Aiko Miyanaga Interview “A Changing Port, Many Times”

宮永愛子 インタビュー『遷り変わる港 いくつもの時間』

Interview by Masanobu Nishino Text by Akiko Inoue

"Nissan Art Award" currently being held at BankART studio NYK. The Grand Prix and Special Jury Prize were selected from eight finalists the other day at this contemporary art award, which is held every other year for the first time this year. This time, we interviewed Aiko Miyanaga, who won the memorable first Grand Prix. Mr. Miyanaga's exhibition place is a space that opens up to the harbor from the balcony on the second floor of BankART studio NYK. The large glass case room works are just between the inside and the outside. When looking at the exhibition, on the way from the room to the outside, the hustle and bustle of the harbor fades in from around the glass case. And when you go outside, you can see the scenery with the sound of the wind and the cries of seagulls. It is not a scenery of the kind called a superb view, but the continuous time of "now" itself.
The harbor town on the other side of the sea was bustling with many people that day.

I met Mr. Miyanaga at the exhibition hall and talked with him at the café on the first floor. After a sharp concentration, calm days that come only for a moment. He responded to our interview with a little bit of a slow and comfortable time that resembled such weakness.

Cooperation: BankART studio NYK

— “History” time nurtured by the port town / Surface time “now” —

—Congratulations on winning the Nissan Art Award 2013 Grand Prix.

First of all, please tell us about the concept of your award-winning work "Letter".

In art, I think some people create the inside of this object (pointing at the cup they were drinking from), but I like to create the entire space, so first come to that place. I think about where I want to use it and make it. The most attractive thing this time was the view of the port and the view beyond the port. People are always moving, fish are jumping, and windmills are spinning. That kind of surface time = "now" is a scene where you can see the time moving, and I had the feeling that I wanted to use this in my work first. Next, how can we create that space and use it effectively? I think that "time" exists. How did the port here begin, and why was the current surface time created? I started making works because I wanted to create an exhibition that would make the viewer think about something without explaining it.

Aiko Miyanaga "Letter" 2013
naphthalene, resin, sealing wax, trunk, mixed media
Photo: Keizo Kioku © MIYANAGA Akko / Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

sure. I watched Miyanaga's exhibition this time while being conscious of the outside scenery.

The place where the items are displayed is inside the room, but the place where the items are displayed is not just one place in the room, but the whole space related to one place of exhibition, so the room where the things are placed. The inside of the room, the passage leading to the room, and the balcony outside the room are also used as spaces. By using three landscapes in this way, the composition of the work allows the viewer to feel that even more distant landscapes are incorporated into the work without their knowledge.

Miyanaga Sea

The trunk used in the work is placed on the balcony, and the scenery of the harbor with many ships and people coming and going spreads out in the background. (photo: MAGCUL)

— Personal time accumulated in “things” —

—A trunk is used as one of the motifs in this work. What is your intention behind it?

I wondered how I could create a work that would make the viewer think about the time that flows there, and this time I used a trunk as a motif. Originally, BankART studio NYK was a warehouse, so the journey started from here, but it wasn't just going out, but there were elements coming in, and I wanted something that felt like that. hand. When I came to check it out, there were a lot of palettes piled up outside. .

Miyanaga Aiko "Letter" 2013 (detail)
naphthalene, resin, sealing wax, trunk, mixed media
Photo: Keizo Kioku © MIYANAGA Akko / Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

—This time it was a trunk, but you often use daily necessities as models. What is your intention with that selection?

It's easy to connect with each person's memory when they see it, so I choose things that everyone knows as much as possible rather than special things. For example, in the case of shoes, it is possible to see the amount of time spent by the person who used them, such as wrinkles and hems. It's a thing, but it's not a thing, it feels like a person. I don't think I'll use naphthalene to mold the human body. Even if you don't do that, I think you can feel a person with just one key. I choose motifs with that in mind.

aristocratic clown
Aiko Miyanaga "Aristocratic Pierrot" (Part) 2007
naphthalene, mixed media
Photo: Norihiro Ueno ©MIYANAGA Akko / Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

— What the material tells us. Encounter with naphthalene —

—Mr . Miyanaga, you often use naphthalene in your works. Please tell us about the work in the glass room located between the balcony and the interior.

A first-time visitor may think that there was originally a glass room, but in reality, the place was a corridor (windbreak room), and three pieces of glass were added to make it look like a room. We have created a space where you can see the process of how Naphthalene's works change. This is the largest glass case work I have ever made. Everything in the room is "encapsulated" and none of the naphthalene is exposed. Only the trigger is prepared on the side of the viewer.

—Please tell us how you came to use naphthalene in your work.

When I was thinking about what to do for my senior year graduation project, I was changing clothes with my mother and found two pieces of naphthalene in the bag, but only the round shape was left in the bag. I thought, "If I can make a work with this, I can create a work that will disappear." It was a sculpture course, so I wondered if anyone else was doing sculptures that disappear and I wanted to try it.

— What is included in the title “Letter” —

—The word “enclosed” came up earlier, but there is a work in which a key-shaped naphthalene is “enclosed” in a trunk. I heard that there is some sort of trick going on.

The transparent resin trunk work is filled with naphthalene, but if you look closely, you can see that the small air holes are closed with red sealing wax. If the red sealing wax is removed, the naphthalene will begin to sublimate little by little, and the key will appear as an absent form over a long period of time. In other words, the same thing that happens in the glass case room is happening.

—The title of this exhibition is Letters.

Everyone knows that Yokohama is an old port town and a port where Western culture entered. I think it must have been a place where the expectations and dreams of people starting new things intersected along with the distribution of goods. The current scenery is the continuation of that history, and the future scenery will be connected to that continuation. Various trunks transported from the port have traveled to some faraway country with someone's thoughts on them, and have arrived here with someone's thoughts on them. In the scenery that changes day by day, I named it "letter" because I thought about the time that history has accumulated so far.

— Expectations for future awards —

—I don't think there have been many opportunities in Japan to collect and award contemporary art works.
Please let us know if you have any expectations for an exhibition like this one.

In Japan, after the age of 35, opportunities to participate in awards and overseas dispatch programs decrease. There is no age limit for this exhibition, and it was a great experience because we will be exhibiting together with artists who are active on the front lines. I was also happy to have overseas curators see my work in person. More than anything else, I am grateful that I was able to face contemporary art, which is "a work born from this era," rather than an object that has already been evaluated. When it comes to corporate support, image improvement tends to come first, but this time there was support for a wide variety of works. If you continue this for many years, I think you will be able to see the layer of "present" in the overlap.

Kanagawa recommended introduction

"LA MAREE DE CHAYA Hayama Main Store"

We would like to introduce the LA MAREE DE CHAYA cakes “Phrase” and “Caterine” recommended by Aiko Miyanaga. This time, I visited the main store in Hayama for an interview. When you take the bus from Zushi Station and get off at Abuzuri, the 5th bus stop, you will see a coffee shop that looks like a European country house almost at the same time as the sea that spreads out in front of you. That is the LA MAREE DE CHAYA patisserie specialty store. Although the desks and shelves in the store are showing signs of age, I could feel that they have been handled with great care, and I felt the dignity of a brand that has been loved for a long time. On the other hand, it is not decorated, and the quiet appearance is also good. “Phrase” and “Caterine” recommended by Mr. Miyanaga seem to be standard choices. It's nice to be able to buy such a colorful cake for only 400 yen.

Catherine and Phrase |

In addition to patisserie, LA MAREE DE CHAYA also operates Japanese restaurants, French restaurants, and Japanese sweets specialty shops. It's near the Abuzuri bus stop, so if you're in Hayama, be sure to stop by.

CHAYA |Hikage Chaya Official Websitehttp ://www.chaya.co.jp/index.html

Related articles