Yosuke Amemiya "Phantom Manuscripts"

Session:2019.9.14 Sat. - 11.2 Sat. 13:00 - 19:00
Opening Reception: 2019.9.14 Sat 18:00-20:00
*Admission free / Closed on Sun, Mon, Tue and public holidays.
Venue: SNOW Contemporary

SNOW Contemporary is pleased to present Yosuke Amemiya’s solo exhibition “Phantom Manuscripts” from Saturday, September 14th, 2019.Amemiya was born in 1975 in Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. After receiving a B.A at Tama Art University, Faculty of Art and Design, Oil Painting Course in 1999, Amemiya relocated to Europe in 2011 and completed an M.A at Sandberg institute (Amsterdam) in 2013. He currently resides in Berlin. His major exhibitions include “Roppongi Crossing 2010: Can There Be Art?” (2010, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo), “Kunisaki Art Festival?The Principle of Hope” (2014, Kunisaki Peninsula, Oita), and “20th DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow” (2018, The National Art Center, Tokyo). Amemiya has challenged viewers to rethink through the boundary on universal matters that are not recognized in the everyday life through his works of varied media including sculpture, video installation, and performance.

When Amemiya was preparing his solo exhibition in June 2019, both of his parents came down with illness almost at the same time. Amemiya mentioned he didn’t know “how to keep a distance with these personal incidents which were supposed to be different elements towards my work and exhibition.” Even though they were “crucial events” for the artist, issues regarding aging parents are universal events that anyone might experience anytime.

Although Amemiya initially considered the personal incidents occurring within his family should not be associated with his art practice, eventually, he reached the understanding that considering his family would lead to thinking of the “boundaries” and “universality” which is the theme of his works.

This exhibition titled “Phantom Manuscripts” will showcase six works including drawings and oil paintings as various “manuscripts” regarding his family, and his performances and projects.

We sincerely look forward to presenting Amemiya's exploration of his new theme, the “family,” which is a very personal yet the minimum unit in which the society is consisted of.


■Yosuke Amemiya “Phantom Manuscripts” Artist Statement

In response to the question “how should we build a relation with the world in this era, where we are given computers instead of ideology?,” the community of a family has the “force beyond reasonable judgement” which nations and class systems have lost. Thus, “in other words, one could say a family may become a political identity because it has this force.” (Hiroki Azuma, Genron 0: Kanko-kyaku no tetsugaku (The Philosophy of a Tourist), Chapter 5: Family, 2017)

While I was preparing for my exhibition and was thinking of creating new drawings that would become manuscripts of my performances, two of my family members came into the danger of death by different diseases last month, which gave me a huge shock. (The situation has settled down while I am writing this now.)

Although I thought of intaking this occurrence into my work, it was too personal to do so, and was also an incident that was mentally and physically too heavy for me. However, when looked from a more distanced point of view, I also noticed that similar occasions would be happening to people in turn, and that after all was not a rare event for humanity at all. It was quite a complex situation that I was put in.

Eventually, it occurred to me that examining a “family” might have a close relationship with elements I had been practicing in my works, including “going back and forth boundaries” or “giving mass to matters in which do not have.” Cautiously, I started to handle these incidents in parallel to my work.

A unit of a family in the contemporary era in which the internet had spread everywhere is certainly a strange place where the living body and its mind intertwine with each other. Furthermore, people perform “themselves” to complete their everyday duty in the name of life. When thinking this way, I felt the “manuscripts” I had been drawing for my performances and projects towards the society seemed to occasionally have similarity with the practice of telling stories of my family.

I sensed that not only “manuscripts of my performances and projects” but also the “manuscripts of my family” would lead to the query of “where ‘I’ end; where ‘we’ begins and ends,” which I had always been questioning.

“Art” and the “family” may appear as incompatible existences, however, I felt that perhaps they both are both covered with a “translucent obscure film.” I thought this film may radiate philosophy, sociology, biology, and even quantum physics, just as seven-colored rays of light made visible by prism when I looked through it.

Late July, 2019
Yosuke Amemiya