27 Sep 2019




Autumn 2019 HIAP resident Akira Takaishi will be exploring psychological spaces during his time at Suomenlinna. In the past, his work has involved holes, rooms, stairs and prisons.

Bend, 2018, Hole in ground, L810xW535xD205cm.

AA: In your work, you often research physical spaces such as rooms, stairs, holes and prisons. What are the ideas behind these places of captivity? Are you interested in depicting places of freedom and captivity, or perhaps isolation? Are you trying to formulate a philosophy of captivity?

AT: My work is about psychological spatial sense. I think our psyche can be compared to and seen as an interior space. I try to depict how those psychological spaces work. Forms of rooms, stairs and so on are used to examine how spaces can connect to each other and to the real world. In psychic language, opposing senses can be convertible. You can easily understand that state when you imagine being in a dream. You withdrew to a shelter, then it turned to be a prison and you were entrapped.

AA: Do you engage with the history behind specific spaces and places?

AT: My art itself is hollow, it the sense that it has nothing in it. But it makes surroundings visible, like a hole dug in the ground reveals the soil under the surface. When I make such a hole in this world, in specific spaces and places, peculiarities and histories will appear around it. When I dug a hole in a residential area in Tokyo, I hit a black layer that is hard as concrete. It was adhered ashes from the US army’s carpet bombing in World War 2.

Bend, 2018, Hole in ground, L810xW535xD205cm.

AA: Where is the ideal place for your art to exist? In particular physical spaces, or somewhere else?

AT: I think the core of art is in the state of isolation. It looks hollow from where we stand, because it is not in this world. The core exists ‘in a place far away from anyone or anywhere’. The physical body of art is just the periphery of it.

Little Bend (detail), 2019, Hole in ground.

AA: How do you think about materials and form?

AT: Form comes first from inside of me. It is one single concept. But when I embody it in the real world, materials reclaim other possibilities of form, which materials have in themselves. Materials have histories (series of concepts) in them. Those histories have forces, which always change the form somehow. We see the form that is the outcome of a dispute between different concepts.

AA: How do you feel about the documentations of your works and installations? Do you think it is a must to experience your work in the site?

AT: Even when we see them in the actual site, our experiences are not same. The core is one, but it appears in different ways. So, the documentations like photographs are just other ways to appear. When one of those photographs is printed, it can be regarded as another work like a painting. There is no guarantee that it is a “good” work though.

Installation view, Descending Garden, clinic, Tokyo, 2019, Photo by Benjamin Hosking.



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Artist website