Through the cold weather I continued investigating public art sites in Nagoya. I visited the Aichi Expo site, the Meijou Koen Sculpture Park, sculptures by Kinro Imai, my advisor, and other smaller sites including a large-scale basketball hoop on the top of a building. At the Expo grounds I studied various sustainable uses of stainless steel and wood in the fencing and pathways. I hope to make functional public art pieces and am eager to learn how to make objects able to handle the elements. In March I will go see a newly installed public artwork completed by Norimitsu Kawaguchi. He is an assistant teacher at my affiliate university and just finished a work at a new grade school.
In January, I performed Big Blob at the Nagakute Cultural Center in association with a group show called Betu no Sekai, featuring Chiharu Takemori, Sho Ishitani, and Yuki Nakamura. Chiharu invited me to do the performance. I performed outside and fixed the air release valve on top of the inflatable suit for this performance attaining a much higher pressure in the suit. I performed the piece twice to the delight of small school children and other patrons of the center. For the second performance I descended a large flight of stairs on my way to the street careening into walls, people, vehicle barricades, and almost a row of scooters. During this performance I jumped around a lot in order to move the tail like end of the suit. The owner of a public bath in the area asked me to do a performance at the one-year anniversary of the opening of his bath house in May.
I went to Kyoto by car with a group of students. We left early to get a full day of gallery viewing in. The first stop was the Kyoto Art Center, which is a refurbished school that retains a courtyard playground and a few classrooms full of school desks. The architecture of the school is quite impressive and is an art experience itself. The Center has a residency program as well that takes yearly applications. We stopped by Art Space Niji, Galerie 16, Neutron. galerie weissraum and a few cultural attractions. I talked to the owner of galerie weissraum and will send an exhibition proposal to him.
In Nagoya I continued visiting gallery spaces downtown and went to some new exhibition venues. While at a graduated student’s final show I met a professor from Nagoya University who invited me to a new gallery at his school called 「clas」. Nagoya University does not have an Art Department. It turns out that the Informational Science Department at the university is also interested in aesthetics and media production. A group of students produced art objects to accompany their current research and course work.
I took a brief trip to America to help my wife, Mimi, settle into her yearlong artist in residency program in Roswell, New Mexico. We had bittersweet emotions but are excited about temporarily following our dreams independently. I have a solo show in Texas in July featuring the work I made in my time in Japan and hope to see her briefly then. Until that time we will both focus on our objectives without distractions.