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Interview with Koganecho Bazaar 2014 exhibiting artist Walter Scott

黄金町バザール2014出品作家 ウォルター・スコット  インタビュー

text: Akiko Inoue
Interview: Sakiko Wakiya
Photo: Masamasa Nishino

Walter Scott, an artist exhibiting at Koganecho Bazaar 2014 (hereinafter referred to as Bazaar), is an artist from Montreal, Canada. His masterpiece is a comic series that depicts various events in the indie art scene unfolding around the main character "Wendy," who is an indigenous North American artist and reflects his own identity as an artist. This time, she was in Koganecho for the bazaar and talked about the works on display, focusing on ``Wendy: The Disaster of Yokohama,'' which she created based on her own experiences. What was his impression of Koganecho, and of Japan, as seen through his eyes, as an important process in his work is to record and analyze his own experiences? Even after the interview, Walter went out on the town and talked with strangers, making me smile.

About the comic work “Wendy”

- First, let's hear about Wendy's comic, which is your masterpiece and is scheduled to be announced at Koganecho Bazaar 2014. What kind of work is this?

Walter Scott (W) : This is a series of stories featuring a girl named ``Wendy'' who is a reflection of myself. Wendy creates works in the independent art scene, but she doesn't have any particular expertise, and her work depicts a slightly unstable situation where she has something she's aiming for, but isn't able to achieve it. I am.

walter scott

-Did you have any intention behind choosing a young woman as a character to project yourself? Also, why are all of Wendy's dreams shattered every time?

W : There was no particular intention in choosing a female character.
At first I was making small drawings, and a friend complimented me on them, which led me to start creating this work. That's why I don't necessarily want to draw women.

Also, the difficulties that Wendy goes through are based not only on my own experiences, but also on the experiences of my friends. I often hear from friends about the hardships and worries of the creative world, and I want to know not only my own experiences, but other people's experiences as well. Sometimes I get to hear very personal and deep stories (lol)

-Please tell us a little more about your comic book ``Wendy''.

W : It's a 34-page comic with a color cover. Half of it is set in Montreal, Canada, and the other half is set in this Japanese town, centered around Koganecho. There are three characters, and each of them has their own story. This time, the Japanese translation will also be handwritten. The work is almost complete, and all that's left is to wait for it to be bound. The bound work will be sold at Hinode Studio's Koganecho Art Book Bazaar and Bazaar Bazaar. Incidentally, I also designed the signboard that will be used when selling the books. We also plan to sell canvas knapsacks.

Sign board design (currently in production)

Sign board design (currently in production)

-Why did you choose to set the story in two locations, Canada and Japan?

W : My method of creating works is to first record things that happen to me, analyze them from an objective perspective, and then begin painting. But it's very difficult to do that in a short period of time. The original concept was to make a comic about everything that happened in Yokohama, but due to time constraints, we decided to incorporate half of the work done in Canada.

-So the two works are not connected, but rather separate from each other.
The word "record" has just come up, but how much research did you do around Koganecho and Yokohama?

In addition to Koganecho, we have also created episodes based on our experiences in Shinjuku. My works don't place emphasis on drawing specific signs or backgrounds that allow us to identify the town where the story takes place, so the overall atmosphere is that you don't know where the characters are or where the setting is. think. However, a certain bar in Shinjuku appears in a way that is easy to understand.

-I hear that you also create sculptures in addition to your comic series.

W : When creating sculptures, I am conscious of a purer aspect that is different from comic works, so by creating them in parallel with the “Wendy” series, I am also able to increase my own inspiration. It's connected. By the way, the sculpture will be displayed in the exhibition space above Koganecho Art Book Bazaar.

-What kind of sculpture is it specifically?

W : I've made several cube-shaped lamps about 40cm high, and when you plug them in, they light up.

Sculpture work (in progress)

Sculpture work (in progress)

About Virtual Community Asia - Koganecho Bazaar 2014

-This time, you are applying for the bazaar through an open recruitment process. What made you decide to apply?

W : The biggest inspiration for me was advice from Makiko Hara, the curator of this exhibition.

-Does the title “Virtual Community Asia” have any bearing on your motivation when applying? Also, please tell us what you felt after actually working on your project during your stay.

W : Wendy's work is a completely virtual story, so in that sense I think it fits very well. After actually staying there, I find it very interesting to create fiction based on the reality I experienced in this real world. Also, I'm from an indigenous group in Montreal, Canada, and since indigenous people have their own unique language, they always live by substituting their own language for English. Now that I've come to Japan, there is now a need for conversion from English to Japanese, and I feel the complex circumstances of this community.

walter

Koganecho/Japan as seen from Walter

-By the way, what impressions did you get when you came to Japan, lived here in Koganecho, and walked around the streets of Japan to research your work?

W : First of all, compared to Canada, people and buildings are all about 20% smaller in Japan, but I have a very good impression of that. It's very elegant and inspiring. In particular, the Yokohama area is less noisy than Tokyo. In that sense, I really like Koganecho. I get some kind of inspiration every day.

-The word "elegant" has just come up, but please tell us a little more about the image you have.

W : I think the so-called elegance is a little out of line with this region, but I feel that the image of Japan as a whole, especially the Japanese way of living and architecture, is elegant. Speaking specifically of the Koganemachi area, there are some new buildings, and some old houses with very narrow frontage, and the imbalance is very charming and comfortable.

- After doing a lot of research, from Walter's point of view, which are the most recommended spots around Koganecho?

W : This is Ootoya in Isezaki Town. Fried chicken is delicious (lol)

- Lol!

So, my final question is, what kind of people do you want to see the exhibition at Koganecho Bazaar 2014?

W : In the past, I was surprised to find out that more people than I expected had seen my work, but this time as well, my main premise was to have it seen by as many people as possible. I would like people in the art industry to read this because I think they will be able to find interesting parts and commonalities that seem to reflect their own selves. However, I would like people who are not specialized in art to learn about the inner workings of the art industry (moreover, the core part that reflects my own experience) through Wendy.

After the interview, in the room where Walter is staying.

After the interview, in the room where Walter is staying.

■《Wendy: The Disaster of Yokohama》
Available at: Koganecho Art Book Bazaar, Bazaar Bazaar

Sculpture exhibition location: Hinode Studio (work number 02)
*To view the exhibition, you will need a passport (paid) that is valid during the exhibition period.

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