Masonite board, Lumber
Show-n-tell, SF CA
On Toshi Onuki’s Kamikaze (Divine Wind) A sculpture installation at Show-n-tell, from October 13th to undetermined time.
Upon entering one finds a large column, three feet by three feet running twenty feet horizontally impeding ones progress to the rest of this room. The column extends to two opened windows, each open three feet each, three feet wide. The windows hold each end of column. The column is hollow. The each column is made of Masonite sheets with holes in them. Each hole is one eighth of an inch wide. And is one eighth of an inch from one nearest it. The Masonite sheets, (which are used to hung hand tools from), have holes in them which permit the viewer to see inside the structure and frustratingly obscure he or her from seeing inside of it. The inner support structure is made of 2x4s running horizontally, and by 4 2x4s three feet in length, inside each end of the column, at the open windows.
There is no extraneous stuff. Everything is there because it has to be, however it is not well made, seemingly on purpose, some of the screws hang off the structure, or are driven in crooked; its very humorous.
The bottom of the window ledge is approximately four feet from the floor, as is the column. In the gallery, which is also someone’s home, there are other works, beyond the Onuki’s piece. The viewer has to walk bending over the piece to get to the rest of the work. In bending over the viewers back, parallels the underside of the column he is now passing under. Similarly, the viewer parallels the piece with the front of his body parallel to the front surface when he initially encounters the work, and finally his back parallels the back surface of the piece upon standing upright after walking under it. Top of the piece remains delineated by the body of the viewer.
Since the window has to remain open to support the piece, air passes in one window and out the one opposite it. The air is still allowed to enter the room through the holes, but the viewer can’t experience or interface with the circulation of air between the windows. It can only exit in the mind. The air (wind), takes precedence over the viewer, hence the title, Divine Wind, the viewer has compromise himself for the passage of air by bending under the piece-a kamikaze.
The work of most artists come from their own experience or insights, but does not give the experiences itself, they set themselves up as a sort of interpreter for the laymen. Onuki’s interest seems to be in the form where you are realizing yourself, in this case your body in relationship to the thing.
The experience is the thing, the experience is the object.
A man and his wife live in the space his wife is pregnant. The piece blocks one’s entrance to the kitchen and should become very uncomfortable for her over time. Onuki is presently friends with both of them and was fully aware of his friend’s condition prior to installing his piece. Completed Oct 13th, the piece is not set to run any designated period of time, the length of the installation is depending on the forbearance of this couple. She becomes larger, the weather gets colder and wetter, Onuki should document the progress of the couples growing resentment of the piece, for the viewer is not privy to its repercussions, for the response to the thing is as important as the thing itself.
Text by Will Miller