Report: Weed, Space, Furyu - Dialogue with Yoshihiro Suda
On the 16th of June we had the pleasure of inviting Mr. Yoshihiro Suda, a contemporary artist famous for his "weeds" carved of wood.
After hearing Mr. Suda's exciting talk with slides of his works as a background, we had two presentations. The first presentation by Misato Ido was on the creation of Furyu, elegance accompanying the decoration with artificial plants for temporal use during various ceremonies in the medieval period. The second presentation was by Dennitza Gabrakova, who has done extensive research on the weed-imagery in Modern Japan. The workshop was experimental and innovative in several ways. The image of the "weed" on the borderline of nature and artificiality, urban modernity and the premodern serves as a hinge mediating the interest of medievalists and researchers of modernity.
On the other hand, this event was a genuine attempt for establishing a dialog between art and academic research.
The main focus of the workshop was on Suda's debut work: "Ginza:
Weed-Theory", which in a sense contains the seed of his subsequent artistic creativity and in a provocative way "quotes" from premodern aesthetic expression such as the Golden Tearoom and introduces the urban landscape in its minimality such as the carved "weed".
Suda in an almost invisible way continues to surprise us. Recently his work was exhibited as part of the "Roof Garden" exhibition in the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. This time in the museum shop there is a replica of the carved "weed". Besides the fact that the carved "weed" is already a life-size replica of a plant, the real trick is that the replica of the replica is made of gold. A problematization of the "original" and of "originality" is at stake here as a continuation of a series of reversals and subversions the idea of "weed" offers to the imagination.