Until It Becomes a Film Sing in a Loud Voice 2018 Video installation, 4K UHDTV, stereo, 9'00"
Youki Hirakawa was born in 1983. Taking as his theme the "time" and "memory" residing in place, he has produced artworks examining film as a central motif. Since 2011, he has participated in numerous artist residencies while based in Germany. In 2015, he resided in Berlin under the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists. Hirakawa’s major exhibitions include "Until You Fall into a Deep Sleep" (Minokamo City Museum, 2013), "Aichi Triennale 2013," "Sapporo International Art Festival 2014," and "19th DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow" (The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2016).
This exhibition, the artist’s first solo show at Ando Gallery, features "Until It Becomes a Film Sing in a Loud Voice," the third piece in the "Lost Films" series he has undertaken since 2017. On a black background projected on a wall, the titles and production years of old Japanese films faintly appear and disappear. The voice of a man is heard reading the titles aloud in a low voice. The titles appear at first like a simple enumeration, yet as we watch, we notice faint connections between them and catch glimpses of poetic meaning. The films are all Japanese movies once publicly screened but now "lost Japanese films," a record of which remains in magazines and posters but whose actual motion picture films have been lost. Surprisingly, the whereabouts of about 95% of Japanese films shown until the 1930s are unknown, it is said. As a major reason, we can cite the use of celluloid film containing a highly flammable compound, nitrocellulose, until the 1940s. Other reasons include insufficient awareness concerning the preservation of films and their loss to fire in the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Air Raids on Japan. Initially, when viewing a list of lost Japanese films for the production of this work, Hirakawa noticed that their titles came together in places to form poetic sequences of words. Selecting out such word sequences and rearranging them, he has completed what can be called (if somewhat fragmental) a poem. The poem, in a sense, gives a "voice" to the Japanese movies lost in the course of Japan’s long history of filmmaking. "Until It Becomes a Film Sing in a Loud Voice" entwines history’s loose threads and projects them—as black light—on a screen. By doing so, it invokes the spirits of thousands upon thousands of lost films.
Information Provided by: ANDO GALLERY
Period: June 12,2018 (Tue) 〜 July 28,2018 (Sat)
Closed: Sundays, Mondays and National Holidays
Venue: ANDO GALLERY 3-3-6 Hirano Koto-ku Tokyo