beautiful town(plenty of empty)

The First Haifa Mediterranean Biennial

18th Feb - 6th Apr 2010

Haifa, Israel



LEC,INC.S, A  /  Konishi Co., Ltd.,



逆説のポエジー                           埼玉県立近代美術館学芸員 平野 到



今回の出品作品《beautiful town (plenty of empty)》にも同様の美意識を私たちは見出すことができるであろう。この作品は、作者や知人が使用した錠剤のパッケージでちゃちな家のミニチュアを作り、それを多数配置していく大型のインスタレーションだ。個々の家は小さなバネの上に載っているために傾いており、しかも少しでも振動が加わるとゆらゆらと揺れる。全体が貧弱で安定しない世界の中に構成されているのである。




Paradoxical Poesy 

Itaru Hirano, 

Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

Mariko Asai’s artistic expressions take diverse forms, such as drawings, three-dimensional works, photographs, film and installations and so forth. Her works have certain sense of aesthetics in common. It is like a poesy that paradoxically appears in hackneyed, empty subjects. Whereas many of her creations are based on daily life or trivial events, they convey some poetic sense, such as indescribable presence, gentle time flow, or ambivalent nuance that subtly swings. Asai pays attention to commonplace subjects and turns them into possessing poesy through her unique sensibility. This type of approach clearly applies to some of her works, including the beautiful photos of dust covering a doll, the tiny houses made of medicine capsules and pills, and the video composed of familiar subjects that waver gently and repeat appearing and disappearing.


In Asai’s work beautiful town (plenty of empty) for this exhibition, we are able to discover the same sense of aesthetics. This large-scale installation is composed of many “cheap” miniature houses, which are made of medicine packages that Asai and her friends have used in the past. Each house is on a small spring that tilts, and it sways with only slight vibration. It tells us that this work as a whole is constructed in a humble, unstable world. 


The fact that used medicine packages are utilized in her work allows us to consider that as we take medicines to avoid pain or anxiety, empty medicine packages can be seen as trash that resulted from our daily-life anxieties. In Asai’s work, empty medicine packages have been created into houses, which should basically be the source of peaceful, stable life. Her miniature houses convey a sense of emptiness and unstableness, as if they are about to collapse. These impressions are related to the underlying meanings of used medicine packages.


However, the most important point is that Asai never shows those negative aspects just as they are. What we find is that she paradoxically employs a unique poesy within her works. The town with colorful and glittering miniature houses in her work allows us to perceive a rich narrative imagination. The houses bouncing as if there were no gravity are an amusing sight, in that they are like toys. Although the motifs she adopted are hackneyed and empty, her works have a sense of humor that is full of poesy. This paradoxical poesy must be what makes Asai’s expressions so appealing. 



(trancelated by Atsuko Tsunoda)