Takashi Kuribayashi + Cinema Caravan
■Comments on Participating in Roppongi Art Night
When I was in my twenties, I took a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Besides it being my first time diving, I was mesmerized by a crystal-clear world teeming with nearly two-meter-long sharks and a remote island full of hundreds of monitor lizards. Among these many experiences, there was one particular landscape and location that had a strong and vivid impact on me. It was the graveyard of ships. I was told that this was a place where shipowners, looking to cash in on insurance money, intentionally ran their old ships aground to receive compensation. Dozens of large tankers lie stranded and abandoned in the middle of the ocean, where there is nothing to be seen for a full 360 degrees. Among these was an old wreck that looked like a ghost ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, and against the setting sun it made for a strange world that seemed unreal. That moment set off my imagination, eventually becoming the impetus for this project. I imagined those tankers becoming unmoored from their resting places by storms and typhoons, left to wander the world’s oceans. Migratory birds would stop to rest, and the creatures and plants they brought with them would put down roots and eventually become a forest that would overtake the entire ship. Flora and fauna from all over the world would continue to grow on the tanker, creating a large and self-contained ecosystem. It is with this grand and detailed fantasy that the tanker project began.
Since his early career in Germany, shortly after the reunification of East and West, Takashi Kuribayashi has been presenting a range of works, with a particular focus on large-scale installations centered on the theme of “boundaries.” He has maintained an active career while traveling back and forth between Japan and Indonesia, and has been invited to participate in exhibitions both in Japan and internationally. Cinema Caravan, which began working with Kuribayashi in 2009, was founded by members of the first Zushi Beach Film Festival (2010), held in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture. The diverse collective includes photographers, fabricators, and chefs, and extends beyond film to serve as a medium for connecting people and cultures and creating shared experiences. Last year, the group participated in Documenta fifteen in Germany, where they held various events based on their exhibited work Outside of Mosquito Net.
Kuribayashi received the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize at Documenta fifteen in 2022 for his work Genki Rōgen Unit 4, presented by Takashi Kuribayashi + Cinema Caravan.