Primarily interested in the asymmetry between self and other, and inspired by the uncertainty of subjecthood in the grammatical structure of his native Japanese language, Yuki Okumura’s practice explores the power of translation ― not just as a conversion of words, but more as the translator’s subjective interpretations that rewrite our reality by altering and obscuring different identities and biographies beyond individual bodies and memories, beyond space and time, and even beyond life and death.
     Presented in various media and formats, with the artist himself taking the role of mediator, quasi-curator, or even body double, Okumura’s recent projects often reinterpret works by, and sometimes even interfere in the lives of, other artists who themselves tackle the notion of self and authorship, both from the 60s-70s conceptual generation and his contemporaries. In doing so, his gestures at once poetically narrate parallel art histories and playfully challenge the institutional system of exhibition formulation and artwork attribution.



Each of us lives in a different world. It runs in parallel, overlapping yet never mixing with each other. Indeed, we physically share the same space and time, but ultimately, our experience cannot be shared as-is, because one can see the world only through one's own eyes. We are all alone, confined in our own respective horizons. / That is why we need language―not only verbal, but also any form of articulation and translation―as a tool to share our experiences beyond the confinement, only virtually though, so that so-called society can work. Defined as a network of interpersonal communication, society is a dream created so realistically by language. / With each of my recent projects often parasitically extracting a certain element of another artist's work and developing it into a new structure, I am interested in creating a situation where language, especially the first person pronoun, malfunctions, so that we can collectively see another kind of dreams―an alternate form of society, so to speak, that is not based on our virtual communicativity, but our actual solitudes. Yuki Okumura (August 2013)

「人はそれぞれに異なる現実を生きている。同じ時空に身をおいているのに同じ出来事を共に過ごすことができない。ひとりひとりが受けとめる世界のあらわれはつねに違う。「わたし」がじかに観て察して感じられる枠の内に、誰もが囲われ、閉じこめられている。おたがいの囲みは交わることなくパラレルでありつづける。/ 言語(声や字の形をとるものに限らず、あらゆる区わけや切りだしや書きかえのシステム)は、人々を隔てる壁を打ちやぶって現実を交わらせようとする。それは見かけの上では成りたつ。そうした偽の交わりが絡みあって、いわゆる社会が編みあげられる。社会とは、言葉がわたしたちに見せる夢でしかない。/ 他のアーティストの仕事に身を寄せて、そこから抜きだした柱で新たな骨組みを組みたてる。それによって、言葉の力が乱れた、とりわけ「わたし」のはたらきが狂った場を生みだす。これまでそのような試みに取りくんできた。そこで夢見られるのは、かりそめの交わりではなく、のがれられない隔たりにもとづいた、いわば代わりの社会のあり方なのかもしれない」奥村雄樹(2013年8月)

< back