Works

Mako Ishizuka

SOME RECENT WORKS

TRANSLATIONS IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE MOVING (ONGOING)

Södertälje Konsthall, Södertälje, Sweden (August 2018 - )

VL_family tree
VL_portraits
RL_close up
RL_translated and traced
RL_duet

Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria (April - June 2019)

Duet of Lines_words closeup
Duet of Lines_act front copy
Duet of Lines_act_angle
Duet of Lines_words transcript copy
Duet of Lines_inst view
Second-hand Dinners_ingredients02 copy
Second-hand Dinners_relation chart
Second-hand Dinners_at table copy
Second-hand Dinners_translation Anka
Second-hand Dinners_translation Miwa
50 cent_coin with Secession
50 cent_inst view
50 cent_back translation

Viskleken (whisper game)

a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2018-, project (social intervention)
at Södertälje Konsthall, Södertälje, Sweden


As a person having lived in varoius countries where I attempted to acquire the local languages, I feel like I grow my thoughts in the gap of the vocabularies of these languages.

This project takes the form of whisper game (or can be called Chinese Whispers, Russian Scandal or Arabic Telephone). Instead of whisper, it is the language translation that makes the phrase to change.The translation of my above-mentioned feeling into a English serves as the phrase to pass on to. The help of translation is given by the local residents of Södertälje, where more than half of the residents have foreign roots and many can speaks several languages.


R-L (Boustrophedon)
a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2018-, project (social intervention)
at Södertälje Konsthall, Södertälje, Sweden

I am developping a map of thoughts around translation. The local residents translate the words into one of their languages and write them down in white on the glass wall. I trace the movement of their pen from the other side of the glass wall.


Duet of Lines
a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2019, workshop + trace installation (pigment marker on glass, sound recording playback on stereo loudspeakers)

at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria

After the interventions in Södertälje, where more than half of the residents have foreign backgrounds, I developed them further in Austria, another country that relates greatly to the recent European migrant crisis.

I invited two people, who had never known each other and whose backgrounds evoke the intricate international relations, to write words in their languages on the window: One writes a word that she translates from the word the other has written, and while one writes, the other traces, as R-L in Södertälje. They exchanges the roles to lead and follow alternately. I recorded their verbal exchange. At the presentation, the recording was replayed with the loudspeakers by the window, and another clean window was prepared for the public to experience the jam themselves.


Second-hand Dinners
a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2019, discussion gathering/social experiment + translation collection/dispersion (food ingredients, notes, visual materials, etc.)

at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria


Paraphrasing Manners is a project in Vienna, dealing with the social manners and physical gestures as a non-verbal form of communication. As a way to research through discussions for this project, I conducted Second-hand Dinners, a series of dinner gathering. All the invitees were introduced by my old friends or their further contacts, up to five degrees of separation, and I asked them to bring their friend, or 'second-hand guest'.


It became social experiments with actual experiences concerning manners for all of us, as host, guest, and member of society. I also used it as try-out platform to question the documentation and dissemination of the practice that values relational and/or performative qualities, playing with translations and the pass-on structure.


Translating 50 cent
a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2019-, installation (printed matter, text, a piece of Austrian 50 euro cent)

at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria


I was inquired by Kunsthalle Exnergasse if I could be interviewed by WUK
for their monthly publication (in German), answering their four questions.
One of them asked how I came to participate in the residency at the Kunsthalle. I told a story about an Austrian 50 euro cent coin that came to my hand in Paris, and that I took it as an invitation to Vienna. In the publication appeared only three questions and their answers, translated into German, starting with the one that I told the 50 euro cent story. What was omitted from the publication was the first and the most crucial part of the interview - the description of my practice and my project in Vienna.


At the entrance of my exhibition,
I placed this publication, the original English text of four Q&As, and the very 50 euro cent coin that travelled with me from Paris to Vienna, with its backside with Secession visible.

The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa (September - October 2019)

still_GM copy
GM_St James_still02 copy
GM_BF_Sandi x Ross
GM_BF_shadow
GM_BF_inst view
GM_BF_Mako x Pat
GM_BF_Sandi x Diana
VAname_still 02
VAname_calligraphy
VAname_scene
VAname_still 01

Graphic Movements
a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2019, workshops + installation (metal grid structure [mobile art rack], light-weight cotton cloth, projector)

installation at the Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa


Encountering the philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’ in South Africa, and associating it with the form of a Chinese character for human ‘人’, I started to evolve workshops of a movement where two people stand back-to-back supporting and leaning on each other, inspired by the dichotomies and affinities based on humanity I experienced. It uses workshop as an art form, and its documentation becomes the backdrop for the succeeding workshops.


The seed of this attempt comes from Vienna - the movement is one of the basics of Contact Improvisation, which is a modern dance that let people explore one's body in relation to others by sharing weight and touch, and came up as a subject for discussion in the project Second-Hand Dinners in Vienna earlier in 2019.

Verbal Acts (Name-Giving Trilogue)
a part of the project After-Ripening & Corruption

2019, workshop + mixed-media installation (calligraphy, video on a smart phone, notebook, coin, fabric, plants, etc.) discussion: ca. 60 min

at the Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa


Playing with the phonological affinity with the local languages, I experimented in verbal acts via several ‘essays’ that are liberated from the literal and logical. Verbal Act (Name Giving Trilogue) is one of them, where I invited two South Africans, whose interests and personality resonate with mine in a respective way, to a workshop, asking to give me a new name through discussion.

Finding new name was not the actual goal: What I aimed was to create a discussion with three people with differetn backgrounds, where we present our own perspectives on names, name-giving traditions and rituals, and trying to find the meeting point where all can agree.


Receiving new name Musa Moor, I currently question what sort of works would be expected from/created by an artist named Musa Moor.

THINKING PUBLICLY / BRIDGING INSIDE & OUTSIDE

"THE REST " & PROCESS

TANGIBILITY OF LIFE, and JUXTAPOSITION

video on Facebook (18 sec)

how I do mirror-writing

Imagining (the life on) the other side

2017, act / drawing installation [at EHESS in Paris, France]


It is  one of the works that consist  from an act of thinking live-recorded as  mirror-writings on the windows in a public space, and its trace as drawing installation.


For the group exhibition "Frictions in the globalisation" at the École des Hautes Études en   Sciences Sociales in Paris, I developed my thoughts on globalisation, reflecting its various aspects seen from a certain everyday perspective, since the Age of Discovery up to the present.

Inverse Perspective 反転する視点

2017, act / drawing installation [by Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan]


It is  one of the works that consist  from an act of thinking live-recorded as  mirror-writings on the windows in a public space, and its trace as drawing installation.


In this project, I linked my own experience to the inspiration received through observations of the cityscape in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa and my exchange with the local people, and expanded my "map of thoughts" onto the windows  that connect inside and outside.


Having left Japan to live abroad, I, as a stranger in Tokyo, explored the area with the help of guides/mediators – “assumed strangers” with foreign roots that study, work and/or live in the neighbourhood. Here I studied the way the locals draw lines and cross boundaries in everyday life, to discover the values that are specific to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa, an old neighbourhood where Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo locates.

Collecting Distances

2015, artist's book / project (book production and distribution)

graphic design: Audrey Templier, introduction text: Mats Stjernstedt


The book focuses on the marginal part of my practice 2003-2014, without presenting the work documentatios. At its distribution I aim to make it less “multiple object” but more “personalised experience” with my interventions.


The excerpts of my notebooks are featured to follow my paths to produce some works - the notebooks collect my notes, writings, diagrams, drawings and images from both my practice and everyday life since 1996. it includes the material from ongoing/unrealised projects, and my “detours”.  My essays  interweave the materials presented.


It reflects my life and its relation to different places in the world since my childhood. Designed to avoid giving a linear/single direction to follow,  one can start from anywhere  and jump to somewhere, without table of contents or page numbers, but a hand-drawn diagram  printed on the back of the cover with grids and code system, which indicate roughly where you are in the field of my practice.

Independent Studies and Rubin's Vase  自由研究とルビンの壷

2016, installation (mixed media)    [at Utrecht/NowIdea in Tokyo, Japan]


Rubin’s Vase (an optical illusion that presents the visual interpretation of reversible figures) as a keyword, I dealt with the figure-ground perception of the two complementary fields with shared borders in relation to my practice - life/work, process/result, and reconsidered the inquisitive and creative process that I had been defining as non-practice.


It evolved from my reflection on the margins and footnotes of my art practice through preceding work Collecting Distances, artist’s book where I presented my path of measuring the distances between me and society and the process of how my thoughts develop in everyday life.


The installation consists of elements that seem to exist in relation to other elements, and traces various peripatetic explorations and relationships with the people with whom I continue a dialogue in distance. Not only conceptually but also physically, the installation plays with the space that is not defined as an exhibition room.

Wind Ensemble (in four movements)

2013-2015, act / installation


It is a series of acts that I made ­ I stood up in the landscape of the Swiss Alps, with beer and wine bottles attempting to capture the wind to make them “whistle”. Then I asked the local meteorologist to describe the winds when my acts took place according to their official record.


At the exhibitions, the four images that are relevant to my each act are presented as a slide show with a projector. The projector sits near to the wall, and the images are projected on a sheet of A4 paper on the wall, fixed to the wall on the top corners. It sways with the breeze coming from the ventilation of the projector and the movement of the audience. The caption to describe the intent of the acts and the description from the meteorologist is presented discreetly on the wall, printed on a respective paper and placed on the clipboard.


All the installation materials such as the paper and the clipboard, are found at the exhibition sites, reflecting the manner of the original act in the Alps: spontaneously, and using only the things around.

Bookshelf

2014-2015, act / installation


The image shows the intervention: On the bookshelf of my old friend Maivor, a Swedish lady who is 50 years senior to me, I placed my book with pressed plants that I picked during my wanderings in the Swiss Alps. I chose the books from Maivor’s bookshelves that reflect my own life and our friendship, and piled them up on top of my own book to fill the gap between two shelves, as I did when I pressed the plants in the Alps.  The text narrates my paths and threads that led to my friendship with Mavior, with juxtapositions of different values and lives, and the temporary interevention I made on Maivor’s bookshelves as a physical and poetic manifestation of the subject of my essay.


The image consists of 121 pieces and nailed. Its height of the book pile is the height of Maivor and mine. The images are printed on ordinary matt papers with ordinary ink that are not of archival quality; in order to make this work itself to age. The text is printed on the blank side of two pages of the books in the pile:  the first page of the book on the top of the pile, and  the last page of the book on the bottom.

Smultronstället (Where Wildstrawberries Grow)

2013 -, act / sculpture [Appenzell (2013), Maebashi (2016), Echigo-Tsumari (2016)]


I made many small hikes in the Swiss Alps in 2013 and once I made an act, of picking up the plants and flowers that charmed me on the way, and pressing them in-between the pages of a thick book that I brought with me. The leaves from the wild strawberries were placed on page 560, where my action ended.


On the bookshelves, I placed my book with pressed flowers on a shelf, and piled up some books in order to fill the gap between the two shelf boards. The piled books are from the local context where the work was presented. I selected the books that are somehow resonates with myself, finding the crossing point of my life and the locality.


The title of the piece refers to Smultronstället (literally means “the place where wild strawberries are”), a Swedish word that idiomatically signifies an underrated gem of a place, often with personal or sentimental value.

Stars, Moons and Suns (pacific world)

2012/2016, drawing installation (oil pastel, paper), 72x51cm


It is based on the world map produced in Japan for school children. In the middle of the map is the Pacific Ocean. Only the countries that are recognised by Japanese government are mentioned and coloured, but others and disputed areas are left in white. It also shows the national flags where I found many stars, moons and suns.


I covered the whole map with black oil pastel and I marked these celestial symbols on the corresponding spot on the map with sgraffito technique (scratch to remove the black layer off). You don't see the borders between the countries or reflection of the political problems but the universal symbols appears in the dark as you would see in the night sky.

DRAWING ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THE WORLD

an Old-World warbler dreams of the south. in Helsinki.

2012/2016, drawing installation (diazo paper, magnifying glass), 43x53xm


It is a work where I modified a tourist map of Helsinki to look at the North-South divide in an alternative way, tracing the local anecdotes on the nomenclature of an area and streets and reflecting life qualities and values seen through the naïve imagination.


I visited Helsinki in May 2010 and during my stay, I came to know about an area called Arabianranta (Eng: Coast of Arabia) in northern Helsinki. It used to be far out of the city and therefore they named the area referring to the distant countries in 1800s. Later when it became a suburb where people have holiday houses, they named the streets after any exotic places such as India, Syria and Congo. In the naming of these streets, I saw the Scandinavians longing for the sun and fantasising warmer countries during long winter.


I modified the tourist map of Helsinki to pick up only street- and area names, and marked the streets that are named after warm and distant lands. Then I developed a Diazo (UV sensitive paper) copy of the modified map, using the Scandinavian winter sun as light source. The result is a blueprint of Helsinki map where the streets with the names of warm places are more “suntanned” during the process.