I’ve gotten quite far behind with my news in this blog. Over a month ago now, quite out of the blue, I was offered an exhibition in a brand new gallery (still under construction in fact). The proposal came as a result of a presentation of my work that I gave at the gallery Higure, at the invitation of Masashi Ogura. Ogura-san is a curator and visits Montreal almost every summer. Nicole Gingras suggested we contact each other. Even though I had no work here with me and I had no idea what I would show, this was an offer I did not even think twice about – of course I accepted.
Yoichiro Ozawa, the owner of Tokyo Studio invited me to visit the soon to be gallery space and discuss the possibility. He has an amazing collection of Yayoi Kusama’s work, one of which he let me hold. Tokyo Studio is a family owned publishing and exhibition installation company (they make catalogues and do the lettering and installation of work for some of the biggest galleries and museums in Japan).
On my first visit to his building in Komagamae, I was invited along with several of his employees to lunch. Afterwards we discussed the what, how and where of the exhibition. With my Japanese, being quite limited and Yoichiro-san’s English – a grade ahead of my Japanese we definitely had a huge communication gap, ahead of us, but he wisely had organized a group of English-speaking employees to coordinate the event.
Since those initial meetings we have slowly secured a sense of trust and excitement working towards this common goal. The gallery, then only a garage full of left-overs from years of installation work would definitely have been a stretch of the imagination for any non-believer. Shinesuke-san, Lee-san and Asami-san have been my helping group and they are a great gang. Knowing that I live in a white, carpeted apartment, a table near a window is reserved on the 2nd floor of the building for me to use to prepare work for the exhibition.
My surprise solo, entitled, Kami kotoba (Paper Words) will be the inaugural exhibition. I decided to have four of my poems translated into Japanese (by Ogurua -san) and to cast the words in paper to make several installation pieces. I have been busy doing tests, preparing my materials and tools. So, now the work begins….more on that later.