Tuesday, 10 January 2017

JAPAN



8 million Kami- CCA Kitakyushu, Japan
November/December 2016


Kitakyushu is an affluent city buoyed up on debt and protectionist policies. When I first saw its booming steel and chemical plants it made me think of a lost North of England. It made me think of that scene in the film Solaris where a future Russia was flmed on the elevated motorways of Tokyo. 
The city appeared to me as a future Yorkshire dreamt in the 1970s, the conjuration of a future we might have had if the decision to close heavy industry and implement neoliberalism hadn't been made.
After a few days a different city emerged, Kitakyushu felt like a place suspended in a fake tranquility. The tension was palpable and I mapped breaks in the veneer of control. The debt bubble and increasing instability in the region seemed fertile ground for the emerging nationalist movements I detected on long walks through the city. I saw posters advocating a return to the military force of the second world war alongside cartoon characters and saccharine advertising hoardings.
I wasn't there long enough to know the place but in six weeks I started to get under its skin. It was a difficult time, I spent a lot of time walking alone, and the writing in the installation became a record of the thoughts and memories generated by these solitary walks.