I see you – 108 pieces
Yumi Watanabe’s 108 pieces are made originally from photographs developed in the darkroom and coated with resin. By making 108 pieces in different sizes and shapes, she propose to liberate the 108 visible worldly desires – often used in buddhist tradi- tions. For an example, in the last evening of the end of the year, the buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times in an act of liberating 108 worldly desires. Her personal 108 desires comes in sentences on the public side of the window of the gallery, and they are connected to her photos of natures in different shades of blue.
“See you” is used at the time of departure in English. “I see you” then literally becomes the completely opposite of this gesture. With a “see you” always on the other side of literal meaning of “I see you, ” the two artists explore the coexistence of independence and collaboration, expression and dialog, distance and intimacy, and many other cont- radicting values associated with a different hues of color blue. In this intervention/installation, artists Yumi Watanabe and Shinpei Takeda, di- rectly confront this question of recognition of otherness, as two artists having collaborated on various project in the past 5 years.
The communication crisis prevails our contemporary life, particularly now with the increasing division between different ideologies. Our eyes are blurred, and our ears are clogged with so many layers of informa- tion junks, and surrounding noise. How do we communicate in authen- tically and constructively? How do we recognize the others and accept the otherness, and ultimately how do we collaborate, are the central questions that artists have been exploring.
„I can hear you but I can not understand you“ perhaps characterizes the situation at its best. We hear the words of the others, but often we don’t get the content. This is not a misunderstanding because of dif- ferent mother tongues, but often it is about one’s thought patterns, expectations that misinterpret words. In art, important communication of the otherness happens. We find ourselves thinking in terms of exem- plary expression of human originality in order to challenge the very no- tion of the otherness. This philosophical question about otherness has assumed an evident prominence in our time, witnessing to our sense of distance from less self lacerated practices.
An additional dimension results from the collaboration between the two artists in their nomadic lives. Both were born in Japan, Yumi Watanabe growing up and trained in their homeland. Shinpei Takeda on the other hand, lived and studied in Germany, Mexico and the USA. Today, both commute between Tijuana, Dusseldorf, Vienna and Japan.