Kota Takeuchi "Blind Bombing"

Session:2019.3.8 Fri. - 4.13 Sat. 13:00 - 19:00
Opening Reception: 2019.3.8 Fri 18:00-20:00
*Admission free / Closed on Sun, Mon, Tue and public holidays.
Venue: SNOW Contemporary

SNOW Contemporary is pleased to present Kota Takeuchi's solo exhibition “Blind Bombing” from Friday, March 8th to Saturday, April 13th, 2019.

Takeuchi was born in 1982, and received B.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Fine Arts, Intermedia Art in 2008. He currently lives and works in Fukushima, Japan.

In his previous activities, Takeuchi has highlighted consciousness of viewers of the disaster as well as self-consciousness of anonymous performers by suddenly appeared in front of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant live monitoring camera as an agent of a Finger Pointing Worker in his solo exhibition "Open Secret" (2012 / SNOW Contemporary, Tokyo), or traced buried memories including artifacts in "Sight Consuming Shadows" (2013 / Mori Art Museum, Fukushima), or captured our landscapes in which we acquire information from our hand (=mobile phone) in "Eyes on Hand" (2014 / SNOW Contemporary, Tokyo). Furthermore, he disclosed the state of human memory through tracing the path of the stone monument tour documented in the book he encountered at a library in Iwaki, Fukushima, in his solo exhibition “Photographs turn stone monuments into mere stone, but even so people take them” (2017 / SNOW Contemporary, Tokyo), and has continuously been disclosing the nature of media and its recipients through intensive research and presentation in variable forms of art, including paintings, sculptures, photography, or installations.

In 2017, Takeuchi was selected as a fellow of Japan-United States Arts Program by Asia Cultural Council, and completed a residency in the United States where he implemented an inspection of former nuclear development facilities, and research on Japan-US war related matters. This exhibition will present his video and photographic works based on the history of balloon bombs dropped by the Japanese army from 1944 to the following year during World War II. The video work Blind Bombing, Filmed by Bat was created from his field work in California, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Montana, Wyoming, Fukushima, Kitaibaraki, and Chiba, referring to the US military records. We are delighted to present the latest body of work by Takeuchi, who has explored memories and legacies in Japanese modern history across his oeuvre, based on cross-border research in Japan and the United States.


■Artist Statement

Japan used a weapon called balloon bombs in the late stage of World War II. Approximately 9300 Japanese paper balloons with a diameter of 10 meters, filled with hydrogen and with bombs hung down, were released towards the United States. Historical studies of this event are still ongoing. Novels featuring these balloon bombs have recently been published one after another, including a non-fiction authored by a historian in the United States in 2014. As I learned that Iwaki City in Fukushima, where I currently reside were one of the locations that used to release these bombs, I started to research the incident. In 2017, I was given the opportunity to visit the United States and research at the National Archives and Records Administration, where I could read the reports written back then by the US Military Intelligence Service. I was surprised to learn that there were quite a few witnesses of the balloons, and their landing points were precisely documented. I researched and visited some of those places, and attempted to reproduce the “balloons' last movements” with a small drone.
When I was speaking about this project, a sound artist commented that it was an echo. In other words, it was an echolocation (how bats fly in dark caves using ultrasound) lead by the documents and delayed by 73 years.

This project would be an attempt to capture the “perspective” of a weapon which originally had no eyes, which would be a strange thing to do. Therefore, I came up with the idea of producing the Japanese subspecies of the “Phantom Image” stated by Harun Farocki.
Remote-controlled weapons of today are equipped with cameras to capture the figures of the target to attack. On the other hand, balloon bombs were randomly released in large numbers without any ways to confirm what they would bring to the opponent (which in fact they did kill six civilians). In this respect, this event represents Japan’s characteristic of praising technology, and how it made made the nation actively go blind and proceed with the war.

I would like to use blindness as a catalyst for wisdom, and not an excuse of barbarism. I aim it for this exhibition too, following the wisdom of the blind and the bats.

January 19th, 2019


2008 Tokyo University of the Arts, B.A. in Department of Inter Media Art (Tokyo/Japan)

2017 "Photographs turn stone monuments into mere stone, but even so people take them.", SNOW Contemporary, Tokyo/Japan
2016 "Memory Bug", The Arts Catalyst (London/UK)
2015 "Re : Eyes on Hand", SNOW Contemporary (Tokyo/Japan)
2013 "Site Consuming Shadow", MORI Gallery (Fukushima/Japan)
2012 "Open Secret", SNOW Contemporary (Tokyo/Japan)

2016 "Perpetual Uncertainty", Bildmuseet, Umea/Sweden
2015 "Don’t Follow The Wind Non-Visitor Center", Watari-Um Museum, Tokyo/Japan
    "Don’t Follow The Wind", Exclusion zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant incident,
2014 "Good Morning Mr Orwell 2014"Nam June Paik Art Center, Seoul/Korea
    "Censorship: The 7th Move on Asia"Altanative Space Loop, Seoul/Korea
    "Three Years After"Wilfrid Israel Museum, Hazorea/Israel
    "The Fifth Season", James Cohan Gallery, NewYork/US
2013 "Media / Art Kitchen", Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, Bangkok/Thailand
    "Art/Domestic: Temperature of the Future after Takashi Azumaya",
    "MOT Collection After images of tomorrow", Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo/Japan
    "SIDE CORE ―Body / Media / Graffiti", Terratoria, Tokyo/Japan
    "The 42th exhibition of Iwaki", Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima/Japan
2012 "Kashiwa City Jack", Chiba/Japan
    "Tomorrow is today I see for the first time", Snow Contemporary, Tokyo/Japan
    "Daegue Photo Biennale 2012", Center for Developing Culture, Daegu/Korea
    "Turning around", Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo/Japan
2011 "Social Dive - Exploratory Imagination", 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo/Japan
2010 "Eun Hyung Kim (Holland / Korea), Emilija Skarnulyte (Lithuania), Kota Takeuchi (Japan)",
    RM Gallery, Auckland/New Zealand
    "THE 10th Gunma Biennale for Young Artists 2010", The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma/Japan
    "Kyoto Open Studios 2010", Kenbundou-Studio, Kyoto/Japan
2009 "101TOKYO Contemporary Art Fair 2009
    "101 DISCOVERIES”", AKIBA-SQUARE, Tokyo/Japan

2010 "Wongok-dong Recipe", Litmus Community Space, Ansan/Korea

2010 encouragement award "THE 10th Gunma Biennale for Young Artists 2010"

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Kadist Art Foundation