金工藝家金森正起的房間如同Cabinet of curiosities，十多平方米的空間，四面牆與地上都堆滿了書及他自日本各地搜來的「珍品」，餘下的空間，只剛好夠他舖上被舖。他不少藏品都教人摸不著頭腦——昭和時代火車便當用來盛湯汁的即棄陶壼、自建築工地撿來上的水泥塊、壓偏了的塑膠娃娃、用紙條編成的小孩衣服……43歲的他，常被說像個大孩子，眼睛骨碌骨碌，任何事物在他看來都新奇有趣。從今個月開始，我們請他每個月分享他一件藏品，同時探看這些摸不著頭腦的怪東西，如何化作養分，成就他看似冷靜卻滿載童趣的創作風格。
Entering the room of the metal artist Masaki Kanamori was like entering a cabinet of curiosities. The less than 20 square meters room was lined with walls of books and collectables he obtained from all around Japan. Since the shelves were not enough to contain his massive collections, some of them were piled up on the floor, leaving only enough space to unfold his futon. As an outsider, it could be rather difficult to understand the “value” of his collectables. For instance, the collection includes a Showa-period disposable clay jar that used to be placed inside of the train bento box to contain sauce, a concrete brick he picked from a construction site, a deformed plastic doll, a piece of children garment made from paper, etc. Many would call Kanamori a kidult; at the age of 43, he can still see things from a child perspective and discover their fascinating aspects. From this month on, we will have Kanamori to introduce to us one of his collections every month. Through his sharing, we will get to know how these weird things that no one understands can become the inspiration to his subtle yet whimsically creative style of art.
R: Ron Lam, M: Masaki Kanamori
R: You seem to have a great collection of toys. Have toys always been your preference as you first started out to collect used items?
M: At the beginning, I tended to collect things that are of value to most people’s eyes. I also collected items that could be used as a reference for my artwork. Now I prefer old items that do not have an apparent value, like toys and kid’s crafts.
R: What do you mean by “value” of the items you used to collect? Are you talking about historical value or their potential appreciation in value?
M: I never consider their ability to appreciate in value. I was mainly referring to Pewter, ancient pottery, and items from the Joseon dynasty. These are the things that most antique lovers would appreciate. Now I am more fascinated by things that do not arouse the public’s interest. However, my passion for items from the Joseon dynasty has not faded.
R: Things that do not arouse the public’s interest are usually made by amateurs. Do they have something in common that attracts you?
M: As they were not made as a task, therefore they are free of any specific intention. The creators may have made them merely for themselves or their children, so there is a sense of love in these works.
R: Perhaps people made things only to please themselves or the children instead of thinking about getting praised by the public. They must be having these people in mind during the creation process.
M: True. They could as well be items randomly created when they felt bored, or some craft items for their summer vacation assignment. I see the charm in the way they are made impulsively without attempting to achieve perfection.
R: Things impulsively created are beautiful
M: Indeed. I like things that appear as if they were made impulsively.
R: But it might not be the creators’ intention to be impulsive at all? Perhaps they have actually tried their best effort to make the piece?
M: Of course. I believe they have tried their very best. I always find it unexplainably charming seeing amateurs using their excellent effort to make things.
R: They also have surprising ways to create those works that the professional artisans would find unimaginable.
M: Definitely! I am sometimes inspired by that as well.
R: They made those things based on imagination instead of learned technique. I can see this in your creative process too.
M: Taking this rusty truck as an example; its headlights were made of beer caps. I guess the car body was probably made out of an opened tin can. Some other parts were made of wood as it would be easier. I was surprised to see the wheels made of tinplate or other metals since they were usually made of wood. The truck was unquestionably made with a lot of effort. I guess metal would not be my choice. Even if I had extras of those materials at hand, I would probably use them on something else.
R: It must be interesting trying to imagine how this truck once looked like.
M: Agreed. The original color of the truck is now indistinguishable as it is covered by rust and so worn-out. It could have been damaged by rain and wind, or been lying around in a drawer covered with dust. The wheels got a little tilted. The truck looks as if it is in movement thanks to this imperfection. I believe it has a wholly different charm now when compared to how it was first made. The aesthetics of an object can be slowly accumulated with time, this is precisely why I found used items fascinating; they possess a kind of charisma that cannot be replicated.
R: In recent years, you have been spending a lot of effort in making things that intend to look cheap. However, these pieces usually require a higher level of technique and a lot more time to create. With this amount of energy spent, you could have made things that would be generally considered valuable. I believe it requires dedication to achieve your artistic style, do you think this dedication is related to your habit of collecting things?
M: Now I come to think of it, the idea of making things that “look cheap” has always been lingering in my mind. I have gained a great deal of confidence by collecting stuff. The process made me understand this was the style I genuinely admire and hence greater confidence in its charm. Objects like a saucer can always be captivating as long as it is placed in the right atmosphere.
金森正起 Masaki Kanamori
Born and spent his childhood in a mountain house built by his father.
Moved to Nagoya suburb and studied primary school there. He used to go pond fishing at dawn. He would make baits with a metal spoon. In the same year, Kanamori received a pocket knife with a wooden handle. Not satisfied with the smoothness of the wooden handle, he gave it a rough look using sandpaper. He sometimes found the handle of the knife beautiful when it was covered with grease.
Discovered a cave that could be an air raid shelter. He lit a torch and explored the cave with his friends.
Fascinated by snowboarding while studying at university. Kanamori often drove to the snowy mountains where he did snowboarding during the day and slept in the car at night. Upon graduation, he spent a year to live in northeastern Japan alone to pursue snowboarding.
Visited various forging workshops in Gifu Prefecture that specialized in making farming tools, Kanamori got to understand the art of metal making.
Became an apprentice of the metal artist Nobuo Matsuoka. Kanamori began growing in his small piece of farmland, he also started selling his handmade accessories along Omotesandō.
Began to work on his own to better explore his personal style. Moved to the city of Ena in Gifu Prefecture. Driven by his passion for rural life, he spent one year working as a planter in the national park of the city. Kanamori later obtained an antique dealer’s license.
|2006.||於名古屋郊外建立了自己的工房。開始於日本全國藝廊，如Gallery Yamahon、百草、Gallery Nao Masaki等舉辦個展。
Set up his private workshop in rural Nagoya. Kanamori began to have solo exhibitions in Gallery Yamahon, Galerie Momogusa, Gallery Nao Masaki and other venues.
Purchased the woodland and deserted land where he frequently visited as a primary school child. Kanamori planned to convert the land into his residence.