Shibuya is a “layered” neighborhood, a “drawn” neighborhood, a neighborhood of “selfies”. “SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition” offered us many of these perspectives, under its main theme of “Shibuya Street”, and now this second half will bring the article to a close.
“SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition”
■”UMMMI.’s Lonely Girl”
Ms. UMMMI.’s perspective is a bit different from the rest. She focuses on the theme of the “lonely girl”. This work consists of video footage which follows a drunk girl from her apartment all the way to Shibuya Station, and the images are projected onto a wall. In front of all this, there is a faintly glowing bar signboard with the words “LONELY GIRL”. All around this sign there are scattered objects which look like they belong in a single person’s room. Next to this there is a tablet laid down, with blog posts written on it.
Ms. UMMMI. was inspired by the 1997 ECD track “ECD’s Lonely Girl”, and by Miliyah Kato’s 2005 song “Dear Lonely Girl”, and this made her become interested in the theme of the “lonely girl”. “Even if they have a lover, or maybe precisely because they have many lovers, there are a lot of lonely girls out there. There are many kinds of lonely girls in this world.”
Ms. UMMMI. decided to find the lonely girls of Shibuya and make this her theme. When she found them, she updates her blog. So in the duration of this exhibition, her blog got updated daily.
We could say that Shibuya is a neighborhood which “welcomes all the lonely girls”.
■”©TOKYO Newspaper Extra Shibuya Land”
“©TOKYO Newspaper Extra Shibuya Land” (Artist: Okada Kisara)
Ms. Okada Kisara is a photographer who always carries a camera with her to take snapshots of different neighborhoods. In her daily life, she constantly captures single moments which appear in front of her, such as landscapes, events or people. This work, too, is a collection of photographs which she took while walking through Shibuya.
Actually, Ms. Okada says she doesn’t like Shibuya too much, so she hardly ever visits it. This is because for Ms. Okada, Shibuya is an “unclear neighborhood from which it is hard to distance yourself”. In order to take pictures, it is very important to convey a sense of distance. But in Shibuya there are so many people, so many landforms in the terrain, and so much variety of individuals that it makes photography very difficult, for many reasons.
“In the past, there were many times when I came to Shibuya but there was too much chaos, it was impossible to capture any scenes, and a whole day would pass without a single photograph,” she tells us. To Ms. Okada, Shibuya is “like a land in a different country”. That is also why she gave her work the title “Shibuya Land”.
However, this time she was able to earnestly push through with her photography. She didn’t let herself get overwhelmed by the hectic intensity, and didn’t become disheartened while taking her snapshots. Each one of the finished photographs shows “the people who live in Shibuya”. And as a whole, they all show Shibuya itself. In some cases, the shots are taken from an angle which obscures people’s faces, because she wanted to convey the “unclear” nature of Shibuya.
Out of all of them, this is one of Ms. Okada’s personal favorites. “Four people are reflected in a rearview mirror, and they all show lively expressions.”
Ms. Okada Kisara also has another perspective on Shibuya. Everyone is aware of the role they play, and we categorize ourselves depending on our fashion or our actions. We also do this to other people. While strolling around Shibuya and taking pictures, Ms. Okada was never caught even once. “The people of Shibuya probably thought I was a foreigner,” she tells us.
Shibuya is a neighborhood which “filters” experiences.
Ms. Okada Kisara
What all these works of art have in common is a desire to express Shibuya in some way, and they all manage to convey its essence in a tangible format. As the writer of this article, thanks to this exhibition I have felt how Shibuya, whose terrain is that of a valley, has many different influences “drifting down” into it from all around. Many different things are always coming down, drifting into it such as fashion, culture, subculture, music, video, comics, race, ideology, preferences, age, gender, and more–. All these influences get drifted upwards again, and eventually scatter all around in the form of media–. Maybe that’s the kind of neighborhood this is. But of course, this is nothing more than one of the many faces of Shibuya.
Even though “SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition” is held in a compact space, it is a lovely exhibition which houses a fine selection of works, all of them full of feeling. We are looking forward to any future works by these female artists.
“SHIBUKARU Girls Art Exhibition”
(Article by: Kenichi Nakamura)
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.