Yuichi Higashionna

06_1s 06_2s

The motif of my work is very ordinary things, which surround us in daily life.
Many of the objects I use are called “Fancy (Fanshii)” in Japanese. Those objects are the result of a strong yearning to the Western culture by Japanese. But those objects neither belong to the Western nor Japanese culture. They are kitsch, girly and bad taste.

Those “Fancy” objects have been always very familiar to me, but at the same time, they have perplexed me. They have never been among my favorite things.
They are even like the “uncanny” (by Sigmund Freud) for me. This feeling of “uncanny” and a puzzled emotion, which I can’t explain so well, motivates me a lot to create my artwork.

For example, I created my “chandelier series” with many fluorescent circled lights. These lights became ubiquitous throughout Japan. After I realized the Japanese’ partiality for these white, over bright, fluorescent lights, I was motivated to make this body of work. While I was familiar with optics of fluorescent lights, I couldn’t stand the white, over bright lights. This mixed feeling ironically became my motivation to create the series.

I would like to emphasize that the reason why I use “Fancy” things as a motif for my work is not to criticize or make fun of their bad taste. I used them because I felt they symbolized Japan (“Fancy” country, Japan) and they were like a mirror, which reflected us.

My intention is not expressing directly my negative feeling such as “uncanny” or perplexity in my daily life. It is rather transforming my feels into something delightful, sexy, humorous, strong, and positive through making my work.

Photo(left): “Untitled (FL.100-06)” 2008, 130x162cm, Spray paint on canvas, (C)Yuichi Higashionna, Courtesy: Yumiko Chiba Associates Photo(right): “Untitled (chandelier VII)”, 2005, 125x110x95cm, Florescent lights, Aluminum frame, Wiring codes, Twist ties, and Stabilizer, (C)Yuichi Higashionna, Courtesy: Yumiko Chiba Associates

2008 Yuichi Higashionna


Artist. Born in Tokyo. He lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.
Creating artwork with found object in a daily-life.
His recent solo exhibitions include Marianne Boesky Gallery Project Space, New York, USA in 2008, refract, Calm & Punk Gallery, Tokyo in 2008, and Light Bright Picnic, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo in 2003. His recent group exhibitions include Mori Art Museum, Tokyo in 2007, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan in 2006. He published Artist Book in 2008. He has created artwork for the stores such as COMME des GARCONS, and Maison Hermes.
His up coming solo exhibition is “Musashino Art University 80th Anniversary: Metamorphosis -Objects Today- vol.4″ at Gallery αM. It is going to be shown from September 12 to October 10, 2009.