Thursday 7 January 2016

Ikebana Today 43

Have you ever thought, “What is this?” at a contemporary art exhibition? “Even a child could make this” or “ Why does this have to be so expensive?”  If we tried to make something similar, however, our work generally would not be recognised as an artwork. What is the difference?

As I mentioned, the key is whether the work has meaning or not. There are many types of meaning that contemporary art can seek. One of them is to make comments on the modern art. So, it’s necessary to learn a bit about the modern art. But I’m not going to talk about it here. That is beyond the scope of this essay. Having said that, however, I may be able to suggest a strategy to make your art work more meaningful.

How can we make our work more meaningful as a contemporary art work? This is a very difficult question. I spent 4 years of my MFA to answer to this question. The quickest answer was proposed by Takashi Murakami. He specified 4 crucial factors to be appreciated as contemporary art works: composition, intensity, context and individuality. We can probably understand that good art work has great composition, and is intense and individual. But how about context? All of the four factors are related the meaning that artwork can create, but context is particularly important. What is it? I’m going talk about it in next issues.

This is the work I made at the corroboration with a butoh dancer, Yumi Umiumare in November 2015. While Yumi and other dancers were performing, I created this work in about 10 minutes. It was a very unusual but fun project.