Installation view of ART TAIPEI 2013
Interview with Tomoko Ashikawa 芦川朋子
Q: How would you describe Yuko Mohri and her work?
Yuko is an artist full of new ideas and great passion for her expression. She is also an artist who is eager to collaborate with others; artists, musicians, photographers and other creative people. It is an important experience of collaborating with others, especially people from other backgrounds, for her because she always gets inspired by them in many different ways.
Her work is interactive and entertaining in a way that the audiences can see different kind of movement and hear wide ranges of sound in an exhibition space. It is not just about seeing the work but more about experiencing the atmosphere of the space. In the meantime, there is this conceptual aspect that we can see something we are usually unconscious about in her work. She creates her own system and circuit to let the objects move and to make sound. This system is sometimes controlled by an invisible magnetic power or sometimes controlled by the characters of the objects such as the color, pattern, shape and so on. The way her work functions reminds us to be more conscious about the presence of something we are not usually looking at but definitely there. Her work is a device that can give us an awakening of the power, environment, and objects around us in our everyday life.
Q: How did you decide to present her work as the gallerist of waitingroom?
I’ve known her and her work for the past 6-7 years already. I was sure about her talent as a contemporary artist. I was sure that her work is something to be introduced at many different fields in art; at museums, galleries, art fairs, residencies, art festivals and so on. She has already been showing her work at museums and wide range of events. However, no one was representing her work at the gallery as well as international art fairs. I believe it is very important that artists, curators, gallerists, critics, collectors and all these art professionals should work/discuss together to create a stage for the artist. No one was doing the gallerist part for her and I decided to present her work at waitingroom.
Q: What’s the collectors’ general attitude in Japan towards to media art or installation art?
We are still in the process of understanding how to collect media art or installation art in Japan. People think it is more for the museum or institution not for individual collectors. I think it is the same situation in Taiwan too. However, there are more people who are interested in collecting them compare to 10-15 years ago. It is the artist and the gallerist’s job to think how to sell and leave them to posterity. Hence, it is a very exciting media because there are still so many different ways of thinking and full of new ideas.
Q: From an interview I read about that you had your house when you started your own project space. How did it happen then and what was the situation that drove you to it?
I used to live in New York where people just start their own space at home. There were home galleries, home clubs with live music, home whatever. They just do it because they are really energetic to do what they like to do. I was really inspired by this situation and though I might be able to do it in Tokyo too. That’s how it happened. If you believe in what you do, there are many different ways to realize it.
Q: It was your first time to participate Art Taipei. How was the result of it? Did it meet your expectation? And did you find anything interesting of the art scene from the event?
We had such a great experience at the fair, meeting curators, collectors, writers and many art professionals from international field. We had a lot of good feedbacks and exciting opinions about the work by Yuko and concluded the fair with great results.
Q: What does it mean for you of running a space? Is there an ideal model that you have in mind?
I think the space is your brain and it can travel to other place too. I have my gallery space, waitingroom, and it is my main place for my activity but it can travel to somewhere else and still can be “waitingroom”. It is almost like mobile mind and philosophy. When I am at art fairs, other spaces for exhibitions, other events, it is still my space, waitingroom, as long as there is my philosophy there. My ideal situation is that there are a lot of my space, waitingroom, everywhere in the world, when the gallery is participating in the fairs and when some of my artists are doing shows at other places so that there are always little bit of ideas of my space everywhere.
Ｑ： 你會怎麼形容Yuko Mohri和她的作品？
Ａ： 我認為所謂的空間就是你的大腦，它可以帶你去任何地方旅行。我的畫廊空間waitingroom是我主要的活動場域——它可以旅行至任何地方，也仍然是我的「waitingroom」。這有點像移動心靈和哲學觀的概念，每當我在藝術博覽會或是其他展覽等場合，只要那邊存在著我的意志和經營理念，它就也算是我的空間。我的理想狀況就是， waitingroom存在於世界各地，當畫廊在參加博覽會、或是我的藝術家在其他地方跑秀時，裡頭總是會有一小塊想法或氣場，由我的畫廊出演，走到哪跟到哪。