「bit talk2 by EPSON 色にはそれぞれもっている強さがあります」
"bit talk2 by EPSON"
記事 (日本語) / Text [Japanese]
記事 (英語) Text[English]
Wired, monthly magazine, Nov. 1997 issue, douhousha
bit talk 2
That "BIT TALK" is back. The "BIT TALK 2" that is starting with this issue will be featuring as guests various creators that use digital tools, and will be bringing you a six-part series (in all).
What kind of imaginings gave birth to the works that these guests create-we will ask (them) about those original thought processes. Our first guest is artist Rica Takashima, who is the creative head of "Aozora Art".
Rica -style "Communication Art"
I starting working as an illustrator around '90, and I have been creating for a variety of media formats. This is something I realized working on jobs that were aimed at large audiences, that although I occasionally received fan mail, in general I could not directly communicate with the audience on a one-on-one basis. I started thinking how I could communicate on (such) a personal level with many different people using art, and that is how "Aozora Art" [*1] was born. Back in '94, there was a pedestrian street in Harajuku, so I mixed with the (musical) bands that performed there, and designed it (Aozora Art) in this style of "street art".
(In general,) Art is something one goes to a museum and looks at silently, isn't it.
(However) It is not fun for me to just stand there and look at art while murmuring "hmm"
Even though I actually want to know the artist's perspective, philosophies, or their feelings when they produced that piece, only the work itself is displayed, and the humanity of the artist is not introduced at all, at museums. After reading the catalogue that I would rather not read (because it) that is so jam-packed with words that it is like a manuscript, I finally feel like I understand (the artist/work). I really think we should be beyond that era, though.
That being said, I do love such academic works as well, (but) I would rather like to go out on the town more and more, introducing art in a easily understood, carefree, and fun light, as opposed to in the format of studying it, so that people can enjoy it more. (I feel) There are many different ways to do it. And thus, everyone can participate in it as well. It would be a lot of fun if art and people could communicate (with each other).
The "color(s)" of an artist that descended upon the city
Ever since I started doing art activities in the streets, I've been working energetically and flashily no matter what (happened), so that I would not lose to the city's vastness and power.
And the same can be said for the colors in the works I create.
Ever since I (first) ventured outside, my impressions of (different) colors have vastly changed.
Each color has its own power. I feel like it is similar to the concept of timbre that is found in music, but in terms of art, (it would refer to) "colors" that the people viewing them could enjoy. "Colors" that can stand up to the city's power. (Currently,) The medium I use when I create paintings are marker pens, so there are times when I have had to express myself using a limited palette, but that is not the only reason (for the flashy colors).
Even though buildings in the city may be gray, the billboards are very flashy. It is just that one usually doesn't realize this because one is too used to staring at the city (every day), but if you try drawing it, you find out that you actually do draw it as it is, and are not (artificially) enhancing it. Thus, cities do possess very vibrant colors. Therefore, in order to be able to draw in and establish communication with more and more people through painting pictures in the city, I feel that it is necessary to use strong and glamorous colors that can stand up to that (task).
Transmitting art digitally
My first encounter with digital tools was around October '95, when I created homepages in Japanese, English, and French to introduce (the activities of) "Aozora Art" over the internet.
Later, when I went to France, I uploaded and introduced the goings-on, along with photos, of the "You too (are/can be) a masterpiece" (see photo to right). The first time we ran a live webcast on our homepage was when I held the final run of "You too (are/can be) a masterpiece" at the French Embassy in Tokyo. Each time a new participant showed up,
I had them write down their impressions and entered them, along with photos taken with digital cameras, into a laptop computer, edited them, and uploaded that data from the closest ISDN pay phone. I would like to keep doing live webcasts of all sorts of art forms, using such digital tools, from here on out.
Separate from that ("Aozora Art"), I do have a lot of interest in "cityscapes". I feel that until recently, information from abroad was reaching us (only) after being filtered through some degree of censorship. But now with the rapid spread of the internet, it is (finally) possible to obtain information transmitted by a single individual, isn't it. That (observation) made me realize that I myself am in a country within Asia called Japan, and (that) I live in a really small apartment in Tokyo within that (country/Japan)-(and then) I really felt my own insignificance.
And when I thought about what that insignificant me is (made up of), I started feeling like I wanted to treasure much more that things "we have because we are in the present" that can be discovered among the circumstances, landscapes, and culture I currently find myself in. I would start depicting the things that are right in front of my eyes-just like the Parisian painters of long ago who depicted the Champ-Elysees as they saw it out of their own windows. The view out my room window is currently in a terrible state, due to the chaos of road construction, but that too is (a part of) culture, I have recently come to realize.
Artworks spread digitally
At any rate, I love big artwork. I have even created [continued on next page] [second page]
"Each color has its own strength"
Rica Takashima, who paints through Aozora Art or on the town, uses the fun and power of color to connect people and art
works on 5-meter [5.5-yard], even 10-meter [11-yard] tall canvases in the past.
However, I'm considering creating even larger works. Literally, I would like to simultaneously exhibit on the large walls at construction sites in (each of) the 23 (total) city districts (of Tokyo) large works depicting the everyday cityscape (that can be) seen from (each of) those locations. I feel that if that could introduce (to the public) the greatness of the city, it would be really great. I want to make art that can be seen by even passersby, rather than that which decorates the inside of a gallery and is only introduced to a fraction of the population. However, (realistically,) I have to deal with the logistical problems of the artwork such as its method of enlargement, its durability, how to mass produce (large) works within a short period of time-that's when one can utilize digital technology to enlarge them and do mass printouts. Then it does become feasible. I do think it is inherently fun to draw large pieces by hand, of course, but there is only one of me, so it is very difficult to bring forth many (such work) all at once. I feel that if one utilizes digital technology as a tool to ease the time constraint limitations of analog, then one can more efficiently take advantage of the spare time created by this (the digital technology) to focus on one's (artistic) weaknesses.
My dream for the future is "Art in Space"
I have a lot of dreams, but it would be nice to circle the globe using art. For example, if we brought "The mystical picture book store" [*2] to children around the world, I wonder what kind of pictures they would draw. I think it would be great to be able to have an art tour where we could learn and absorb the cultures of the countries we visit, and communication between cultures can occur.
My big dream is to paint a huge sunflower on the (side of the) weather satellite "Himawari [Sunflower]"
[*1] "Aozora Art" A collage composed of (many) people from all different walks of life. Engaged in art activities incorporating "human warmth (generosity)" on the town or at meeting halls, where people can pleasantly communicate (with each other). Participants create (their own) original artwork and are presented with them on the spot. There are more than 10 series of the project.
[*2] "The mystical picture book store"
An art (activity) where children and adults complete "blank picture books" containing only the title and partially drawn pictures by writing in or drawing fairy tales from their own imaginations.
[Quote] I would like to continue introducing art in an easily understood, carefree, and fun way so that people can enjoy (art) more. It would be a lot of fun if art and people could communicate (with each other).
Artist. Born in Tokyo, 1965. Graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Besides putting on "Aozora Art", also active as an illustrator of things such as CD jackets, magazines, background art for TV show credits, and cosmetics packaging.
<Activities planned for the near future>
October 17-19: "Networking Fair for Women '97" (Yokohama Docklands "Pacifico Yokohama"), planning to participate through "Art Palmistry"
If you e-mail us your handprint (to) (email@example.com) by October 15, it will be reborn as a piece of wonderful artwork and be presented (back) to you.
"You too (are/can be) a masterpiece" in front of the Louvre.
"Mona Lisa" (da Vinci) and "Ship of Fools" (Boss)