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Tatsuya HIGUCHI arrow up Yuken TERUYA 2003 arrow up Yoshiaki KAIHATSU

Exhibition image Exhibition Yuken Teruya 2003


4/11. - 5/31. 2003



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Yuken Teruya was born 1973 in Okinawa and is presently working in New York. His homeland lies in the south of Japan and is made up of many small islands. A general map of Japan usually doesn’t even show the Okinawa island group. The district is part of the subtropical zone and accounts for the early flourishing of a light-hearted and lively culture, different from that found on Japan’s main islands. What has made the place so famous is the tragedy of Okinawa’s more recent history, the havoc wreaked by the end of the Second World War.
The work "You-I, You-I" by Yuken Teruya seems, at first glance, to be an original and traditional kimono from Okinawa, a “bingata”. But a closer look at the kimono’s pattern reveals military motifs such as parachutists and military planes. After Okinawa was returned to Japan, the American military bases were kept in place and spread over 20% of the main island. The inhabitants today live either from tourism or from the bases. The artist uses the lovely "bingata" as background to combine his native land’s past and present history. Although the kimono is extraordinarily beautiful, a look at it does not induce any joy. The motif is direct and a result of Okinawas specific situation. Teruya does not however flirt coquettishly with native feelings. His objective gaze releases the kimono from its local background and makes it accessible as an artwork that draws authenticity from its intensiveness.

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