photo: SAIKI Taku

Friction / Where is a Lavatory?

ArtistKIMURA Taiyo
Material/ Techniqueclock, masking tape
Size/ DurationH108×W178×D3cm
Copyright Notice© KIMURA Taiyo
Year of acquisition/ donation2007
DescriptionBorn in Kanagawa, Japan in 1970. Lives and works there.

Kimura studied oil painting at an art academy but eventually changed to installations and three-dimensional work. He began exhibiting artworks from the mid-1990s and, from 1999, twice undertook art residences in Germany. Since his student days, Kimura has recorded his ideas and dreams in drawing books or on video as a source for the creation of art. His works, which employ familiar, everyday materials and situations, feature a blend of distinctive humor, amiability, and bizarreness that often induces visceral discomfort in the viewer. In this way, Kimura endeavors to communicate, directly to our physical sensibilities, the absurdity that underlies ordinary, everyday life and to reveal the true essence of things.

The television monitor showing Kimura’s "Video As Drawing", a video depicting the artist washing his face with curry amongst other things, is placed so close to the wall that it can only be watched by one viewer at a time, at extremely close range. In "Typical Japanese English", the monitor is concealed inside clothes in a washing basket, so that viewers must kneel down and peer inside in order to see it. In the work "We know you know we know your pleasure you never know", the viewer is encouraged to roll a box frame over 600 pigeon models made of cloth and painted grey, with casters where their heads should be. The immediacy of the viewers’ experience that occurs as a result of their direct participatory acts brings up issues related to the power relations tying together the individual and the group. The scenes created by these acts further pique the curiosity of the surrounding visitors. Other Kimura works also share this sense of discomfort, apparent pointlessness, and humor that induce a direct physiological effect on the viewer. There is "Friction / Where is Lavatory", for example, where the hands of a cluster of clocks pushed together collide and obstruct one another, and the viewer experiences the vibrations and mechanical noise produced as the clock hands are prevented from turning, holding back the progress of time. In "Life’s An Ocean / Dead Finks Don’t Talk", two mannequins have had their bodies wrapped in thin strips of grey cloth sewn together with zippers, leaving small glimpses of their bodies underneath through irregularly shaped openings dotted about here and there. In work such as "Feel Your Gravity", where many eyes cut out from a women’s magazine are pasted onto one of the magazine’s pages, Kimura examines the mob psychology of people and their instinct to gravitate toward systems and surveillance.