Untitled 1999

Fumio Tachibana
Ten Asian Artists in Residence: October 30, 1999 – July 31, 2000
Materials
paper, metal, wood, plastic

Tachibana s art focuses on an intense process of collecting and organizing found objects A lifelong fascination with paper and the forms and structure...

Description

Tachibana’s art focuses on an intense process of collecting and organizing found objects. A lifelong fascination with paper and the forms and structure of text has informed his art to date. As a frequent traveller, he walks or rides a bike, experiencing unfamiliar environments close at hand. Making frequent stops, he collects papers and other interesting objects – particularly those that include words, letters, or numbers.

He views text in all languages as pattern, divorced from its literal meaning. The space around the text is as interesting to him as the text itself. He makes his art by stacking, layering, stringing, sewing, gluing and arranging objects he collects.

His installation, Untitled, a dense tapestry of found objects, requires close inspection. Books, papers and other objects containing text are the base of the relationships between the parts of the whole. Each view presents a carefully composed installation, deconstructing language in the process.

Artist Statement

The Hitomi kindergarten which I attended taught us calligraphy. We were given pieces of writing paper, a little larger than the standard size, and using writing brushes that were three centimeters (about one and one-quarter inch) in diameter, we wrote letters such as “ushi” (cow) and “tora” (tiger).  We were encouraged to “write larger, write more boldly, write over the borders of the paper.” I remember tightly holding the brush, which was literally a handful, soaking it in ink, and writing away using my full body. It was more like drawing over the whole page with black ink than writing. In fact, when I look over the piece of paper , which I still have in my possession, it is indistinguishable whether the black ink or the white spaces should be read “ushi.”

Nowadays, I seem to regard letters as drawings. Like for instance, when I look at newspaper headlines, not only do I see words printed in black ink, but my attention is drawn to the white blank spaces in the paper as well. If, for people in general, the black parts stand as letters, for me, the white blank spaces in the paper stand as “letters” too. That’s why I collect pieces of paper. I’m not collecting trash. I’m collecting “letters.” 

And I am obsessed with trying out the “letters” I’ve gathered, arranging them horizontally, piling them up and into groups.

About the Artist

Fumio Tachibana was born in Hiroshima in 1968. Tachibana earned his BA from Musashino Art University and his MA from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Tachibana’s art focuses on an intense process of collecting and organizing found objects. A lifelong fascination with paper and the forms and structure of text has informed his art to date. As a frequent traveller, he walks or rides a bike, experiencing unfamiliar environments close at hand. Making frequent stops, he collects papers and other interesting objects – particularly those that include words, letters, or numbers.

He views text in all languages as pattern, divorced from its literal meaning. The space around the text is as interesting to him as the text itself. He makes his art by stacking, layering, stringing, sewing, gluing and arranging objects he collects.