Definition

A central concept in her art works is mirages, or what can also be described as a fake utopia, a space plagued by issues. She sculpts the dystopian interior scenery of a delusional sphere – a representation of the mirage, which is defined as an invisible and intangible element. The sphere includes an imperialistic feudal society, with the various hierarchical systems embodied by quadrangular pyramids. The artist is also featured in the fake documentaries, reflecting on diverse social issues related to the legacy of imperialism.

 

Approaching matters from the perspective of a Japanese female, she expounds on the problems giving rise to friction and hatred between neighbouring countries. Starting with her country and going through political and geopolitical factors, she projects them into her works. Using experimental and interactive techniques, the artist highlights and sculpts various 'mirages' caused by the essence of imperialism introduced to her country, the effects of its heritage on contemporary society, and the accompanying principles of imperialism from a global perspective (such as capitalism, anthropocentrism, and ethnocentrism).

(May  2019)

 

About/Biography

May 01, 2019

A London-based emerging multimedia artist with a science and engineering background.

 

Born in 1990 to a scientist family in Tsukuba City in Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, the artist grew up in the US city of Boulder (Colorado) and in Nara City, in the Nara prefecture of Japan.

During her second year of high school, she chose the path to science and engineering and later majored in civil engineering at university.

 

After graduation, she participated in the research and development of observational instruments with data analysis and acoustic engineering. (Journal link)

 

This was followed by her move to London, UK, where she enrolled in The Royal College of Art to pursue a master’s degree in architecture and urban design. Now, she has embarked on a path to fine art and activated in sculpture studio to focus on her language.

Education / Fine Art

MA Sculpture  | Royal College of Art

Member of Contemporary art curator magazine /

Artist directory page

Artist interview / INTERVIEW: YUIKO AMANO | ITSLIQUID​ |  2019

 

Project no1.

The Waiting Time

December, 2018- (Ongoing project), London

Sculpture (a small box-shape theatre), Photo archive

Centred on the theme of capital punishment, this work aims to explore the distortion of equality. The artist went to a police station, a court, and a prison in London and brought a chair, which represents the death penalty. Capital punishment, which can also be viewed as a legacy of imperialism, is currently banned in the EU, but it still exists in some countries, including Japan and some states in the USA. She captured each episode with a Polaroid and created a slideshow-style film. This series of photographs and film is shown slightly differently in each plot.

 

The film focuses on waiting for death and alludes to the execution. The subject is a female whose identity has been consumed and exploited in a storyline narrated by a man – a dogmatic icon reflecting the power of humanism. She is waiting for the inevitable destiny of becoming a corpse (a metaphorical one) in order to exchange the revival of the power, an energy that can be carved and embedded into the cornerstone of the institution. This is a performance and documentary that deals with the cross-dressing of identity.

1/5

27 x 30 x 15 cm

 

Project no2.

Look at the Reflection - The Dream of Home

January, 2019, Hong Kong

C-type prints, Instant film

This work explores the notion of success, especially as it relates to the Hong Kong dream. The artist visited the city for an urban investigation and did research, interviewing domestic workers. They are currently faced with severe social issues due to Hong Kong’s population imbalance and housing capacity. This series of photographs was taken on a Sunday morning at the Hong Kong central station. Domestic workers are not be allowed to stay in their working space (home) every single weekend. This public space, serving as a sort of extension of the domestic space, was full of domestic workers who passed the time there.

 

This scene illustrates the gap between the environment and their dream of home, establishing the landscape and a de facto homeland within this paradoxical conflict. Through this visual impact and the contrasts between the visible 'homeland' and half-visible ‘homeland’ (pixellated by a third person), the artist criticises the passive attitude of outsiders towards the issues of domestic workers in Hong Kong. The colour of sky blue reflects on gleaming skyscrapers, and there is muddy water running beneath the sewer covers.

1/3

42 x 60 cm

 

Project no3.

Experience of the Alternatives

March, 2019, London

Moving Image, Digital painting

This series of works represents the mirage of integration that may occur in the near future. At present, artificial intelligence development is making daily progress, especially in developed countries. In the future, humans, machines, and computers might be integrated. This series of images consists of paintings created with the use of computer code, with the characteristics of the lines specified and formulated for each image by the computer language. By looking at such images through a human lens (the eye), we could regard ourselves as cyborgs fused with artificial intelligence and eliminate the boundary between future humans and machines (including camera or recorder etc.).

 

It can also signify new reflections in the context of imperialism (with advanced technological systems such as artificial intelligence). For example, with the progress of machine learning, post-imperialism (as the simultaneous existence of post-humanism) might be able to build up by 'intelligence' of the new era by the decline of humanistic thinking in the humanity that built imperialism. At that point, can humans continue to be creators or play a role as artists? In this project, the artist shows a simulation from the viewpoint of artificial intelligence, assuming that a new pyramid (hierarchical ecosystem seen from the macro viewpoint) is created.

1/7

16 x 12 cm

 

Project no4.

System of Production

March, 2019, London

Film, Digital Image, Ceramic, C-print

This work delves into the illusion of wealth through dystopian scenery, examining the issue of mass consumption and the ironical relationship between an ecosystem and its surrounding environment. The artist has chosen ceramic, which is regarded as a symbol of mass consumption in modern society, and uses that symbol as a key in this documentary on fate in an ecosystem cycle. The image of see through the cutting-glass in her works highlights the imbalance of the scale in the system and the objects produced there. In addition, she incorporates modern-day production situations as backgrounds (a dominant system of production with the heritage of imperialism in specific regions, such as Asia and Africa) and tries to look at those landscapes.

 

As an extension of this piece, the artist also considers 'the second aggression,' which has yet to become a serious social phenomenon in modern days. As part of the first aggression, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and other areas heavily influenced by Western imperialistic countries in the past have been falling under the influence of Asian countries such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since the beginning of the 21st century. Creating such a situation becomes an afterimage of mass consumption based on the capitalist principle, including in developed countries. Moreover, it can be said global violence with a strong economic power. Such problems would eventually cause social unrest and spread around the world in the form of new invaders.

1/5

22 x 22 cm

 

Project no5.

Installation of Non-Contextual Action

December, 2018, Copenhagen

Digital print, Drawing

This project differs slightly from the others methodologically. It is based on architectural thinking, considering the exchange of inner and outer spaces and all surrounding situations. More specifically, the behaviour and activity observed exclusively in a building are experimentally investigated to determine whether they could have the same effect in different contexts when people have been moved outdoors.

 

This project uses research on kotatsu, a common piece of furniture in Japan, and activities related to it in countries with completely different cultural and social contexts. However, there might be similarities in a country with a common perception of the act of relaxing indoors during the winter season – in this case, Denmark in winter.

 

The important point is that when people consider an action within a certain cultural or social context, it is possible for them to get the same impression or effect as in the original place, whether inside or outside a building or in a different situation. On the other hand, this effect can be quite vague to detect when considered from the perspective of the installed side. If this idea is explored in relation to colonial policy in the context of imperialism, it can suggest the danger of non-contextual cross-culture.

1/1

40 x 40 cm

 

Project no 6.

Capitalist City: Interim City Design

February, 2019, UK

Web service, T-shirts

In a capitalist society, there is a strong connection between the formation of cities, the community of people living there, and everything related to food consumption, clothing, and residences. In this project, the artist considers the contradiction of city planning and urban fabrication in relation to a consumerist citizenry with feudal top-down thinking, something she experienced during her architecture and city design studies.

 

The artist registered on a drop-shipping website and designed the interim city plan with tools borrowed from fashion.  She then examined the phenomenon of experiencing pseudo satisfaction through the purchase of goods, pointing out the ironic contradiction in the design with top-down thinking spreading through the grassroots activities, such as wearing close. Furthermore, this act of selling may be able to say an endless urban formative documentary.

1/4

18 x 15 cm

 

Project no7.

I Know Something (Of me)

October, 2018- (Ongoing project), London

Acrylic painting, GIF animation

This series of works tracks alienated people (mainly members of the LGBTQ community) by means of fake documentaries in the diligent sphere of modern society. The show was staged in a public bathroom, a place of incongruity for people outside the cisgender norm and a place where they can get to know themselves. The artist cast herself in the role of LGBTQ people, and she cut out or changed uncomfortable sections of the bathroom interior in her canvas and photos. She then executed the imagined scenery through a kinetic method.

 

The argument about gender identity can also be considered in the context of imperialist legacy in terms of the lack of legal support, public recognition, and acceptance. Acceptance in an amenity such as a public bathroom would be an essential condition for the future gender-free society. The artist examined the relationship between SNS and LGBTQ people. Through the internet, they are connected and fused into a cybernetic medium that has become commonplace in modern times.

 

In this small spacecraft-like box, she (and possibly they) always whispers in the mirror, 'I know something (of me).'

1/6

15 x 20 cm

 

Project no 8.

Holes

April, 2019, London

Digital Image

In modern society, the development of advanced technology is absolutely remarkable. However, it is thought that the problems associated with this development will become more apparent from the point of view of post-humanism. In cities, people create artificial nature and ecosystems within settlements, which can imply the dominance of technology in urban contexts. However, the artificial ecosystems can become real and act in unexpected ways in their assigned space.

 

This project undertakes a visual inspection of the relationship between high-tech precision in static spaces and intentionally placed blank spots. It comprehensively investigates and summarises changes in closed ecology due to artificial greenery, especially in residential areas. In addition, such top-down urban and regional planning may be expressed in the context of imperialist heritage. In the future, it may be possible to emerge on a social sphere surface as a technological failure.

 

The deliberately opened holes in precision technology may eventually turn into fictions that become serious defects in a society.

1/3

50 x 70 cm

 

Project 9.

Remember, Overlooked IDENTITY

April, 2019, London

Acrylic painting, Digital print, Text piece

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) has been classified as a developmental disability, and there is currently no effective treatment for it. It is said to be common in daily life, with episodes including the frequent loss of belongings such as umbrellas, public transportation cards, smartphones, wallets, and credit cards. Sometimes people remember where they placed the objects, but sometimes the items are never recovered. It is only in their imagination that the owners can see where their lost belongings are now.

 

As an extension of this project, the artist would like to focus on people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and selective mutism. Where are the unknown people? What are they thinking now? Through text messages, she communicated with a person who has selective mutism. In this case, she was an interventionist and tried to highlight the figure from the inside of his contemplation. She could not hear his anthem, but it could be a poem, and sometimes it can be clearly shown to people, producing an effect on them.

1/3

40 x 30 cm

 

Project 10.

WE-ARE-THE-HIERARCHY

May, 2019- (Ongoing project), Kyoto

C-print, neon, LED, robotic sculpture

This series of works embodies the artist’s own language shown in the definition. The neon-lit pyramids vainly reflected in different mirages tell of the legacy of imperialism that the artist suspects to persist in society. The prism pyramid that emits the fake reality as a glittering light while being controlled by a machine and the lights that cannot escape the enclosed space are a sarcastic representations of what may very well become a realistic landscape in the near future.

 

The neon pyramid, which allows audiences to know 'reality' through the tablet screen, represents the exposure of information on the internet in modern society. Although it appears as a beautifully glowing object to the naked eye, it is revealed as having secrets when viewed through glasses reinforced with cybernetic technology and never forgiven.

1/2

42 x 60 cm