“Just as all creatures eventually die, objects come to their end invarious fashions. Do memories of the persons who used them, or the places they were in, permeate things? I sometimes perceive enigmatic signs when confronted with old objects. Then I want to focus on these signs to pull them out. I want to try to grasp the precious messages hidden away in the trash of consumer society. For it is the power of Art to express what we can feel yet cannot see.” – Shotaro Yoshino
Shotaro Yoshino was born in Tokyo in 1979. His work, which revolves around the notion of “memories of the ground,” has been exhibited in museums, galleries, alternative spaces, and open-air venues in Japan and abroad. His representative Lifting the Ground series reveals the cross-influences between “humans” and “places.” By showing the layers of history, exposing the memories stacked within the ground of a particular location, Yoshino aims to jolt the consciousness of locals and visitors alike.
In the present exhibition, Yoshino attempts to shape the time contained in multiple pieces of junk from our daily lives by layering the earth collected in the locations where the objects were found. These works evolved from the series of landscape sculptures shown last year during the artist’s solo exhibition at Exhibition Room 634 in Kokubunji. The sculptures were made from the earth of the locations they were modeled after, sharing their imagery of life-giving wastelands and buried memories with the artist’s wider body of work.
We, humans, exist within the Earth, which exists within the Milky Way, which in turn exists in the Universe. The combination of old utensils and pieces of trash with the sculpted earthen forms embodies the invisible worlds within which objects exist in the same way, leading to deeper connections to the outside world. Theworksthen become the interfacebetween the artist and society.