mamoru WE MELT THEM AND POUR IT ON THE GROUND
Yuka Tsuruno Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by mamoru, WE MELT THEM AND POUR IT ON THE GROUND from June 5th to July 3rd, 2021. In this exhibition he will show video installation works that developed from his research on the remains of residences from the Neolithic period on the Eastern coast of Taiwan, discovered by Japanese archaeologists during the Japanese colonial era. The works disentangle and stimulate the imagination on various entwined power relations, discourse, and materiality in history, such as mechanisms of authority and gestures of resistance, that become apparent from approaching history and archives through listening.
When one is enticed into the endless echo of what one is listening to, one can limitlessly continue imagining what it might be. While the conclusion is ever postponed, the listener would gradually become part of the listened through the vibration that creates no distance between the two.
mamoru treats listening as the act of paying attention to indistinct sounds in daily life, imagining the sounds that are roused by texts or visual images, the manner of searching and tuning in towards matter that was silenced or excluded from history. He has been practicing listening that unfolds as multiple universes that continue to echo as reverberations and resonances, through performances and installation works that multidimensionally interweave sounds and video from voices, narrations, song, sounds collected and text written from field work and resource documents.
WE MELT THEM AND POUR IT ON THE GROUND developed as a listening artistic research project that deals with the plurality and fluidity in recounting the history of remains from the Neolithic period on the Eastern coast of Taiwan, discovered by Japanese archaeologists during the Japanese colonial era of World War II. Having focused in his previous work on the connecting dots, surpassing time and space, of small histories that were buried in the history of colonialism in Asia, he was drawn to these ruins that he came across during field work investigating remains of fortresses built by the Dutch East India company in Tainan, and studied the circumstances and purpose of its excavation. Based on archives of his findings and interviews, the video work of the same name describes the voice and story of archaeologists who had no choice but to be implicated in colonial policy within the power structure of imperialism, notwithstanding the importance of modern scientific exploration, conducting excavation research even under the danger of American bombardments. Unfolding in connection is a completely separate story of resistance told through the memories of a Puyuma elder, one of the indigenous tribes of the Taiwanese aborigines, whom he met while in search of the bullets that were shot into the vicinity of the ruins and attacked the archaeologists.
Based on the bullet, which became an important motif for the project, and historical evidence that most of the lead used in World War II was mined in Oklahoma, the new video and sculptural works examine the materiality of lead, which appears in different forms throughout history by virtue of repeated gathering, collecting, and melting. In the crystal works in particular, lead is compounded with glass, a substance between liquid and solid. The variability of both substances resonates with the artist’s practice that treats history and the recounting of history not as conclusive but as imaginary, by listening to the absences, gaps, and connections with the current world.
These multiplex practices and works that focus on listening encourage us to expand our imagination by questioning how history has been told, and listening to the sounds and vibrations of individual events, persons, statements, documents, and substances that have been dispelled and neglected in these historical accounts and in daily life.
Born in 1977 in Osaka. mamoru holds a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Music (jazz piano) at The City University of New York (2001), and a master’s degree from the Master Artistic Research program at The Royal Academy of Arts and The Royal Conservatory, The Hague (2016). He was a trainee under the Overseas Study Program for Upcoming Artists of the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2015. His recent exhibitions include Archives of Salvage Archaeology (National Museum of Prehistory, Taitung, 2020), HER/HISTORY (Kishiwada Municipal Jisen Kaikan, Osaka, 2020) 10th Yebisu International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions – Mapping the Invisible (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, 2018), Time of Others (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2015, and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2016), Sensorium, Media/Art Kitchen (Ayala Museum, Manila, 2013), OVER THE RAINBOW (Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo, 2013), and Re-Modernologio (Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori, 2011).
WE MELT THEM AND POUR IT ON THE GROUND
Date: June 5 – July 3, 2021
Opening hours: Tue – Sat, 11am – 6pm
* Closed on Sunday, Monday, and National holidays