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Teppei KANEUJI: Melting City, Blank Forest
Written by Takeshi HIRATA   
Published: May 05 2009

"White Discharge" (2009); plastic product, wood product, ironware, rubber product, pigments, and resin, 87×87×h.201cm, photo by eric, courtesy of Yokohama Museum of Art copy right(c) Teppei KANEUJI

"Tower" (2008); Ink, collage and paper, 73×51cm, photo by Takashi Arai, courtesy of  Yokohama Museum of Art, copy right(c) Teppei KANEUJI

"Teenage Fan Club #20" (2009); plastic figure and hot glue, 32.3×25.6×h.70.3cm Courtesy the Artist, Photo by eric, Image provided by Yokohama Museum of Art, copy right(c) Teppei KANEUJI

     The work entitled “Sculpture”, which is in the shape of a tower, was made by heaping up plastic goods to make this work look like a post, and by painting white resin over everything as if the liquid is dripping from the top of this tower. “Picture” is a work which was drawn all over a wall by using lines which remained after cutting out a blank map. And there is a work which resembles unknown living matter, created using only hair. All these works were made by Teppei Kaneuji. He changes the familiar into the unknown by using various techniques such as collage, which is a way of creating things by pasting clippings from magazines or daily newspapers, and bricolage, which is a technique of combining different types of materials, including plastic articles and timber.

     When you played as a child, didn’t you spread your toys all over your room? Didn’t you enjoy disassembling, combining, placing, constructing, changing, destroying or reproducing your favorite toys or “things”. Looking back on my childhood, I usually had an empty feeling after playing for a certain amount of time, though the room was flooded by my favorite things. I would think,

“Oh, no! I made a mess! I have to clear this room right now!”

     Then, I would immediately start to clear up the room and when I was finished, the installation – though for me, as a child, it was just a toy - which had appeared, suddenly vanished away as if it had never existed.

     Kaneuji’s works, which can be described as “ works which look like turned over toy boxes ” remind me of my childhood and make me nervous. On the floor, there are some pieces of paper marked by spots of coffee, and dozens of bucket in which there are pieces of gypsum. Therefore, I feel impatient, like a child thinking “If I don’t clear the room before my parents come, I may get scolded by them.” Of course, neither my parents nor Kaneuji’s can come and say, “Clear up this room!” I mean that the space where many things are displayed evokes my fear of occupying the space. I suppose that this impatience, which everyone can feel, may lead to eliciting feelings which include the fear and pleasure of taking over a space.

     Kaneuji can be said to occupy a space that is his own “thing” in Yokohama Museum of Art. As we unconsciously accumulate things in our daily lives, our rooms rapidly fill up. This increase in the number of “things” reminds us of the pressure to “clear the room” which we had in our childhood, and makes us feel guilty. Sometimes, however, the sense vector goes in the reverse direction, and a room which is filling up with “things” evokes conflicting senses in us - fear and relief. Although Kaneuji’s works look unregulated at first glance, they are actually quite orderly and give us the opportunity to encounter new things, just as we respond to the things in someone’s room when we enter that room for the first time.

     Indeed, this world, which can be said to be an unregulated space, is something long-forgotten and recognizable and reminds us of our “past” time (childhood) when we flooded rooms with “things”, and mixed feelings which include the conflicting desires to clear the room and keep it as it is. However, after the exhibition term, Kaneuji’s works will also be removed from the room where they are displayed like the toys which we cleared up from our room after playing in our childhood. This fact, again, evokes an empty feeling in me.
(Translated by Nozomi Nakayama)

Related Exhibition

"Teppei KANEUJI: Melting City, Blank Forest"
20/Mar/2009 - 27/May/2009
Venue: Yokohama Museum of Art

Last Updated on January 25 2011

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