In August of 2008, Masanori Handa presented work at the Kodama Gallery in Tokyo. Masanori talks about his latest exhibition and the inspiration behind it.
What was the source of inspiration for the work you presented at Kodama Gallery?
My intention is to make a collection of feelings as objects. However, by the nature of the kind of work I create, I need to develop it. If you call this process a concept, I think it makes sense. It could be my emotion, but I don’t wish to create it into a shape.
Talk about your relationship with Rebecca Horn.
When I arrived, she arranged an opportunity to talk to me right away. Then we decided to meet periodically, and she gave me gifts from her personal properties (like ink and brushes). This made me feel welcome and at home.
We sometimes saw each other at her place, at other times we met in a restaurant. We also met at the university where she teaches. She invited me to different art fairs and to the openings of galleries in Berlin. She tried to meet me in many different situations in order to show me different aspects of her life. She sometimes met me as an artist, as my mentor or sometimes almost like a family member. What is consistent is that she is always very down-to-earth and very much herself.
Rebecca has taken excellent care of me by helping me in many different ways to enjoy my stay in Berlin. She very consciously provided me with hints in order for me to develop a point of view. She was very honest about showing me what she has in her environment. She understands me very well, and she respects the distance between us.
I feel that if passing on artistic values is possible, it should take place in the space created by an artist who understands and respects the other artist, in the way Rebecca is doing for me. I would like to respond to her exceptional consideration for me with my work.
How do you feel in Berlin?
I feel that exposing myself physically to an environment fundamentally means that it swallows me. I feel clearly that my excitement has peaked, which means my creativity is now taking place in me. I am also well aware that I have to control it. In many different situations, I feel both control and loss of excitement.
My style of creating a work has a time lag; which means that I do not develop ideas by following my senses, as I said above (control and losing excitement). It is as if there is a big hole into which many sensations are falling. The situation I am in is a very particular kind, and yet there are some elements that are the same as before. There are also unknown areas.