Subbing The Subbing
2016 Made in Bangkok, Thailand
Work format: Video installation (Dimension variable)
Materials: 2 TVs
In Spain, there is a town inhabited by people with the surname Japón, which means Japan in Spanish.
400 years ago a group of Samurai traveled to Europe for some missions.
During their journey, Christianity was prohibited in Japan and some of the Samurais decided to remain to live in Spain to live as Christian. Those named Japón in the Spanish town today are regarded as possible descendants of the Samurai from history.
The work EL JAPONÉS aligns the artist himself as a “Japanese person who just came from Japan” and Mrs. Japón as a “descendant of historically the first migrant from Japan”.
The dialog itself looks like a simple praise of communication but the two juxtaposed "Japanese" people imply and ask different notions such as "nationality", "race" and "immigrant integration".
Special thanks: Mr. and Ms. Japóns whom I met in Coria del Rio
2022 at Doubutsuen-mae Shopping street, Osaka, Japan / 动物园前商店街（大阪）/ 動物園前商店街（大阪）
Work format: Performance recorded with iphone screen recording / 苹果手机录屏 / iphone画面録画
Materials: tarpaulin / 防水布 / ターポリン(2000 x 3000 mm / 1750 x 1500 mm) , any monitor / 电视监视器 /モニター
Self-portrait (已己巳己 )
2014 - 2015 Made in Brazil and Japan
Meeting a person whose soul is the most alike to mine on the opposite side of the earth.
Work format: Installation (Dimension variable)
Materials: Mirror, two TV monitors, two DVD players, two tables and two maps
This work is composed by two identical actions, from different regions of the world, in a symmetrical altar-like installation.
Two TVs show Yoshida's identical actions in Brazil and Japan, while the front tables accommodate the photos of the people whom Yoshida encountered. The mirror between them makes a little illusion that integrates the two.
Japan to Brazil
Divination 1: Spiritual vision divination
In 2014, Yoshida initiated the work by meeting a fortuneteller in Japan who performs “Spiritual vision divination”. This is one of many methods of divinations seen in Japan and is regarded as one of the oldest. Through spiritual visions, a fortune teller meditates in front of his/her client to observe them spiritually and answer their questions.
Yoshida asked the fortuneteller only one question:
- I wanna meet a person at the opposite side of the earth whose soul is the most alike to mine -
Geographically speaking, it is incorrect as it is located slightly off, but Brazil has been regarded as on the opposite side of the earth from Japan. That is a common thought among Japanese people. (e.g. There is a joke in Japan of looking down at the ground and saying “Hey Brazilians, can you hear me!” Later on Yoshida learned that Brazilians have the same perception, being that Japan is located on the opposite side from them. It is said that if you dig a hole straight down, you will arrive at Japan.) Yoshida handed over a map of Sao Paulo, Brazil to the fortuneteller and asked him to write down his divination on it. Its details are quite concrete, as it shows that the person to encounter would be female, in her young-adult years, as well as other details.
The Person 1: Brazil
In January 2015, Yoshida was at Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo. The park is one of the largest leisure spots in the city centre, and the place pointed out by the Japanese fortuneteller. After hours of walking, he finally encountered the person he was looking for.
Brazil to Japan
Divination 2: Cowrie-shell divination
In the beginning of 2015, Yoshida initiated the work by meeting a fortuneteller in Brazil who performs “Cowrie-shell divination”, one of the most common divinations seen in Brazil and originally derived from African ritual, then altered into a new form in Brazil.
In Cowrie-shell divination, a fortune teller shakes some cowrie-shells in their hands and throws them on a table to read the patterns known as “Odu”. Before casting the shells, they invoke and salute the Orishas (their Gods) and put questions to them. The Orishas answer the questions by influencing the way the shells fall on the table.
The question Yoshida asked the fortuneteller was same:
- I want to meet a person at the opposite side of the earth whose soul is the most alike to mine -
However, this time the person would be in Japan as it was the opposite side of the earth from Brazil. Yoshida handed over a map of Osaka, Japan to her and asked to write down the divination on it. Its details are rather obscure but still have the core information for finding the person.
The Person 2: Japan
In May 2015, Yoshida was at Nakanoshima Park in Osaka. The park is located at the city centre just by the main offices of the city administration, and often hosts local events. On the day Yoshida visited, there was a flower festival where many roses could be enjoyed, accommodating a variety of people. Of course, this place was chosen according to the divination in Sao Paulo. He encountered the person here.
IKOMIKI, or 已己巳己 in Japanese means more than two things are looking alike or very similar as the appearance of each characters look alike
(i.e. “已/cease”, “己/self” and “巳/snake” and again “己/self”)