The Portraits on the Train

2001-2002 DVD series of short videos
Young Video Artist Initiative "The Usual Passages", THINK ZONE (Mori Art Museum), Tokyo, "In Different Spaces", Tokyo Wonder Site, Wanakio 2003, "MEDIARENA: contemporary art from Japan", the Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand, REPLAY: MEDIARENA ON SCREEN at FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology), Liverpool

Portrait on the train (demo)

This work is a series of portraits of people on the train. Collected around 50 portraits. Each portrait has a title from a famous film.
Since our mothers tell us, "you shouldn't gaze at people 
(civil indifference)" when looking at a person in front of you on the train, you pretend that you are not. When he looks back at you, you look away. Alternatively, you may suddenly feel someone's gaze and look up. Sometimes you can feel relieved that no one is looking. Other times you may meet someone else's gaze, creating an awkward moment. These glances, short glimpses of others on the train, occur constantly but are shy and fleeting. In this series of work, the viewer is given the opportunity to experience looking at something you are not ordinarily supposed to look at and observe what is happening more closely. The film titles are chosen to reflect the apparent nature of the subject as he/she sits on the train. It is like imagining the content of videos in a rental video shop, you imagine what that video might be like, but it is only by watching it that you find out if it is same as what you imagine or completely different. Just as from watching a person on a train you can only imagine their life but never really know for sure if you imagination has built an accurate picture.

この作品は、車内の人々を撮影するシリーズで、一つ一つに映画のタイトルをつけてる。約50人ほどを撮影した。通勤途中に前に座っている人を観察する。“じろじろ人を見てはいけな い(
儀礼的無関心を装うように)”と教えられてきたので、見ていないふりをしたり、見返されるとさっと、何気ない風をよそおって視線をそらしたりする。反対にふっと視線を感じ目をあげ るが、誰にも見られていないようだと安心するが、実は誰かに見られていたのかもしれない。車内では、そんな見る/見られるの行為が、すき間を縫って行われ いるように思われる。このシリーズでは、見てはいけないものをじっとみる機会を観客に与えることにより、そんな車内の状態を気付かせる。映画のタイトル は、乗客の印象が呼び起こすタイトルをつけた。タイトルは、実際の映画の内容とは関わりのないものが多い。それは、レンタルビデオを借りに行き、棚に並ぶ 無数のビデオを眺め、知らないビデオをタイトルから想像し、取り出してみると、想像と違ったり、似ていたりすることからヒントを得た。


Mediarena: contemporary art from Japan,The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery「MEDIARENA: 日本の現代美術