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Koutarou Ushijima Solo Exhibition “Words in place of objects make us fly off to unknown places”

Koutarou Ushijima Solo Exhibition “Words in place of objects make us fly off to unknown places”
Period:October 19 (Sat) – November 10 (Sun)
Etc.:October 19 (Sat) 18:00-20:00 Gallery Talk & Opening Party / November 3 (Sun) 14:00-14:30 Gallery Talk
Closed:Open throughout exhibition period.
Etc.:Final day open until 18:30
Venue:1F 3331 Gallery

3331GALLERY #038 3331ART FAIR recommended artists Koutarou Ushijima Solo Exhibition: "Words in place of objects make us fly off to unknown places"

3331 Arts Chiyoda is pleased to present the solo exhibition by 3331 ART FAIR 2019 recommended artist Koutarou Ushijima titled, "Words in place of objects make us fly off to unknown places".

Ushijima incorporates into his artworks, which often combine the use of words, gathered objects picked up off the street since his college days or those he holds a certain attachment for. His works, each delicate and somehow familiar, cross into our minds and interact softly with our memory and imagination. One by one, narratives residing in objects are drawn out without an end. This is part of Ushijima's aim to remove meaning and function from objects in order to discover their essential form of existence. Furthermore, his works put a slight pause on our tendency to become washed away by modern society overflowing with objects and words, which allows us to take a step back and reinterpret our surroundings.

In recent years, Ushijima's works have moved one step further from the act of raising small histories and narratives hidden in objects towards capturing them as "personal histories" through collections of objects that become stored physically. The works bring identity back into objects that go unnoticed as if the artist is attempting to regain their place of belonging in the world. We discover this concept in works such as those presented in "the shape of the outside" in 2017, as well as the new series Ushijima started in 2019 titled "anonymous house".

For this exhibition, we present over 800 curious items collected by Ushijima on the street titled "things from the street", along with picked up objects and those that have a special meaning to the artist. Displayed in addition are the "intentional accident" works onto which Ushijima himself embroidered letters (words), and those part of the "method of arrangement" series in which objects are combined with "words" with which they have no actual thread of connection. Furthermore, the exhibition includes works from "the shape of the outside" - the first series through which the artist stepped into the concept of "storage" - as well as those from "anonymous house".

This exhibition showcases an in-depth look at Ushijima's path towards his most recent experiments in art. We invite you to join us in taking part in his renewed perspective on the world of objects and words.

Left : 2014 Kyoto Art Center (Kyoto) (c)Kyoto Art Center, photo by Tomas Svab
Right : 2011 Seian University of Art and Design (Shiga)

▼Artist Statement
The artworks in this exhibition combine "objects" and "words".
The "objects" include things picked up off the streets in all kinds of places, and things that have a special meaning to me personally.
The "words" are embroidered, made into stickers, or written by hand.
During my university years, my major was in sculpture (stone carving in particular) and I spent my time making all kinds of things, but it didn't go so well. At the same time, I was writing a novel, but this also didn't go so well.
After graduating as a research student, I thought about all the reasons why things didn't go well, and about how the things I made and wrote should exist - it was a series of trial and error.
For this exhibition, I present the artworks created in that way, along with my newest pieces.

▼Comment from the Recommender
Two years ago, I took a walk with Koutarou Ushijima. It was about 30 minutes from the nearest station to the exhibition venue. The road was muddied by a storm-like downpour that had just passed by. That day, the plan was to have a talk with him at the venue. But we thought,
"might as well start at the station". Although we posted about it on social media, with the awful weather people weren't going to show up anyway, so this "walk and talk" only took place between those involved. It must've looked like a few friends just casually walking together. But Koutarou gave off a vibe that said, "hey, I'm fine with this". There were few people, but a close bond was formed between us. Walking slowly, even time passed by in a different way than usual. Nothing special happened, but it wasn't as if nothing had happened. That way of thinking was just like Koutarou. The air around us was clearer than usual. Maybe he was the one that called that storm.

Shin Fukunaga

▼Recommender Profile
Shin Fukunaga (Novelist) 

Born in 1972. Works of literature include The Night before Acrobat, The Earth Seen from a Constellation , and 一一一一一. Served as talk guest for "uncatchable story", a group exhibition which included Koutarou Ushijima in 2017 (Curated by Ayako Takemoto). Wrote the double-parted story featuring the "Walking Part" of the walk to the "Zuiun-an" venue with Ushijima, and the "Dialogue Part" describing their talk within the venue.


▼ Events
1. Gallery Talk by Koutarou Ushijima & Opening Party
Date : October 19 (Sat)
Hours : 18:00-20:00

2. Gallery Talk by Koutarou Ushijima
Date : November 3 (Sun)


▼ Artist Profile


Koutarou Ushijima

2010 "intentional accident" MITSUBISHI ESTATE ARTIUM (Fukuoka)
2014 "Imagination Super Highway" Kyoto Art Center (Kyoto)
2018 "FOCUS" Tezukayama Gallery (Osaka)
2018 "Roppongi Art Night 2018" (Tokyo)


3331 Arts Chiyoda
Koutarou Ushijima Solo Exhibition
Management: Saki Nishiyama, Nobuyo Hikone, Saki Morimoto
TEL (Main): 03-6803-2441

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