「CHANGE」変容する空間 - Transformative Space






Itaru Hirano もうひとつのネットワーク 平野 到(埼玉県近代美術館学芸員)


Frank Fuhrmann フランク・フアマン


Toyoko Katsumata 勝又豊子


Mitsunori Kurashige 倉重光則


Masami Yoshioka 吉岡まさみ


■ Satoshi Ogawa 小川 愉



Another Network
Itaru Hirano, Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

Since the 1990s, situations and environments that surround artists have undergone significant changes on a global level. With discount plane tickets available, we are able to easily travel to any destination. Today, the internet contains almost all known information; thus, it is even possible for us to follow most world events in real time. The major features of the art world since the 1990s include the many large-scale international exhibitions, such as the biennials and triennials, that have come to be held in regions outside Western countries, as well as the rapid worldwide increase of artist-in-residence programs.
Upon surveying the state of the art world over the last two decades, one finds that, on the surface, opportunities for intercultural contacts have increased and international exchanges have become more active. However, this is highly questionable once we examine whether productive exchanges have truly been deepened. The answer becomes apparent by reflecting on some examples of the large-scale international exhibitions that have been held. That is to say, although such exhibitions have gathered many artists from various countries in festival atmospheres with a rich cosmopolitan character, in hindsight, quite a few of them resulted in mere transient effects. It is also undeniable that the cutting-edge art world that is exposed to the rapidly evolving information superhighway and art markets entails a certain weakness from the perspective of sustainability and interaction, which are necessary to understand and absorb different cultures.

However, if we shift our focus to a different aspect than the limelight of the art world, it is also a fact that there are artists who have firmly continued to hold international exchanges, while also utilizing those experiences as their motivation for creating their own works. Artist Frank Fuhrmann, residing in Hannover, is one such artist who has continued to exhibit his works in Japan for over fifteen years since the 1990s. Having lived in Japan for a period, he loves Japan dearly and has created quite a few works that relate to Japanese culture in his production concepts.
Fuhrmann has cited that the essential elements for artists in pursuing their activities are “the encounters with people and creating a network.” He wrote the following passage for his solo show held last year at a gallery in Tokyo:


Intense competition and economic instability are the norm for artists. Beneficial to succeeding in the art world are talent, outstanding work and an indomitable spirit necessary to create works. But these elements are useless without a network. For instance, a network allows people to support one another. Such relationships are created through maintaining contacts with one’s past fellow students, as well as through finding new friends with mutual interests. (from the handout for Fuhrmann’s show at Gallery Gen, 2012)


 For many years, Fuhrmann has nurtured such relationships with artists and acquaintances in Japan, as he has done in  other countries. This is another type of network different from the one employed in the front stage of the art world. In  other words, “another network” is based on bonding and empathizing with people on a more personal level. This series of solo exhibitions, CHANGE—Transformative Space, is being curated by Fuhrmann, and will be held in Hannover. The participating artists are Fuhrmann himself, Mitsunori Kurashige, Toyoko Katsumata, Satoshi Ogawa and Masami Yoshioka. The latter four artists are precisely some of the people Fuhrmann met through his personal network; he has continued to deepen his relationships with each of them. Hence, it would not be an overstatement to say that this series that includes those four artists traces Fuhrmann’s long years of interactions with Japan. Those interactions might have been personal and modest, but they were unquestionably far more intimate and compassionate than the empty theories often thought up by the curators of large-scale international exhibitions.

Incidentally, Hannover, where this project will be held, is relatively well known to art historians in Japan. Hannover is the birthplace of the unique 20th-century avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters. One of the works in his architectural project Merzbau (c. 1923-33), in which he renovated his own rooms, was later reconstructed in the city’s Sprengel Museum Hannover. In addition, just around the time Merzbau was being created, the Russian artist and Schwitters’ close friend El Lissitzky was experimentally designing an entire exhibition space, The Abstract Cabinet (1927-1928), in Hannover. This work would also be reconstructed at that same museum. Merzbau and The Abstract Cabinet display contrastive styles, but they are both pioneering projects that were based on a consciousness toward architectural space and the entire exhibition space. Thus, both projects can be considered as works of world heritage that Hannover produced in the 1920s. When I walked around the city during my two visits there, I felt that the cross-border communication conveyed by Schwitters and Lissitzky still continued to echo far into the distance.
I sincerely hope that in concert with that echo, this series of solo exhibitions, CHANGE—Transformative Space, will generate new and fruitful interactions in Hannover, while at the same time allowing the artists to further create their networks.



平野 到(埼玉県近代美術館学芸員)











Indefinite Square -hand drawing 2011

video installation neon Steps Gallery. Tokyo


Mitsunori Kurashige  


One day in 1968....
I placed a lit fluorescent light from the ceiling fixture on the sheets of newspaper that I spread out so that I could paint, and discovered that the letters along the edges of the light had disappeared because it was too bright. The light that was supposed to make the letters visible instead indecipherably erased them. The light not only erased the letters but even the meanings.
That experience allowed me to feel an exquisite pleasure.
I discovered the fact that a fluorescent light simultaneously possesses the function to make things visible and invisible.
A fluorescent light provided the reality that light in fact can erase things.
The act of creating a work is not aimed at reproducing the image as it is possessed by the artist’s inner self (the subject). Rather, an artist begins from the realities and facts that have been provided to him/her through his/her own experiences. Meanings that are originated and produced from that initial point can be manifested within the synchronous space of the “here and now.”
The act of producing a work means that the artist is creating the device and conditions that can automatically generate meanings.
During the time of production, it is important that the subject/artist is present in the work in the form of the Other.




The Flickering Square 2011 (DARK LIGHT)

video installation neon kunst und Begegnung Hermannshof e.V. Germany