photo: KIOKU Keizo

The Seven Wonders of Kanazawa

ArtistOZAWA Tsuyoshi
Material/ TechniqueJapanese paper, wood, light bulb, wax, Chinese ink, FRP, wool, cotton, ceramic
Size/ Durationdimensions variable
Copyright Notice© OZAWA Tsuyoshi
courtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
Year of acquisition/ donation2009
DescriptionBorn in Tokyo, Japan in 1965. Lives and works in Saitama.

While criticizing the history and social systems that are considered mainstream, Ozawa interprets them in his own way and links them to his expression. As he traveled throughout the world, he continuously gave a project such as "Jizoing" (1988-) in which the scenery of places he visited was photographed with a handdrawn jizo, and "Nasubi Gallery" (1993-) in which a wooden milk-box was made into a small portable gallery to exhibit artworks. Challenging the idea that an artwork is supposed to be an expression of very personal inner experiences, he produced "The University of Sodan Art" (1995-) in which an artwork was put together through consultations by different people. This project created a site where people with different values, roots and cultural backgrounds were linked as equivalents.

Ozawa visited sightseeing spots in Kanazawa where he searched in guidebooks and on the Internet, and looked for local wonders that he heard from others. He chose seven of them to make "Seven Wonders of Kanazawa" – ‘Togoro Yam-digger,’ ‘Mirror Stone,’ ‘Hanton Rice,’ ‘Yashichi’s Bean Shell Drum,’ ‘Seven Bridge Tour,’ ‘Candy Buying Ghost’ and ‘Tengu (monster-spirits) Legend.’ Here, the wonders that Ozawa means to imply are neither ‘mysterious’ nor ‘impossible,’ but rather, ‘what we should know’ or ‘what we should see’ about what the local residents have passed on by word of mouth. Borrowing the method of manual work such as traditional Nebuta and Hakata dolls, which are clearly distinguished from ‘high art,’ Ozawa questions us what art is, challenging reinterpretation of it after modern art.