Interview with Tsuyoshi Anzai

For our September issue of the featured artists section we asked Tusyoshi Anzai from Japan a few questions. Fascinated by Origami, the emerging artist, who is know for his installation made out of everyday material from 1-euro (100-yen) shops, gets way more out of this Japanese folding tradition that just nice looking dinos or birds... read more in the short interview we made when Tsuyoshi visited Budapest where he had his first solo show in Europe at Chimera-Project Gallery.

What excites you about a topic?

There might be no end to give exciting topics. Of course plastic materials too. I love something not authoritative.

Do you have any inspiring role models?

My favorite artists are Fischli and Weiss, Nam June Paik. I feel that I and Fischli and Weiss might share the way to face a relationship between an object and a meaning. And I like Paik’s attitude toward technologies. That seems to be like a child as well as philosophical anarchist. As a kinetic artist, I often refer to Jean Tinguely’s works. What is interesting for me about his works is he converted sculptures to events.

What made you want to become an artist?

I used to want to be a rock star when I was a teenager. Although I’m now being a contemporary artist, I’ve never changed the general motivation for creating new things since from my teens. The general motivation is to get along with a gap between self-consciousness and the objective world.

When was the last time that your artistic view has changed?

It’s difficult to answer it. Because my artistic view keeps changing at all times. I’ve begun to feel something wrong about the answers that I wrote for previous questions. If I had to do, I would say that when I had started the project “Stop MAKE-ing Machine.” Before that, I was attempting to create something strong. But observing the slow death of the makeshift machines, I felt sure that my interest had changed from making objects to operating events or incidents.

What is your favourite media?

I’m not sure what my favorite media is. I’ve not been educated about any professional artistic techniques. Although there were many friends who gave me technical advices for film making, I’ve studied it by myself basically. So I just use only medium that I can manage. And every media have a specific character. I always try to realize the distance between reality and illusion that are brought by some media.

How do online platforms influence the way you expose your work?

I couldn’t feel practical effects. But just increasing opportunities of exposure is enough for me. It’s easy only to publish visuals online, but very difficult to control what kind of audiences would see them. I think a great point of the online platforms for artists is to be seen by the audiences who are interested in my works.

What are your current fascinations?

I’m interested in things that are positioned between action and object. Although I’ve made objective works generally, my theme is the intangible things that mediate people and keep changing. These are at once objects and events or situations. My main focus is on making a machine as a performance as I created the instructions on how to build my machines at my solo exhibition in Budapest. It might be important for me to be open about techniques to people because I’ve got big influence from rock music. We have what's called ORIGAMI in Japan. ORIGAMI is to make something only by folding paper. It's striking that ORIGAMI market is based on instructions on methods. I mean ORIGAMI focuses on methods more than objects that will be made.

What are you passionate about besides your artistic work?

It’s jogging for me. A thinking process during running is so unique that a boundary of the body and the spirit would blur into each other. My thinking would be flowing automatically in consequence. Although It's not always true that I can come up with a good idea, it’s useful for organizing my unconscious thoughts.

What was the best advice you have ever given to others?

To tell the truth, I’m not sure about that. Because I can never sure how my advice affected others…Advices for others have been only important for myself. I have had an experience teaching at a university for a while. I thought primarily not to control my student too much just like my kinetic sculptures. I faced my students as uncontrollable events as well as creating art pieces.