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Fabrice Hyber (France)
Christine Hill (U.S./Germany)
Cai Guo Qiang (China/U.S.)
Navin Production Co., Ltd. (Thailand)
Kaoru Arima (Japan)
Hatsue Muraki (Japan)

Curator:      Koichi Watari
Logistic Support:  Embassy of France
         American Embassy
         Goethe-Institut Tokyo
         Embassy of Thailand
Sponsor:      Shiseido Co., Ltd.
         Toyota Motor Corporation
Cooperation:    EIGEN+ART
         Kanazawa College of Art

When traveling in the West and asked about their religion, Japanese often reply that they have no religion. They simply lack any conceptualization on this subject. This fact exposes the salient fact that in Japan daily life itself is religion.

From Daisetsu Suzuki
Toyo shiso no tokushusei
(“Characteristics of Oriental Thought”)
lecture given in August, 1959

In generalizing about differences between East and West, Daisetsu Suzuki pointed out that in the West observation attempts to be objective and is built on logicality and intellectual process, while in the East the focus is on the thing itself, on the observer becoming the thing itself without barriers.For example, in the Japanese tea ceremony, the entire experience is a focus and a unity. Proceeding down a passage then ducking into the tea room through the low and narrow doorway ( nijiri-guchi) acts to sever relations with the everyday world. In the confines of the little tea room, directing attention to the flower arrangement and hanging scroll painting or calligraphy are preliminaries to drinking a bowl of tea. This entire process creates an experience beyond time and space; through the prosaic act of drinking tea, a transcendent Way is opened.
Japan historically has given precedence to the aest
hetic experience of becoming one with something

---of penetrating its “thusness”--not just appreciating or observing from outside. Religion, philosophy, and art spring from daily life, transcend the mundane, then return to the everyday world again.
“to the Living Room”is and exhibition that is not just to be observed, that is not just for simple enjoyment. The process of daily life are experienced, and participants can become one with the works as well as enjoy this act of letting go. The process begins with the visit to the “living rooms”of six artists.
The passing of Emperor Hirohito is seen as a dissolution of a Japanese symbol. The sarin gas attack on theTokyo subway by the Om Shinrikyobecomes a threat to the sense ofsecurity in Japan; the Hanshin (Kobe) earthquake has become a symbol of distrust in the permanence of material society; and the puncturing of the bubble economy has resulted in a distrust in the economy itself. In the context of such circumstances and events, the artists show us small actions of daily life and their possibilities, while we tend to think your society remains static and dull. Changes in the individual’s sense of value or attitude may lead to gradual changes in society itself.

The world will be organized more rationally into modern categories. Such a process involves the repression of our uniqueness, our original life emotion. This estrangement is sure to intensify deeply as a kind of internal solitude. The nucleus of original life. Though thought to be abandoned and forgotten, still exists in the depths of our psyche. We are linked to it by bonds of pure magic. On occasions when it opens, such as with artistic expression for example, we unexpectedly feel an inexpressible kinship with it. This is what sustains us.

From Taro Okamoto
Wasurerareta Nihon “forgotton Japan”, 1961