|Makoto AZUMA: Distortion×Flowers|
|Written by Satoshi KOGANEZAWA|
|Published: July 20 2009|
Distortion X Flowers is the long-awaited exhibition for those of us who are familiar with the background of Azuma, now a florist, as an aspiring youth who left his hometown Fukuoka to come to Tokyo to start his musical career. For this exhibition Azuma incorporates sound effectors into his flower arrangements as an attempt to recreate distortion of sounds with flowers.
fig. 2 view from "Distortion×Flowers" at EYE OF GYRE, installation, courtesy of AMKK, copy right(c) Makoto AZUMA
fig. 1 ”Distortion×Flowers" (2009); inkjet print and photo acrylic, 150.0×225.0×4.3cm, courtesy of AMKK, copy right(c) Makoto AZUMA
The exhibition consists of several different elements, but the majority is the photographs taken by Azuma’s business partner Shiinoki Shunsuke, including a series of 25 photographs titled “Distortion X Flowers.” Here Azuma takes his inspiration from each sound from the sound effector, then arranges flowers around the device itself. While each photograph of the series represents one sound from one effector, Azuma also suggests mixture of various sounds with the panorama version of this arrangement. There is also a large-scale photograph of the flower [fig. 1] arrangement where the effector is stripped down to its mechanical part, and buried in the center of the flowers and plants. Similarly stripped effectors are encapsulated in clear acrylic boxes, are titled Distortion Vase. Each vase holds a small test-tube to function as a vase, although it hardly serves its purpose. The center of the space is occupied with a floor of flowers [fig. 2, 3] , with effectors and the instruments directly placed on them; this is where a live performance was held by Azuma and his crew at the opening. The screen which also lies on the floor shows the documentation of the performance, the process of the flowers once arranged in order gradually destroyed and lose their shapes and colors as it continues. What is left of the performance is shown as an installation, still in the process of decaying. The contrast between the tension of the photographs and the looseness of the installation and the vases adds dynamics to the exhibition.
fig. 4 "Degital Delay" from "Effector×Flowers series" (2009); inkjet print and photo acrylic, ed. 5., 33.0×22.0×3.2cm, courtesy of AMKK, copy right(c) Makoto AZUMA
fig. 3 view from "Distortion×Flowers" at EYE OF GYRE, installation, courtesy of AMKK, copy right(c) Makoto AZUMA
In fact, because I have no knowledge of sound effectors as device, I have no idea what kind of sound each effector of various color and name generates, unless I sit and listen to each of them separately. Yet as the exhibition is about combining such device and flowers, what relates us viewers to sound is the flower arrangements themselves. For instance, the combination of white and blue body of the effector, purple wisterias, and iris titled “Digital Delay” [fig. 4] gives a gracious aura., while blue-toned “SUPER Shifter” [fig. 5] is arranged with a peony, striking a momentary note, and “SUPER Octave”[fig. 6], a white lettering on a black body arranged with some sort of pine root, gives off somewhat spiky tone. Some of the flowers are combined together for the visual resemblance to the effectors yet the arrangements are purely the reflections of Azuma’s sensibility towards each sound, and the result of his meticulous attention to compositions. Azuma’s attempt here is the visualization of sound, as well as the exploration of the possibility of flowers as photograph.
That weather the flowers destroyed by the performance or the ones in the vases can be recognized as the same as the flowers in the photographs is only a matter of recognizing the living and the dead from the existential point of view. Do we see these photos of beautiful contours and radiating colors as nothing but photographs, or, do we see them as life that continues to live in the photographs? It brings us back to the question of weather we could hear the sound from these silent effectors, and in that sense this exhibition succeeds in challenging, thus expanding our imagination.
fig. 6 "SUPER Octave" from "Effector×Flowers series" (2009); inkjet print and photo acrylic, ed. 5., 33.0×22.0×3.2cm, courtesy of AMKK, copy right(c) Makoto AZUMA
fig. 5 "SUPER Shifter" from "Effector×Flowers series" (2009); inkjet print and photo acrylic, ed. 5., 33.0×22.0×3.2cm, courtesy of AMKK, copy right(c) Makoto AZUMA
* Translated by Keiko Saito, and all the text provided by Rightning Inc.
|Last Updated on July 05 2010|