Ryozo Takashima is an artist based in Tokyo. The relationship between the individual and the collective, and the idea of the nation as a broader form of the collective have been the driving force of my art practice. In modern Japan, where my practice is based, it seems as if ‘toughness’ is thought to be the only qualification for the ‘right’ leader. Without interrogating its true meaning, everyone seems to follow the image of a strong, authoritative figure. I cannot help but sense the oppressive air of conformity looming. Concerned with such trends in the modern world, I have explored the totalitarian slogans from George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’, ‘WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.’ as the theme of my practice for the past few years. This catalogue brings together a new series of works with the title ‘1984+36’. As suggested in the title, this body of work imagines the state of Japan in the very near future, 36 years after ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’. In truth, I am uncertain if it is possible for an individual to come up with any useful answers when dealing with such huge issues as the state of the nation, and no answer can be unequivocally right or wrong. After all, what impact could a no-name artist hope to have? However helpless we might feel, we must continue to ask ourselves and others to interrogate the status quo and our own standpoint in order to orient ourselves toward the right direction; to welcome the year ‘2020’, not ‘1984+36’.
|Date||2019.10.01 - 2019.11.30|