Kazushi Nakada

Kazushi Nakada
Kazushi Nakada

Kazushi Nakada is an artist from Japanese ceramics family and lives/works in Europe for more than 25 years. He has previously been based in Denmark and the United Kingdom. He is currently based in Kanazawa Japan and Helsinki Finland.

Kazushi has given lectures and workshops at more than 25 universities in the United States, Japan and Europe. His works have been exhibited in museums, galleries and public spaces around the world. He used to use glass as art medium and produced sculptures. However, after long term academic work, Kazushi began to actively produce art work again in 2015. He travels around the world constantly and his art projects focuses on human culture and its past and future.

Kazushi says: “Big change happens in my life once in a while… where to live and what to do for instance… I am urged to know new things and would like to travel around the world. People, society, culture, history, today and future are key words for me to be creative. Looking at something new and being influenced does not mean that I am losing my identity. It is a beginning of being a part of the world really! Art work is a kind of method for me to observe my surrounding and comment thoughts on those. I am sorry to answer in a terribly simple way. But that is where my art starts really… There is no limit in terms of using technology and materials today. That is why I would like to select them carefully in order to accomplish my art project.”


Trip from Emptiness in 1991


Kazushi Nakada: Trip from Emptiness in 1991
Kazushi Nakada: Trip from Emptiness in 1991

The country and its families had been living through difficult period those times. The “deficit” of everything was the keyword of that period. The empty shelves in the shops, empty hopes and the whole mood of emptiness. I went to London by train, starting my trip from Moscow… empty Moscow, you cannot imagine how miserable people were… Encountering London, full of wealth and wellbeing was shocking for me, the amount of baby food and toys… just luxury “on every step”, fullness and wholeness… this contrast killed me totally, made me just sick with insomnia… Wealth here and Emptiness there. Emptiness and Wealth! I recalled how difficult it was (in Soviet Union before the collapse) finding a carrot in the shop (deficit), squeeze its juice, grinding it first very thoroughly. And… here, in London, you find carrot juice very easily, for infants, fresh and tasty…

My empty motherland, my country of birth, empty ideology, empty as a baby dummy…

When I arrived for studies to Helsinki, I got a student apartment in Espoo, it was empty… My memories always come back when I start something new, and when any symbols of finishing old and starting new comes to mind.

Trip from Emptiness in 1991 is a part of Kazushi’s art project My archaleology, which has been organised in 16 different countries since 2014.

My Archaelogy

This is an experimental art project in which I produce art objects in collaboration with participants. In a working process, through dialogues with a participant, I decide a “episode” as a main concept and also make a body of art objects from it. After documenting them and taking portraits of the participant and making a video, one of the objects will be buried in the ground. Project name, the year and the message from me “What is art like in your time?” are engraved on the surface of the object. Only the participant and I know a reserve location. Later the participant will talk to acquaintances and families about this project.

Unclassified objects, Episodic memory, Believe in stories………
What do we get from art in this project?

The original art object will be buried in nature and becomes not art work but unclassified objects. Are they art work or archaeology objects when they are found 1000 years later?
I will make an “episodic memory” in participant’s mind through working sessions. As a result, their memory is my art work.
“It is the memory of autobiographical events (times, places, associated emotions and knowledge) that can be explicitly stated. Individuals tend to see themselves as actors in these events, and the emotional charge and the entire context surrounding an event is usually part of the memory, not just the bare facts of the event itself.”

Participants are anonymous but are recommended to talk about this project to their friends and family members. In 50 years, all the participants will not be existing. Ultimately their memories become a short story of their family and close friends. And it may be handed over generations to generations.

Existing art objects as well as pictures are exhibited in public and introduces the project. They are the only tangible and visible evidence which proofs that the art project My Archaeology exists. It is becoming more and more difficult to explain about details of the project when the time goes by. If we want to trust that the project existed as it is explained, the only way is to have a look those data and just believe in them. Where are art objects? Who were participants? Is it really true that the project took place?………

What will the future people guess if objects are excavated 1000 years later? And if they understand that this is an art work (art project) intentionally using archaeology and sending personal thoughts and messages to future, how art historians and curators would evaluate this project and my creative activities in their period. And what do they talk about written poems on the objects?

You can make anything in art these days. There are huge sculptures, installations which are use of high-tech digitalized system and environmental arts using the whole building, Creativeness seems to be an endless. I have also made such work and may make it again in the future. In my work, I consider a process of making art as “process of making 0 to 1”. I make art from nothing. Art work is an integration of human sensation and an intelligence. I feel that it is an ultimate manmade object which is given an eternal time. But when something is created and become 1, a process of going back to 0 starts immediately due to definition of “time”. It means that objects are destroyed, decayed and returned to the soil (nature). Some point, I will disappear physically at least………

However, even if I become 0, the art project My Archeology will exist in nature as well as in memories of people and keep progressing into future.

The artwork is exhibited at Trapesa (Espoonsilta, Espoo train station, 2nd floor).