Museum of Takeshi Bonsai


“Origin of Takeshi Bonsai”


Artist Statement

My initial proposal for the residency program was to make a monument. Like many monuments, it should be designed to convey historical information from a particular society or a specific region. Monuments preserve the historical information of the site, and become a landmark for a certain historical event. In another way, it is also a cultural statement. But unlike many monuments, my idea of monument-making is not about making any physical forms. A monument can be manifested in the form of activities or events.

When I arrived in Fukuoka, I started looking for something that needed to be preserved in some way. After a very short while, however, I realised that i couldn’t find one. The more time I spent, the more I realised that it was I who was actually learning about preservation here. Generally speaking, I think Japanese culture is very good at preserving. Preservation in Japanese culture I have experienced and observed it is so fluid that it is almost like a living thing. And now, if someone wanted to study about natural preservation, I would definitely suggest coming to Japan.

I have therefore used this opportunity to come and stay in Fukuoka to deepen my knowledge about preservation. At the same time, I have tried to preserve my own learning experience by creating a Japanese character named Takeshi Bonsai. I have described the existence of Takeshi Bonsai through a series of visual presentations and made a museum dedicated to him. A museum is the utmost tribute one can imagine to the existence of one thing, place, person or event and to the importance of its being acknowledged and remembered by people.

The Takeshi Bonsai stories were developed during my stay in Fukuoka through my day-to-day activities, interactions, and conversations with people, through attending festivals and events, and by visiting various place around Fukuoka. These stories are as real to me as my experiences in encountering people, places, and time. The Takeshi Bonsai stories are evidence of my learning about how Japanese people respect and preserve stories of people, places, and time.

In the process of making the museum, I collaborated with many different individuals. Most of them are artist. I wanted to use the museum as a  platform for artist to work together, be it with other artist or with anyone else, to create better structures, and thus create better stories. The process of working with other people in making the Museum of Takeshi Bonsai is also a process of looking for affirmation from others, to get acknowledgment, acceptance, and confirmation of the existence of Takeshi Bonsai. By working with others, it also means that I want to develop a relationship, a bond that I hope can continue as long as possible.



Exhibition view


Participating Artists

Hirashima Eriko
Iwamoto Fumiwo
Katou Showhey
Kawakita Fumi
Kondo Yuji
Matsuura Jin
Ohno Shu
Tanaka Yuki
Tateishi Takeyasu
Ushijima Koutarou