⟨ Art ⟩

Out of Disorder

Iwasaki Takahiro

Words / Vennes Cheng
Translation / Iris Heung

日本藝術家岩崎貴宏愛在歷史瓦礫中重建秩序。這或許跟他的出生及居住地廣島有關。嚴島神社位於廣島嚴島瀨戶內海海濱的潮間帶上,每年夏天颱風經過那裡都會破壞部份的神社,漁民把飄浮在海面的殘骸撿拾起來,然後把神社修好,年復年如是。還有原爆圓頂館,那暴露出來的圓形支架是曾被破壞的證據。在廣島的破壞與重建的痕跡中,岩崎看到當下城市逃不出破壞與重建的規律,而悲觀地樂觀去想,只有在破壞中傳統工藝才有派用場的機會,像修復嚴島神社,都是靠漁民把破毀的部份從海上找回來,再以傳統方法年復年修復神社。

岩崎的作品是這個規律的縮影。《Reflection Model》是以手製木造的日本傳統神社及水中倒影的模型。浮於半空的模型象徵日本傳統寺廟建築的精細及傳統技巧,倒影部份似是他家鄉嚴島神社每年被颱風摧毀的命運的回響。在岩崎的縮影世界中,還有工業化及城市化的景觀。他用日常生活中的材料如毛巾、綿線、膠布、甚至是塵埃築成這些微觀,似是在日常中的歷史痕跡思考人類生存的狀態。這系列名為 《Out of Disorder》,岩崎破壞後才有重建,是悖論也彷彿真理。

城市的變遷從破壞中而來,而當中的脆弱又如岩崎作品中那一絲絲的人手工藝。在香港「觸到的回憶」展覽中,岩崎以綿線重構了香港的城市景觀中最具代表性,卻又逐漸消失的霓虹招牌。白色綿絲又隱藏另一種已經消失的城市景觀 —— 製衣工業 —— 那些工廠妹萬歲、講求車工質量的年代都已成過去。岩崎的白色香港霓虹招牌微形景觀,令人反思這個城市的色彩似乎隨著拆掉舊物而去,只留下空白脆弱一片。


The Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki is devoted to using art to restore order from the rubble of history. This approach can perhaps be explained by his life and times in Hiroshima. The Itsukushima Shrine of the Hiroshima Prefecture is located in the intertidal zone on the shore of the Seto Inland Sea near the island of Itsukushima. Such a location puts the Shrine in a delicate position; when the summer hurricane comes, it would inevitably damage some components of the Shrine’s structure. Year after year, the fishermen would need to collect the ruins from the sea and restore the Shrine into its original form. The Atomic Bomb Dome is as well a witness to the damage the city has survived from, since the building itself was the only structure left standing near the bomb’s hypocenter. In the eyes of Iwasaki, the destruction and restoration in Hiroshima represent the pattern of constant redevelopment shared by the modern cities. Regardless of how miserable it may sound, traditional craftsmanship is best manifested in the face of destruction. Just like how the fishermen restore the Itsukushima Shrine using the traditional technique every year, it could be ironically a sign of hope.

The art of Iwasaki is a miniature of this pattern. Reflection Model is a series of handmade wooden models of Japanese shrines and their reflection cast on the surface of the water. These hanging models are representations of the precision of the architecture and its traditional craftsmanship. The “reflection” part of the models appears to be the artist’s response to the annual destruction the hurricane brings to the Itsukushima Shrine. In the miniature world created by Iwasaki are also industrialized and urbanized sceneries. They are all made with banal everyday materials like towels, thread, duct tapes, or even dust, as if reflecting on the living condition of our world through the traces of everyday life. The series is called Out of Disorder, which rightly brings out how restoration can only happen after destruction — an observation of Iwasaki that is both a paradox and a truth.

A city has to be somehow destroyed before it can undergo a transformation; such a change is as delicate as the craftsmanship Iwasaki shows in his arts. In the (In)tangible Reminiscence exhibition, Iwasaki recreated the once iconic yet disappearing neon light billboards in Hong Kong using cotton thread. The white cotton thread also signifies another disappearing cityscape, the textile industry. Hong Kong was once a city of textile industry that was proud of its garment production quality, although the golden age of the industry has become history. Iwasaki’s miniature cityscape of white neon light billboard well represents the empty and fragile face of the city when the colorful features of the past have been torn down.