Among the many large-scale artworks on display at Towada Art Center, Yamagiwa Mitsuhiro’s work is something one only discovers from wondering around, in and outside the art center. His pieces, each small and humorous, are scattered throughout in various intervening spaces.
Fragments here and there seem to add up to a common narrative of sorts−a marmot frozen in some Alpine habitat, an icy exhibition room that shines at night−but don’t; instead, they keep us questioning our acts of looking, our curiosity. Ever attentive to people’s movements and sight lines, Yamagiwa has installed a balloon-like object in the ceiling of the elevator (which moves horizontally rather than vertically), to look as if it has floated up and been forgotten. A road he built by a concrete gutter ends before the corridor, creating a deformation of scale and alignment.
Yamagiwa has created an installation scattered throughout the museum, in a variety of media, from painting to objects to found materials. Visitors are thus free to connect these fragments and enjoy weaving them into stories of their own imaginings.
※Top Image : there, here and over there: I cannot be you
Born 1969 in Nagano, Japan. After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University, Yamagiwa worked as an editor for an art and design publisher while pursuing his career as an artist. He was commissioned to create a permanent work for the opening of Arts Maebashi in 2013, reflecting how the building interior and exterior interrelate and how people move through the space. His group show participations include “Welt in Liestal̶Japan im Palazzo” at Kunsthalle Palazzo (Liestal, Switzerland, 2016), “Century idee Bauhaus̶a drj Project with 100 International Artists” at drj (Berlin, Germany, 2019), and “scene” at Koumimachi Kougen Museum of Art (Nagano, 2019).