Prologue

It is today’s Japanese art that we concern. From here on also, we’ll continuously introduce art works and artists which you can see in our website. We consider the most important that art works are products of her or his nature. In other words, like body odor and postural strain for the human body, they are the inevitable results of  artists’ individual histories and lives. It’s no matter for us what media they choose and how extreme motives are or not.

These art works will naturally reflect Japanese history, culture, aesthetic senses, traditions and today. What there appear isn’t Japan as sign. What signs hide behind will become obvious; people’s naked and vivid relations and actuality of people, desires and hopes which belong beyond Good and Evil. For instance, the same may be said of films of Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa, and Anime in recent years. They are filled with townscapes, school life, culture of creature comforts and practice of communication which are ordinary for us. Those who share the same language and culture will be as interested in bases of world of story as a narrative and a theme. And there, they will find out life-sized shapes of contemporaries who are alive in a vigorous and lively fashion. No matter which they accept or deny, it is important that the communication begins without meditation of fixed ideas.

Then can we say that Japanese art works recently introduced plentifully had such potential? Have they introduced the artists who would break stereotypes and interest foreign national in Japanese as a individual human being?  Have they introduced art works which enable recipients that they could create their own images of Japan, understand difference from the societies where they live, and know himself? We are afraid that the majority has only reinforced fixed ideas accumulated for long time though not all. It may be a vlid way of communication for us that we give what others want. But repeating such thing, we will be seriously misunderstood, and impair our dignity. This anxiety is one of reasons that we hope to introduce Japanese art works which are produced from natural living not lated to someone’s thoughts and commercial considerations.

Of course, it will be so difficult challenge to introduce works out of other’s expectations. But I entertain hopes of MONO Project’s future. Once I listened to the music of Patti Smith with enthusiasm, sympathized poems of Baudelaire, and was impressed to find out infinite extent in a winter sky which Rembrandt represented. Serious representations have potential to reach faraway someone beyond all distance. As their works have fed my life, I hope that works of Kozo Izawa, Toshihiko Maemoto, Masaaki Yashima, Ikuyo Yasuda, and Hiroki Yasutomi will be loved by someone in somewhere of this world, and they will make her or his life fertile.

written and translated by Kaoru Ogihama