THE CONCEPTUAL ART OF NOBUKO TSUCHIYA
Aug 20, 2008, by Paul Black, Suite 101
Nobuko Tsuchiya is an up-and-coming London artist. Here she explains the fascinating process behind her art and some of the key works that she has developed thus far
NT: My work is an accumulation of decisions made by using different forms of thinking; linguistic, musical, logical, sensual, sensory, and experiential or something I canâ€™t quite define.I am trying to make the work as complex as I can, pruning elements as much as possible until I reach a point between balance and unbalance. I think I am not trying something specifically like making poetry or rhythm consciously, I just want the viewers to find themselves through my work.
PB: It is as if a scientist could use a micro-spectrometer in the â€˜readingâ€™ of your art, searching out the potential for hidden chemical, physical, and even biological properties, potentially creating a kind of subatomic poetry. You mentioned that you were making larger work?
NT: Iâ€™ve just found a nice shape from a blow-up childrenâ€™s swimming pool, Itâ€™s already big, the work will therefore be in scale. The journey that was once "microbial" as youâ€™ve put it may well be an actual journey of sorts. I donâ€™t yet know how the finished work will be.
PB: The narrative that you transpose from your own inherent and involuntary reactions and snippets from of memory, seem to result in an emotional topography. The sculptures become a conglomeration of feelings made "animal" with their own internal workings made visible, so the viewer may encounter the microcosmic at first hand and travel between delicate vessels and indurate mechanisms. Could you tell me more about the use of narrative texts and memories of childhood in relation to your work?
NT: Some materials allow me to recall something of the past, to draw out feelings and memories through their manipulation, other materials take me to the future. I treat these physical and imaginative aspects equally, combining and recombining them until Iâ€™m able to construct a story embedded within an object. So childhood memories naturally come into my work during the process.
PB: There is almost a maternal aspect to your relationship with materials, where the works almost become like children. One could almost imagine that your studio takes on the role of a pseudo-nest for emotional hatchlings. It is as if you perceive your sculpture as pets or infants, as your very own "white cube" Tamagotchiâ€™s?
NT: I feel materials are like magnets, they draw up energies and pull some part of myself into the work, and sometimes they make me surprised, sometimes make me tired. I can say they are like my friends, I even feel flattered, but the works arenâ€™t really like children, not in the sense of feeling. Because children often upset their parents, donâ€™t they? ...or was that just me?
Nobuko Tsuchiya is represented by the Anthony Reynold's Gallery, London UK
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What she does: Japanese artist Nobuko Tsuchiya came to London in 2001 and has been showing at Anthony Reynolds Gallery since completing a postgraduate course at Goldsmith's College. She makes alarming, delicate sculptures with titles such as Insect Surgery Machine, Catheter and Parking Fish Project, using old chair frames, saucepans and whisks, dismantled lamps and what looks like hi-tech medical detritus. Her highly wrought agglomerations have an air of lab experiments, yet they are also images, their titles leading us to view the work in relation to the body, to animal behaviour, to sexuality. Although she shows in Japan, she has no plans to leave London.
She says: "Not everything is as it appears in my work, not everything is done on purpose. My decisions are made by using what you could call a different form of thinking, and are made to operate between harmony and discord, control and the lack of it. I always try to develop the conversation between the things in my work and myself. Maybe this sounds idiotic, but it is my honest feeling."