First day

So, I was shown the new space, as the initial space was already booked by another artist. This time the space is not so much of a room but two smaller rooms. Hence the installation will response to a new environment, definitely going to look very different than the proposal. 

The site is on the sixth floor of the Cityhall, in a massive working hall where I am sharing with about 4-5 other artists. The hall was still extremely messy with unused desks laying around, printers and other office appliances. It was quite fun to look around for potential found objects to be included in the installation. Found several things which I decided to include them into the space. 

I also decided to recapture the image of Koh in Badi's cover as the main narrative of this installation, hence the paper cups, in which he was holding in the photograph. I think those cups vibrate quite interestingly with the space, creating some sort of sculptural installation. I do not think they mean a singular idea other than a translation of the photograph but as I lay them around, I was starting to feel very comfortable with them. 

These were how day 1 ended. 










Second day

I managed to reconfigure the cups a little bit, erecting a tower-like sculpture with them. I moved the small LED lamp onto the top cup so the light reflects back to the wall. 

Completed installing the works on paper and I'm really happy with the arrangement. 

I compiled several found pedestals and objects to create the light box which will present one drawing with the LED. 

This was what second day ended with.

PS: I received help from Jaz too, so thanks a lot!










Third day. 

Went back on the third day to patch up and did some changes to the installation. Added several minor elements, which I hope will be useful and strengthens the atmosphere. Moved the miniature LED lamp around and placed one in the empty wardrobe next to the lighted work on paper. 

Installed the ties, performance costumes and added the last element, which is the glasses. 

Third day ended like this, and looks like this is final. 










Boxers, bikinis, briefs or thongs? 

Boxers from DUGAS only. 

His interview can be seen here

So the performance costume will further recreate this image on the left. I am contemplating to follow the 'instruction' with the Dugas underwear, but I am still considering. I might try to get one piece of black boxers before Sunday.

And this is how the costume was installed in the performance room. 

As for the performance, i am still proceeding with the idea of waiting. I feel the importance of having the live aspect of a human body as part of the work, as a contrast between memory and the now. 

The performance is also derived from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, where duration becomes a key factor and a hint of death can be felt. 

I managed to purchase the costume for really cheap price. The blazer was 1000Y, shirt was 300Y, socks, gloves and tie were 100Y each. If I get the Dugas boxer, looks like the boxer will be the most expensive, but kind of relevant too I guess.. 

I felt something missing win the space which led me to revisit the web for Koh. 

Then I found an interview by Element Magazine (Asia's LGBT magazine) with Tenten: (Tenten is Koh's partner)


TENTEN: We had our first encounter at the train station as we were all going to watch Lady Gaga’s concert. We looked back at each other and  later that night we met again at friend’s gathering. I drank a lot that night but I do remember I was absolutely thrilled to see him again.  At that moment I know I’m in love. So yeah…it was love at first sight.  


TENTEN: Every picture we took together triggers my memory of him. So I keep all the photos away from my sight. 


TENTEN: (Pause) Okaeri ! (Japanese: Welcome home) 

Interview found here

The content was very much related to eye. Love at first sight and images. 

Furthermore, a sense of waiting is also present when Tenten answered Okaeri. 

I decided to combine these two elements into a sculptural piece, relating it to Koh's image. The only thing missing was, the glasses. 

Hence I decided to install a glasses, brown with slight red and white striped motifs (almost similar to the tie I will be using the cover my eyes). The glasses are removed and replaced with white paper which one of them has a 'secret' message of Okaeri, scrubbed  in Hiragana. 

I hope this last part of the work intensifies the whole experience in highlighting the theme of eyes, looking forward and waiting, death and in memory of Koh Masaki. 


I have concluded the installation which comes with description such as:


installation of works on paper, paper cups and found objects accompanied by durational costumed performance with cala lilly and tie blindfold.


What used to be a working hall for Shibuya Cityhall officers is now partially a rendezvous for a figure tirelessly waiting throughout the duration of the exhibition. Situated in an empty room which was previously occupied by the managers, there is a male figure with a set of attires very much similar to the image of a man on Badi magazine's cover. He was Koh Masaki, the late Japan's GV actor who passed away in 2013 after inspiring countless gay men, young and old alike in Asia. The durational performance portrays an act of waiting as he invites audiences to join him. The bright room expands the view outdoor, where a clock tower outside becomes a constant reminder that time never rests. Mah-ta is a Godotesque durational performance in a site-specific installation that expresses an optimistic farewell to Shibuya Cityhall and at the same time proposes a romantic reminiscence of Koh. 

Outside the room is a series of scrubbings of Koh's portraits on paper which appears invincible from afar. Nearby, several lights lure the audience as they discover one sheet lighted, projecting Koh's image vividly. Accompanying this are installations of paper cups, a sculptural collage of paper and glasses and found objects remnants of the working hall. Both the installation and performance are derived from Koh's 2012 interview in which he was asked of his sexiest body part. His answer was his eyes, which is called mata (pronounced as mah-ta) in Bahasa Indonesia. Homonymously, matta (待った) also means waited, a concept which is narratively not foreign to Shibuya and mata (また) is commonly accompanying "see you tomorrow". Combining these contrasting elements together, the installation performance work aims to provide a new non-linear narrative that can be experienced through various spectacles. This includes the artist's personal relationship with his amblyopia, the influence of Japanese gay icons to queer community in Asia, masculine context and connotation of the architecture (and the room) itself as well as opening up non foreordained future after a farewell. 

Performance Schedule:

25 November, Sunday : 10.00-16.00

26 November, Monday : no performance

27 November, Tuesday : 11.00-16.00

28 November, Wednesday - 1 November, Sunday : 11.00-17.00

2 November, Monday : no performance

3 November, Tuesday : 11.00-17.00

I will update the experience of the performance in this entry as well, as next week's entry will return to my TWS project. 

Regardless, I am beyond humbled by this opportunity. Thank you Imamura-san, Yuko-san and Shibuya Eggs team for this :)


25 November : I arrived slightly after the opening to find that the windows were painted blue! But I was glad that it was blue instead of any other color, as I was thinking of adding something blue as well to resonate with the visually quite distracting wall clock and room sign. But eventually it seemed to have added a layer of atmosphere to the live work, so I'm pretty glad! Also I decided to wear the glasses instead of hanging them on the wall. Audience were generally quite shock to see a human inside the room. The room itself was very missable. Several attempted to talk to me and two kids even pinched me to see if I was alive. It was fun. It was without any doubt boring, and the best visual spot was uncomfortable. 


27 November: the afternoon was quiet, in fact very quiet. But it got interesting during the short one hour exchange (moderated by Tokyo Wonder Site Director Yusaku Imamura) between Human Rights Watch Director Boris Dittrich and the current Shibuya Ward Mayor Ken Hasabe on LGBT issues, focusing on state of homophobia and the recent same-sex civil union license issued by Shibuya Ward. Dittrich mentioned that the Netherlands was the first to recognize marriage equality in 2001 and there are generations today who are not aware that same-sex marriage was illegal in the country. How cool is that. While the Dutch are being way progressive, we are still criminalizing people with the so-called 'religious' unconventional sex preferences.   

28 November: today was quiet as well, although it was slightly more busy compared to yesterday. I managed to get the work documented in video and photo, thanks to Jaz who helped me out. I have also created a link and assign a SoD for Mah Ta which can be seen here. He might be the first one in the second batch of 108 that I managed to assign a star.