Roppongi Art Night 2013


Hibino Katsuhiko imagines Roppongi Art Night’s future

—Lastly, how do you envision Roppongi Art Night to come?

Well, by now I can say this, I’d like to take it toward establishing new possibilities in art. As I’ve said many times, I’ve been working in art since the ’80s, showing first in museums, then galleries, then out in the city at large. In places like department stores or on walls, in magazines and free papers. Also in cafés and bars and even in fashion. I’ve done painting and design, products and interiors, most everything – all of which I’ve called my art. Society insists on so many invisible distinct territories, whereas the world – not just me – cuts across them all multi-simultaneously, ever more fluid and borderless. The look of cities, shapes of countries, expressions of zeitgeist, they’re all mixed up, you begin to see them as one big thing. That’s where art is headed. Even as traditional crafts linger on and older forms hold their ground, finally after 30 years borderless mold-breaking expressions are coming out. Art projects can comprise spaces, people, things, time, anything and everything. On the other hand, there’s still no viable criteria for assessing art outside the big city. Auction prices for paintings are easy to follow.

Roppongi Art Night will become a powerful magnet for culture.

There are trade shows and competitions for art commerce. Financially based appraisals. But there arestill no standards for art projects. Of course, they’re not commodities for sale. And with where we are today, I think that’s the way everyone wants them to be. After the quake, everything got shaken up, right? But no one wanted anything monetary. People in these times can’t seem to live without both the paid and the unpaid. This generation no longer wants to do paid work all of their time. Not so long ago, they might have wanted to work hard, then spend their money in their free time after five, but those aren’t the values any more. Kids who now want to make good use of their time finding their own values by coming together on art projects aren’t seeking monetary reward. They’re eager to find what matters to themselves. It’s difficult, but it can’t be quantified. Unpaid, but recompensed somewhere. Otherwise, they’d never be recognized by the powers that be in adult society. If Art Night styles itself as a solid platform that approves of all sorts of projects, not just artist exhibitions, this will become a powerful antenna for broadcasting culture. One-nightonly keeps it real and easy to research. Visitor numbers can be quantified, though we’ll need to come up with other numbers as well. Without that, it’ll just end having been a fun night out in an extraordinary setting.

Text: Ito-Soken Photo: Morimoto Naoko