"Hachibankan Sketch"
(Hachibankan is the name of the former brothel building)

video installation (40min loop video, beamer, transformed canvas, text)

Hachibankan Sketch

Yosuke Amemiya

As I had no basis for comparison upon which to judge the unique qualities of those small rooms, I asked to be shown the building that, out of all the available buildings, best typified the district. It was my first time to visit the district when I turned up to examine the space prior to my show.

So I was taken to this building. I was told that although the second floor had been already renovated, the first floor remained untouched since the day of the crackdown on prostitution in the area in 2005. The first floor of the building has a complicated structure of 6 rooms. Permanently shut off from sunlight, the rooms were chilly like a cave. The building was filled with a warm colored tepid smell of a mixture of body fluid and mold. Feeling the smell lodging itself in at the deepest part of my lungs, my breathing instantly grew shallower.

I was told that I was allowed to use the first floor for my show, but its current state was too unsanitary to bring in an audience, and it also required extensive repair work. So, I decided not to open the space to the public. I could easily foresee that the overwhelming atmosphere of the space would be lost if I cleaned and repaired the damaged floor, removed the hundreds of stuffed toys that had become hotbeds for the mold, and cleaned the sailor-style school uniform.

The pink lights impeded my spatial comprehension. Remnant grocery items painted a clear picture of little foreign girls who left their home and worked there. There were gazes of more than two hundred figurines, stuffed toys and portraits. While standing transfixed at this massive volume of information before me, I was also still struggling to reconcile a proper sense of distance between me and the great earthquake that had occurred only a few months earlier. So, it was totally impossible for me to come up with smart answers while cradling a jolt from the earthquake in one arm and these things in front of me in the other.
The reason for the difficulty in reaching a proper sense of distance between me and the earthquake was that the principles held by everyone were different to each other because each person was affected differently—some died while others were unaffected and indifferent. It led me to imagine that I needed to think of numerous answers for the situation. I got exhausted by the immensity of possibilities and I lost the direction of my thought.

I believe the same can be said about what happened in this town. The form of justice for all the people can’t possibly be the same. The neighbors must be happy as the town is now safer without prostitution and the people labeled as Yakuza. Furthermore, it is quite impressive for this to have been achieved with art.
On the other hand, the people labeled as Yakuza must have glared at the town with enraged eyes as it was being repaired, cleaned and painted with white to have art exhibitions. I also imagine that some of the young foreign girls in this town must have had families who relied on them.
I have no intention to defend them. It is impossible for me to firmly support either side because I have been involved in this town only for one or two months, and that is not long enough to properly digest the complete picture.

Then the idea struck me that art is playing a very meaningful role in this place, but only artwork that can give an opinion from a truly neutral standpoint.
Normally, I don’t paint, but I suddenly felt like painting. At the same time, I didn’t want to keep the paintings.

I wandered around with a paint-brush and an easel for a few days in a room next to where you are now, but I never got used to the smell. The odor still comes to me from the depths of my lungs as I toss and turn on sleepless mornings.




展示に使って良いと提示された一階部分は 、そのまま観客を入れるにはあまりに衛生状態が悪い事や、大幅な補修が必要な事から、その場所を公開する事はやめにした。たとえ公開する事ができたとしても、きれいに清掃して痛んだ床を直して、カビの温床になっている夥しい数のぬいぐるみやセーラー服を洗濯してから元の位置にもどしたら、きっとこの圧倒的な感じは損なうだろうと簡単に予想できた。
空間把握能力を喪失させ、距離感を均一にするピンクの照明。 親元を離れた明らかに幼い外国人女性が働いていたであろう生活用品。200個以上の顔——置物やぬいぐるみや肖像画——の視線。僕はこの圧倒的な情報量の前に立ちすくんでしまったし、ましてや、数ヶ月前に起きた震災について、まだまだ自分との距離感をつかむのに苦心していたので、震災とこの事とを両脇に抱えてスマートな答えを出す事など出来るはずがなかった。

例えば、震災について自分との距離をつかむのが難しいのは、 亡くなってしまった人から全く関心が無い人まで、「全ての人の災害に相対する形が違う」ため、「全ての人の正義の形が違う」事だ。何かを把握する為には、莫大な数の答えを用意しなければならないという(実は当たり前の)事を、あらためて表面化させ、想像を強いられ、丁寧に考えようとすればするほど、誠実であろうとすればするほど、疲弊し、思考の行き場を見失わせる。





Exhibition: Koganecho Bazaar 2011
6 Aug - 6 Nov, 2011

Koganecho area, Yokohama, Japan

Koganecho Bazaar is an art festival hosted by the Koganecho Management Center, an NPO that uses art to revitalize the Yokohama City Naka Ward Koganecho urban area. With the city's everyday spaces as a stage, the festival has been held every autumn since 2008, and to present organizers have invited a total of 90 groups of artists, curators, and architects from Japan and abroad. With an organization plan that considers creation to presentation as a consecutive process, the festival examines current issues raised by contemporary art.

Artist: Santiphap Inkong-ngam, Mark Salvatus, Sutthirat Supaparinya, Taisuke Abe, Yosuke Amemiya, Mitsuhiro Ikeda, Kenji Ide, Hitoshi Ushijima, Ichiro Endo, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Tsubasa Kato, Takayoshi Kitagawa, Risa Sato, Nobuhiro Shimura, Generative Music Workshop + Kouichiro Sugiyama, Koji Sekimoto, Yuri Sakamoto, Kentaro Taki, Yuichiro Tamura, Tomoyuki Noda, Takahiko Higuchi, Yutaka Hirai, Jun Honma, Hirofumi Masuda, Yuko Matsuzawa

小沢剛, マーク・サルヴァトゥス, スッティラット・スパパリンヤ, サンティパープ・インコン=ガム, 雨宮庸介, 本間純, さとうりさ, 遠藤一郎, 牛嶋均, 志村信裕, 瀧健太郎, 安部泰輔, 北川貴好 , 池田光宏, 樋口貴彦, 平井豊果, 生成音楽ワークショップ, 杉山紘一郎, 井出賢嗣, 加藤翼, 増田拓史, 松澤有子, 野田智之, 関本幸治 ,田村友一郎