© Chikako Watanabe

Chikako Watanabe
chikahome - 2005/Amsterdam/NL

After coming to the Netherlands in 1995, Chikako Watanabe has been to many countries where she created new works through "learning something new from local residents". By using various mediums such as fashion, drawing, photography and video, she made installations that functioned as interactive platforms collaborating with different people in the form of performances and workshops.

New installation for this exhibition "chikahome - 2005/Amsterdam/NL" is based on 2 stories. Last year Watanabe was invited to research and make an installation for the 100th anniversary festival of Huize Assisie, a small village where mentally and/or physically handicapped people live, located in Biezenmortel, between Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. In this area she met many different kinds of people from the neighborhood including a geologist and a stained glass maker. One story was born from this experience. The other one is an everyday life story from Amsterdam.

"Since I came to Amsterdam from Japan my sense of normality regarding daily life has had to change. For example, I have experienced being a majority or a minority in unexpected circumstances - such as being one of a few non-handicapped in a handicapped village - or finding myself as part of a majority of foreigners living in my neighborhood in Amsterdam where 114 nationalities are registered. These shifts caused a tremendous revolution in my point of view and introduced me to new types of fear and values which have been the key to new thoughts in my work about how we can live together on this planet."

- When you see our planet as a man, the magma in the center is as the blood in a man.
- When a man screams, so does the earth. How can we live together in peace?
- We human beings are like microbes living on the surface of the earth.

During the exhibition period, questions that spring up in her mind day to day will be transformed into drawings and images, and added to the gallery space.

The centerpiece of the installation is a "landscape" made of yarns recovered from a former textile factory in Tilburg. The floor piece represents the landscape of this area and the artist intends visitors to lie back on it and watch videos projected on the ceiling. During the exhibition items of clothing made from the same textiles will be integrated with rug - at the opening however - these garments will be worn by models mingling among the visitors.

Exhibition: 21 May - 9 July 2005
Opening hours: Tues-Sat 1 - 6 pm

Ellen de Bruijne Projects
Rozengracht 207 A
NL-1016 LZ Amsterdam
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