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 DIALOGUE

 

 

 

JP / EN

 

 

 

Wei Hsinyen

 

 

Masahiro Saito

 

 

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Artist

 

Director

 

Q.

The two of you met through your involvement in this year's project. First, can you elaborate on how you came to work together?

 

Masahiro

 

 

 

The chance to work together arose from one of the studio artists active at the Kanazawa art space "Kapo", which I manage, participating in a residency program at the art space "Bamboo Curtain Studio" in Taiwan. That provided the opportunity to initiate exchanges between Japan and Taiwan. I also asked Iris Hung, who is the managing director of "Bamboo Curtain Studio" about collaborating on a project for KANAZAWA FRINGE. A number of artists were introduced to us and one of them was Hsinyen. Incidentally, my first face-to-face meeting with Hsinyen was over Skype. However, since she displayed determination, a broader view that she innately has, and an open-minded attitude from her previous works, I was enthusiastic about being involved in her new work as a director.

 

 

As Masahiro said, we first saw each other on a computer screen when meeting over Skype. Nevertheless, he was very courteous when listening to me talk about my work and his welcoming manner made me feel at ease. He took notes while listening and conveyed his honest thoughts and constructive feedback while showing respect for both myself and my work. I was thrilled since it was the sort of essential advice that all artists hope for.

 

 

Hsinyen

 

 

 

Q.

Wei, even though this is your first time in Kanazawa, from the title of your work, "Walk with Me" seems like a daring first endeavor. Your work is about walking together with participants you're meeting for the first time in a new land. Are you worried about anything?

 

 

My stay in Kanazawa is just one month from October to November. I think that taking part in this residency program is about experiencing the everyday life of the region in some shape or form. Therefore it's not about whether it's the first time somewhere or that the time spent there was short. What's important is how that time is spent and whether I can tune my state of mind into the location. This is why I proposed the "Walk with Me" project. While serving as a "shortcut" to understanding everyday life in Kanazawa, I aim to find intersections between my thoughts and feelings and residents' thoughts and feelings about Kanazawa, and share the points of intersection with one another. I believe this to be the definition of the "artist in residence" program, as opposed to just taking a trip somewhere.

 

 

The phrase "artist in residence" inevitably leads people to frequently think of the "work production" component of its meaning. However, as she stated, it is through the artist themselves residing in the city that provides an opportunity for changes in regional society and people as well as connections to emerge. That's why I think that changes in the city and the lives of individuals are always related. In fact, I feel that many works produced by her until now feature aspects of the politics of people's bodies and aspects for reconsidering phenomena and situations that emerge when meeting people and places.

 

 

 

Masahiro

 

 

 

Hsinyen

 

 

 

Q.

We refer to the aggregation of individuals living in the same place as towns and cities. So along these lines it seems appropriate to conclude that the lives of individuals and the changes in where they live are linked. With this in mind, what are the specific common points between the city and people that you hope to discover?

 

 

To briefly explain "Walk with Me", she walks together one-on-one with residents of Kanazawa along the residents' favorite paths and produces work based on this process. Note that this isn't just a give and take relationship of guiding and being guided along a path. Although an exchange of conversation occurs while walking the same path and sharing the same scenery, in actual fact this is nothing other than a sharing of "scenes of Kanazawa at some point in time" that are unfolding within each participant. Hence, I think the interesting thing about this project is that she creates a work together with a range of people with a range of views.

 

 

 

Although I'm yet to arrive in Kanazawa, I'm sure that residents of Kanazawa feel pride in regard to the traditions and beauty of the city, while at the same time hoping to maintain but also develop these merits. That's why I look forward to talking with as many people as possible regardless of age, gender, and origin. I'd also be very happy for participants to guide me around some lesser known parts of Kanazawa!

 

 

Hsinyen

 

 

 

Masahiro

 

 

 

Q.

And finally in regard to KANAZAWA FRINGE, which aims to reconsider the Kanazawa city from an art perspective, can you both tell us about your expectations through your "Walk with Me" project?

 

 

I think that the residents of Kanazawa are the most important aspect of the KANAZAWA FRINGE project. Since residing in this city means having possession of your own thoughts and memories regarding it while living here, I think each and every one of us has their "own spot" within themselves. Instead of a tourist spot, if a "spot indispensable in our daily lives" surfaces through meeting and interacting with different people, that connection can lead to a "new map of one’s time in Kanazawa" that differs from the Kanazawa we're accustomed to.

 

 

To express Masahiro's "new map of one’s time in Kanazawa" in my own way, perhaps this project will provide a "more human map" of the city. Having local residents guide me through their city is to share time and this process together with each resident. For myself, this also represents a doorway into the city known as Kanazawa as well as a magical key that allows me access to the city's essential areas. While I think that it’s important to be strong-willed and unafraid of rejection when confronting things new and unknown, I hope to become friends with the people I walk with together. This is my genuine hope.

 

 

Hsinyen

 

 

 

Masahiro