kariya has highlighted an article about five
Turkish people burned to death. Inscribed on the wall is the
word "Hass," which means "hate" in German.
The "Protest Wall" contains news photographs of a broad
spectrum of protests: an anti-abortion march in Washington,
D.C.; Bucharest residents opposed to the economic policies
of their government, and demanding funds for AIDS research;
citizens calling for an investigation into the Sagawa Express
scandal in Japan; Buddhists in Cambodia praying for peace;
Americans clamoring to save Bosnia; people anxious about
Walking into Room #7 of the Gallery, we see another of Kariya's
works, "Classroom with a Maze." Near the front of the room is a
surveying instrument with a telescope. The desks and chairs
have been arranged in a way to prevent easy passage as a
maze, so to speak. On the blackboards have been pasted
photograph files, clippings from such magazines as "Time,"
"Life," and "National Geographic," and from such newspapers
as the New York Times and the Asahi Shimbun. In addition,
Kariya has pasted material from books about society, science,
and religion, as well as world maps. The desks and chairs
used by Kariya for this work were borrowed from Mito City,
and had originally come from a school that was closed down.
Classroom with a Maze
photo: Saiki Taku
At the end, please take a look through the surveying telescope.
You should be able to read something.
(on Installation at Art Tower Mito)
By Seiichi Watanabe
Translated by Paul T. Narum