interview & Text: Masamasa Nishino
The beginning is from one picture
–I heard that Director Sudo, who was a salaryman of an insurance company, decided to open the "Sudo Museum" when he first purchased the work. Wasn't he interested in art at first?
Sudo : That's right. I had never bought an art work in the past, but when I saw the work of a writer named Sokichi Suga at a museum, I was initially impressed that it was something strange, but for a long time. I was really worried when I was watching it. Some of them gradually came to my heart, and both the couple liked it, so the first collection was sold by the director of the museum.
The work of Sokichi Suga, who was the catalyst for collecting the works.
–Why did you own so many works from there?
Sudo : Starting with that one, I wanted his other works, and when I found out that there were works in the museums in Himeji and Kobe, I went to both. Also, I found out that there are also galleries in Tokyo and Osaka, so for the first time I became an art gallery.You have decided to set foot in such a place.
–If you've never been there, you might think that it's a gallery with a high threshold. There is an atmosphere that is difficult to enter.
Sudo : That's right. As a beginner in the gallery, I had the image that I had to buy it, so I was very nervous (laughs). But that wasn't the case, and that led me to visit various galleries, but as I watched it, I wanted the works of other artists … I bought more and more because I was in agreement with my wife.
–And the number of works has increased steadily. When I heard the story from earlier, I was reminded of the collectors' herbs and Dorothy (*).
* What is Herb & Dorothy?
A couple of postal workers Herbs and librarian Dorothy collectors who built one of the best art collections in the world. Although his income was not high, he continued to buy works, and the number exceeded 5,000. In recent years, the collection has been donated to museums in 50 states across the United States.
Sudo : It's often said (laughs). But as a collector, I didn't consciously collect them, so the feeling that "it has become a result" is stronger. If you think about it, you may not be a collector, but if you don't buy the work you are interested in, I feel like a blue bird will run away. However, I think that you should enjoy buying the work by feeling it with your body, not the price or name.
–I heard about the reason why you started to buy works, but it's okay for the works to be gathered (as a result), and you're about to open the "Sudo Museum".
The Sudo Museum is a renovated building that was previously used by the artist as an atelier.
There was only a former atelier, and comfortable outside light was pouring into the space.
What you can do because it is the Sudo Museum
–I can understand how the activity started from one picture and became bigger and bigger. By the way, the works are exhibited at the venue where we are currently recording, but this one was produced by an artist invited by the Artist in Residence. Why do you have a residence in Odawara?
Sudo : We invite writers once every two years, and this is the third time. Before I moved to Odawara, I was introduced by a residence in Slovenia, Spain, saying "I want you to introduce Japanese artists", but "Invite not only to introduce but also to Japan. I've always had the feeling of "ba". However, it is difficult in terms of location in Ginza … However, I thought that it would be possible in this scenic land of Odawara, and I tried to propose to the government "Why don't you do this kind of thing?" I did. But that wasn't possible, so I decided to start personally. Artist-in-residence has various possibilities, such as promoting art, nurturing and supporting artists, and having writers interact with citizens through stay production. This time as well, artists and citizens were able to interact through various activities such as concerts, workshops by artists, symposiums, and public production of works.
A state of the exchange workshop with citizens held during the Artist in Residence
–Mr. Sudo selected the artist?
Sudo : Yes. All Japanese artists are open to the public, and I interviewed them for selection. However, overseas writers cannot be interviewed, so I have been recommended by various people based on my past connections. Especially this time, I thought it would be better for writers from various countries to gather, so I thought it would be better to gather in the United States, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and Su.I decided to invite a writer from Sweden.
–There are really many writers from many countries participating. If you are staying in Odawara, are there any trends or trends that the artist pays attention to in Odawara?
Sudo : I don't know if it's a trend, but first of all, let the participating artists take a slow look at what Odawara is like. There is also a castle, and there are many places to see such as the famous soy sauce shop. I also had them experience zazen at Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (laughs). So, after all, there are people who are inspired by such places. Junko Okamoto's work on display there is a work that was inspired by looking at the wall of a soy sauce shop and made with a paper collage. Also, I think that the landscape paintings of Mt. Fuji in Victor Alba (Spain) can be said to be a work that I feel from this place. However, some writers have their own themes, so Kate Ali (USA)'s work expresses the unemployment rate graph as a picture. It seems that many overseas writers create based on various themes such as political issues and environmental issues. As an aside, I think that production alone is cramped, so I also gave each artist free time.
Photo left: Junko Okamoto (Japan) / Photo right: Victor Alba (Spain) | Both portray the experience of Odawara on a flat surface.
"color: # 00ccff">-It's a valuable experience (laughs). Certainly, it doesn't make sense to come to Odawara just by making it every day, and I think it takes time to feel free from it.
Sudo : That's right. Production is also important, but I think that by getting people to know the goodness of Odawara through experience, the goodness of this land will be conveyed, and it will lead to tourism and the economy after that. I'm also talking to the city people that I have to think from such a broad perspective.
Photo: Work by Kate Ali (USA) | The white line is drawn by quoting the unemployment rate graph.
–So, the last question is that an art museum suddenly appeared in a residential area eight years ago, but I think that many people in the area were also interested in art. increase. However, for eight years, you have been carrying out various activities, including this artist-in-residence project. Is there any change in the reaction of the region that you can see through the activities? Also, I would like to hear your future prospects.
Sudo : I entered the art world through my experience as a salaryman, and I have a strong desire to convey to people that art is indispensable in terms of human spirit. It's not a complete gallery, it's not a big museum. But I think I've done what I can do "because it's the Sudo Museum". Besides the residence, there was an earthquakeAfter waking up, I have held exhibitions, concerts, workshops, etc. in the disaster area of Iwate prefecture, and I have taken the collection to rural areas and held a delivery art exhibition. I think that art is generally unfamiliar, but I've been exhibiting works that are of good quality and should be seen by many people, so people in this area are also very interested in it. It came to give me. Especially at Artist in Residence, we were able to have many people cooperate and visit us. I feel that the meaning of the activities that have been carried out so far has been conveyed. As for the future outlook, is it still going on? As with this residence project and the support project in eastern Japan, we do not know how long we can continue. I hope that some people will continue this activity in some way.
Photo: Director Ichiro Sudo and Mrs. Noriko Sudo
The New Year Selection Exhibition is being held from January 8th (Friday) to 24th (Sunday).
[Session] Closed on Mondays, January 8th to 24th (Sun)
[Opening hours] 11: 00-18: 00 (until 17:00 on the last day)