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MATSUBA Collection

MARUEIDO JAPAN (Tokyo, February 2023)

Two Angles (Contributed text to the exhibition “MATSUBA Collection”)

Having a clear “declaration of intent”—such as stating that one is of a minority, or that one has a racial issue—is beginning to play a more significant role in today’s society. Those who are able to make a powerful plea and gain understanding from people are accepted and start taking the initiative to change fundamentals of what matters.

What happens to those who are not as eloquent? What happens to those with invisible pasts and reasons that are difficult to understand? I wonder how many people around the world can distinguish between a nearly black, gray color with just a speck of white in it? People who have been victims of ridicule and bullying due to this “something” that differs from others, “something” which is so subtle that even they do not notice, may be suffering from this difference in color that no one can see.

This March(2022), I launched a company and was able to obtain financing for it. I asked Kunihiko Matsuba, an architect of my generation, to add a carport to my house, but something interesting happened. When a contractor made an estimate based on Mr. Matsuba’s design, the cost was nearly double what was expected. Mr. Matsuba’s design did not use any special materials; in fact, it was a rather stoic and lean design that matches the existing parking space. Naturally, I did not agree with the price and made an inquiry to the contractor, to which I received the following unexpected reply:

“Mr. Matsuba’s blueprints are all misaligned by one or two degrees. This means that everything needs to be done by hand by craftsmen. But there are many ways to lower the price if ready-made products are used.”

I was almost shaking with emotion when I heard these words.

Naturally, ready-made products that can be aligned at ninety degrees can be offered at lower prices because they are easier to duplicate. Also, we can easily imagine that specifications and construction of special angles that are clearly visible would be costly. However, a slight misalignment that is almost imperceivable calls for special effort, friction, and inconspicuous energy. The same could be said about humans and society. Those who cannot speak out or make themselves understood may be tortured by the slight misalignment of one or two degrees, and because this misalignment and difference is not clearly noticeable, the suffering tends to be greater.

I believe there are so many feelings that we have not yet been able to share, and this is a major cause of actions such as intolerance and slander in our present world. I did not expect to come across a visualization of this dilemma, which still eludes us, within the economy.

I think that on this occasion, Mr. Matsuba has transcended the scope of architecture and created a great piece of work that has the potential to raise new perspectives on forthcoming social issues. I am the luckiest man on earth to be able to live with Mr. Matsuba’s masterpiece right in front of me.

(November 2022)

angle 1
2023 Acrylic and Carborundum on Cotton
Private Collection
angle 2
2023 Acrylic and Carborundum on Cotton 1457×896mm
Private Collection

room 1
2022 Acrylic and Carborundum on cotton 335×243mm
Private Collection

film 2
2022 Acrylic and Carborundum on cotton 412×275mm
Private Collection

2021 Acrylic and Carborundum on cotton

line works 3
2015 Acrylic and Carborundum on cotton
Private Collection

◼️My house carport designed by Kunihiko Matsuba

Photo : Tomoki Hirokawa

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