コンテンツにスキップ
美術・写真

Interview with Aiko Miyanaga: "A Port in Transition: 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" is currently being held at BankART studio NYK. This contemporary art award, which was held for the first time this year and is held every other year, recently selected the Grand Prix and Special Jury Prize from among eight finalists. This time, we spoke to Aiko Miyanaga, who won the memorable first Grand Prix. Mr. Miyanaga's exhibition location is an open space overlooking the port from the balcony on the second floor of BankART studio NYK. The artwork in the large glass case room is located just between the inside and outside. When viewing an exhibition, on the way from inside the room to outside, the hustle and bustle of the port fades into my ears from around the glass case. When you step outside, the scenery opens up to you, accompanied by the sound of the wind and the cries of seagulls. It's not just a spectacular view, but the continuous "now" itself.
The port town visible across the sea was bustling with people that day.

I met Mr. Miyanaga at the exhibition hall and spoke at the cafe on the first floor. After sharp concentration, days of calm come for a moment. He responded to our interview with a sense of relaxation, but with a hint of a relaxed and comfortable time.

Cooperation: BankART studio NYK

— The time of “history” that the port town has developed/the surface time of “now” —

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

Please tell us about the concept behind your first award-winning work, ``Letter.''

When it comes to art, I think some people (pointing to the cup he was drinking from) create the inside of something, but I like to create the entire space, so I first come to the place and create it. I create it by thinking about where I want to use it. What I found most attractive this time was the view of the harbor and the view beyond the harbor. People are always moving, fish are jumping, windmills are spinning, and things are changing. There was a scene out there that showed me that the surface level of time (the "now") was moving, and I wanted to use it in my work. Then, the next question is how can we create that space and use it effectively?The "time" of the currently moving landscape has to do with the "time" of earlier times, such as historical time. I think about the existence of "time". How did this port come to be, and how did its current appearance come to be? I started creating works because I wanted to create an exhibition that would make the viewer think about something without having to explain it.

_MG_0143
Aiko Miyanaga “Letter” 2013
naphthalene, resin, sealing wax, trunk, mixed media
Photo: Keizo Kioku © MIYANAGA Akko / Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

-surely . As I watched Miyanaga's latest exhibition, I was conscious of the outside scenery.

The exhibit is inside the room, but the exhibit is not just in one place in the room, but in the entire space related to one exhibit place, so it is the room where the item is placed. The space inside the room, the passage leading to the room, and the balcony outside the room are also used as spaces. By using three landscapes in the exhibition in this way, the composition of the work allows the viewer to sense that even more distant landscapes are incorporated into the work without even realizing it.

Miyanagaumi

The trunk used in the work is placed on the balcony, and behind it is a view of the port where many ships and people come and go. (photo: MAGCUL)

— Personal time accumulated in “things” —

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

I thought about how I could create a work that would make the viewer think about the flow of time, and this time I used a trunk as a motif. BankART studio NYK was originally a warehouse, so I thought it would be good to have something that gives you the feeling that the journey starts from here, but it also has elements of people coming in, rather than just leaving. hand. When I came to preview the building, there were a lot of pallets piled up outside, but I decided to use some of them for display, and created a landscape (=installation) that would evoke images without explaining many things. .

_MG_0378
Aiko Miyanaga “Letter” 2013 (partial)
naphthalene, resin, sealing wax, trunk, mixed media
Photo: Keizo Kioku © MIYANAGA Akko / Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

-This time I used a trunk, but you often model everyday items. What is the intention behind this selection?

I try to choose things that everyone knows, rather than something special, because it's easier to connect with each person's memory when they watch it. For example, in the case of shoes, you can see the amount of time spent using them in the wrinkles and edges. In that case, it's a thing, but it doesn't feel like a thing, it feels like a person. I don't think I would try to make a mold of the human body using naphthalene. Even if you don't do that, I think you can feel a person's presence with just one key. I choose the motif with that in mind.

aristocratic clown
Aiko Miyanaga “Aristocratic Clown” (part) 2007
naphthalene, mixed media
Photo: Norihiro Ueno © MIYANAGA Akko / Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

— What the materials tell us. Encounter with naphthalene —


—Mr . Miyanaga often uses naphthalene in his works. Please tell us about your work in the glass room, which is located between the balcony and the room.

People who come here for the first time may think that there was originally a glass room, but it was actually a passageway (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 in which naphthalene works change rapidly. This is the largest glass case work to date. Everything in the room is ``encapsulated,'' and there is no exposed naphthalene. Only the opportunity is provided for the viewer.

—Please tell us how you started using naphthalene in your work.

When I was thinking about what to do for my graduation project for my 4th year of university, I was changing clothes in my dresser with my mother and found two naphthalenes in a bag, with only the round shape left in the bag. It all started when I thought, ``If I can create a work using this, I can create a work that will never disappear.'' Since it was a sculpture course, I wondered if anyone else had made sculptures that disappeared, so I thought I'd like to try it.

—What is implied in the title “Letter”—


-The word "enclosed" came up earlier, and there is a work in which a key-shaped naphthalene is "enclosed" inside the trunk. I heard that there was some kind of trick in place.

The transparent resin trunk is filled with naphthalene, but if you look closely, you can see that the small air holes are sealed 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 is happening inside the glass case room.

—This exhibition is titled “Letter.”

Everyone knows that Yokohama is an old port town where Western culture entered the area. I'm sure it was a place where the distribution of goods and the hopes and dreams of people starting something new intersected. The current landscape is a continuation of that history, and the future landscape will be a continuation of that history. The various trunks that are brought from the port travel to some distant country carrying someone's feelings, and then arrive here carrying someone else's feelings. I chose the title ``Letter'' to reflect on the time that has passed through history as the landscape changes day by day.

— What to expect from future awards —


—I don't think there have been many opportunities to collect and award contemporary art works in Japan until now.
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 I was exhibiting alongside artists who are active on the front lines. I was also happy to have an overseas curator see my work directly. Most of all, I am grateful for the opportunity to approach contemporary art, ``works emerging from this era,'' rather than objects that have already been evaluated. When it comes to corporate support, it tends to be about improving the company's image, but this time there was support for a wide variety of works. I think that if you continue this for many years, you will begin to see the layer of the "present" in the overlap.

Recommended introductions in Kanagawa

“LA MAREE DE CHAYA (Hikage Chaya) Hayama Main Store”
 

Introducing LA MAREE DE CHAYA's cakes ``Phrase'' and ``Catherine,'' recommended by Aiko Miyanaga. I took the opportunity to visit the main store in Hayama for an interview. When you get off the bus from Zushi Station to the 5th stop called Abuzuri, you will see the sea spreading out in front of you and a coffee shop that looks like a house in the European countryside. That is LA MAREE DE CHAYA's patisserie specialty store. Although the desks and shelves inside the store show their age, you can tell that they have been treated with great care, giving you a sense of the dignity that can only come from a brand that has been loved for a long time. On the other hand, I also like the quiet, unadorned atmosphere. Mr. Miyanaga's recommended ``phrases'' and ``Catherine'' seem to be standard choices, and the store's showcases are filled with dozens of types of cakes arranged with seasonal fruits. It's great that you can buy such a colorful cake for just 400 yen.

cake
Katerine and Phrase | In-store photo

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

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

Related articles