IKA (defamiliarized physical expression), a group of creators working to augment the body’s capabilities and individuality through the use of technology, has teamed up with Susumu Namikawa, Experience Creative Director of Tokyo Biennale, to explore the possibilities of new physical expression using AR. The “defamiliarization” of the body here includes its ability to withstand stronger impacts (enhancement), the body itself as a sound collector (transformation), and its ability to drift (advancement). Envisaging the body as a wheeled structure may seem unrealistic, but it is actually an extremely efficient structure for driving on flat roads. As this new body appears in the actual scenery through AR, it will surely result in an embodied experience.
Oblivious to the concept of time, we attempt to reconsider the implications of “diverse bodies”. If, tentatively, we say that there exists a body that was, is, or will be different from our own, it will be a body with a different signifier to that of the wheelchair, which we sense as an alternative body. IKA (defamiliarized physical expression)
He has released works on Inner Ocean Records in Canada and Local Visions in Japan. His sound design has been described as “The Avalanches meets Brainfeeder”. In recent years, he has been working on lo-fi hip-hop and ambient music. He is also a curator/play listener with a deep knowledge of new age and rare groove and has contributed to such publications as “City Soul Disc Guide 2” and “New Age Music Disc Guide” (DU Books).
Ryoichi Ando Project Organizer, Director of Superhuman Sports Society, President of AXEREAL Corporation
After studying at the Imperial College and Royal College of Art in London in the U.K. and Pratt Institute in the U.S. as part of the KMD Global Innovation Design Program in 2015, he graduated from the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University in 2017. In addition to serving as the President of AXEREAL Corporation, he is also the Director of the Superhuman Sports Society, which is dedicated to pioneering a new realm of sports called “Superhuman Sports”.
Susumu Namikawa Copywriter, poet, programmer
Born in 1973. In addition to working as executive creative director at Dentsu Digital Inc. and as a copywriter, he continues to create works that combine poetry and programming. Video works include “Industrial Waste Treatment Plant Rock” and “Poolside Life”. Exhibitions include the poetry exhibitions “little stones in panic forest” at Gallery Sanyodo and “I A and I B” at Impact HUB Tokyo, in which he collaborated with artificial intelligence. He is the author of “Happy Birthday 3.11” (Asuka Shinsha) and many other publications. https://www.facebook.com/namikawasusumu
Arts Chiyoda 3331 #206 6-11-14 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
・1 minute walk from “Suehirocho” Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. ・3 minutes walk from “Yushima” Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. ・6 minutes walk from “Ueno okachimachi” Station on the Toei Oedo Line. ・7 minutes walk from “Okachimachi” Station on the JR Keihintohoku Line, Yamanote Line. ・8 minutes walk from “Akihabara” Station on the JR Keihintohoku Line, Yamanote Line. ・15 minutes walk from “Ochanomizu” Station on the JR Chuo Sobu Line.
《one eye photo》 by Ahn Sang-soo is the photo project of Korean typographer and graphic designer Ahn Sang-soo which began in 1988 and continues to the present day. The first one eye photo was made for the cover page of legendary culture magazine “bogoseo/bogoseo” created and published by himself from 1988 until 2000, when he covered an eye with his hand in his self-portrait photo. Since then, Ahn has taken one eye photos of people he has encountered in everyday life. It was 2003 when he opened his blog (http://ssahn.com/) and started to upload selective one eye photos with dates and names of when and whom he met, which counts almost 10,000 today. From 2012, the project was invited to several exhibitions and festivals in different cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.
Ahn believes “when meeting someone for the first time, it is like opening a whole universe,” so this project is about his true joy of acknowledging and respecting life. In addition to his daily sincerity, there are performative elements in this project. Because he asks to cover an eye and be in front of his camera to random people he meets, his asking becomes an instruction or a score for people to create a little “happening”. The ongoing action of himself – meeting people, asking for one eye, taking photos, saving files and sharing online, is also a repetitive gestural performance.
Born in Chungju City (South Korea) in 1952. Typographer, Graphic Designer, Artist. Studied at Hongik University, Seoul. Honorary Doctor of Design in 2001 from Kingston University, London. He has been the editor and art director of the underground art-culture magazine Report/Report since 1988. He began his Typography professorship at Hongik University in 1991 and retired in 2013. Internationally, he held many solo & group exhibitions including the ‘Nalgae-PaTI’ exhibition at SeMA (Seoul Museum of Art) in 2018. Ahn was the Chair of TypoJanchi (Seoul Typography Biennale) from 2001-2017 and was the 1998 recipient of the Grand Prix of Zgraf8 and the 2007 Gutenberg Prize from Leipzig, Germany. He has also received the DFA Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong.In 2013, Ahn established an independent design school called PaTI (Paju Typography Institute) in Paju Bookcity, Korea. He is also a Professor at CAFA, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.
“Kao no Waishatsu” (business shirts with a face) is a store specializing in order-made shirts, established in 1920. It is said that the giant face on the signboard is based on a portrait of the first owner, Kaji Eimatsu, in his youth. Located at the Kanda-Ogawamachi intersection, “Kao no Waishatsu” has retained a deviating presence for over a century as unparalleled sign architecture.
This project is an attempt to historicize and preserve the existence of “Kao no Waishatsu.” Architecturally, the building is scheduled to be demolished for redevelopment in the next few years, so what the project aims to preserve is the “face” signboard and the memories of “Kao no Waishatsu.” Commencing in July 2021, the process of opening the doors of “Kao no Waishatsu” to the town will begin concurrently with the start of Tokyo Biennale. Despite being an exhibition venue of the Biennale, the first stage will involve maintenance of the site, which will be open to public view as part of an ongoing process. Starting first by cleaning the building, followed by basic renovation work to make it safe and clean, the venue will then be transformed into a shop and production studio. An exhibition of “kao” (face) works is planned in the shop on the ground floor in August. Given the name “We are Kao no Waishatsu,” the project encapsulates the concept of the Tokyo Biennale, “from me to us” and the notion of building co-creativity in the community. If you would like to participate in the project, please contact the Tokyo Biennale Secretariat.
The Tokyo Z-Studies Reserach Lab was formed by the team responsible for developing the new exhibition venues for Tokyo Biennale 2020/2021. While walking around Tokyo on a daily basis, we discover the potential of “Z” hidden in the city, and endeavor to find new value through research activities that will lead to a vision for the future.
Z is the Z of “zetsubo” (despair). Since A follows Z, it can be said that Z is in a state of constantly seeking A. I held a solo exhibition titled “Luminous Despair” in 2015, and A signifies the presence of “luminosity” in this state, while emotionally it is the A of “ai” (love). I see Z as a state of despair so strong as to cause anyone to abandon the existence of value in the process of value generation, but at the edge of which the energy of condensed love (or luminosity of existence) is born. I name the perception and study of existence that has reached this state of “Z=despair (love, luminosity)” as “Z Studies”. “Z Studies,” which extends beyond street observation and modernology, is currently at the germination stage, but will be developed as a research field revealing new focus points and perspectives connected to many academic fields such as sociology, ethnology, urban studies, and art studies. Amidst the metabolism of Tokyo, which is being transformed into a super high-rise cityscape through redevelopment, there are private stores in which time seems to have stopped, and abandoned dwellings with no registered owner. Stones, signs, and other objects whose owners are unknown continue to exist even on newly constructed sidewalks and shoulders of expanded roads. For me, the manifold existence of “Z,” which is no match for the concept of “R” (renovation), is on the same vector as the creation of “art”. Once you have acquired this Z perspective, a walk around the city will lead to an increasing awareness of the rawness and diversity of human culture, which transcends the narrow concept of “art”. It is like opening ourselves up and letting go of our ego, allowing us to see the world as it really is. Having acquired extreme “tolerance and criticality,” “Z” may be said to be an idea that warns us of the existence of another value in Tokyo.
Based on the theme “Unseen Everyday Scene,” Tokyo Biennale invites artists to create and exhibit works with diverse ideas in the field of Tokyo, and many of the venues for their presentations conmprise sites that I have discovered one by one through daily Z Studies fieldwork. In this sense, Tokyo Biennale can be said to be a space where value is discovered in sites that comprise a “Z” state, and where evaluation and the application of creativity that generates new urban contexts can replace such despair with the energy of hope. To begin with, we launched “Tokyo Z Studies” as a research laboratory in order to develop Tokyo as a field for research. If you are interested in becoming a researcher of a still unexploited city through the activities of “Tokyo Z Studies,” please do not hesitate to contact us. We also hope that you will enjoy Tokyo Biennale from the perspective of Z-Studies. Masato Nakamura (Director, Tokyo Z Studies Research Lab)
Z Studies is composed of the three viewpoints of “Purity x Earnestness x Deviation,” another theme of Tokyo Biennale, while the evaluation of sites is attempted according to the extent to which each viewpoint is applicable. “Tokyo Z Studies” is the means by which we have critically analyzed “Z” concealed in the city, achieved through the process of procuring venues for the Tokyo Biennale. The analysis of “Z” involves different viewpoints depending on the observer’s position and interests, while Z Studies is oriented toward ongoing research and implementation as an approach that overlays urban critique with the context of art within the development of the Tokyo Biennale. This time, the condition of “Z” will be analyzed in the following three ways:
Purity: A sense of existence in which economic desire and the intensity of work have been shaken off to reveal heightened purity. Earnestness: Actions or behaviour that reveal a sense of earnestness in spirit that transcends rational reasons such as objectives or functions. Deviation: A fresh and deviant expressivity that has never been seen or experienced before under normal conditions.
How to experience Tokyo Z Studies An introduction to “Z” and recommended routes are available here. My Map Site URL (to be released at a later date)
You can download the PDF data here. PDF download URL (to be released at a later date)
In addition to an introduction to Tokyo Z Studies, our SNS account allows you to post and read comments and recommendations related to “Z”. Facebook/Instagram site URL (to be released at a later date)
(As of June 2021)
1: Okachimachi Iron Bar 2: Narrow housing in front of Kanda Station 3: Kanda Asahi Photo by Masato Nakamura