Yoshiro Igarashi has been a participant in the Mino Residency for the last three years. He was a juried participant in 2007 and has been an invited artist from 2008-2009. From our conversations I can sum up his work as an investigation into the direct interaction of people with his artwork through performance art. Yoshiro is also interested in Archeological forms and the antique culture and history of Japan. What I found very inspiring about him is that he believes that the role of the artist is to return back to his own community and to move the focus away from an artist seeking single recognition towards an artist seeking a ‘shaman’ role to uplift his own community.
He first creates a structured situation as an artist and then through the spectators interaction with the structure he explores time and perception.
In his work “有無の波打ち際で” (Standing on the shore of present time) he successfully document the fiction and perception of time from the viewer. He created three bamboo dolls (based on Japanese culture) that are “driven by people to navigate it by moving the puppet”. The largest of the three was a towering organic bamboo shape that can be described somewhere between a creature from deep-sea or a seed pod drifting in the breeze. Tied on to this bamboo body are flutes that will be played by the audience and at the same time as they manipulate the doll. The medium size doll are also manipulated by the audience and is equipped with a big eye as a head. Inside the head unknown to the audience is a camera that documents the performance from the view of the doll. The final exhibition was the video documentation of past puppet performance (symbolizes doll’s memory) and that of the present performance. The videos play simultaneous and the pictures start to create its own new story. The participant’s actions got permanently embedded into this “tale of fiction” through the memory of the puppets.
Yoshiro graduated from Aichi prefectural University of fine art and music in 2000. He has been involved in exhibitions both in Japan and the United States. He is also a Sanshin musician that plays traditional Okinawan music.
Here is a short video of the making and performance of “有無の波打ち際で” (Standing on the shore of present time):