Arthur Huangspoke at the first Tokyo Humanities cafe in June 2017. He lives and works in Tokyo, Japan as an artist and researcher. He is interested in exploring the relationship of conscious and unconscious everyday memories in his studio practice. He moved to Tokyo in 2009 to work as a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, studying memory and learning in mice.
He is the director of the Tokyo-based artist collective Art Byte Critique. He has exhibited work in the United States, Europe, and Japan including HAGISO, hasu no hana, Gallery Camellia, Jill d'Art Gallery, Southern Exposure, Printed Matter, Tokyo Art Book Fair, Spiral Independent Creators Festival, and the Setouchi Triennale 2013.
Photo credit: Yuri Udagawa
1. Can you describe a turning point in your career?
Driving by myself across the United States from the Rhode Island to California and back during the summer between my first and second year of graduate school. The high quality alone time gave me an opportunity to reflect on my first year in graduate school and ultimately catalysed the merging of everyday life and art in my studio practice which I continue to this day.
2. What question are you currently exploring in your work?
My Daily Drawings Project has created a body of work in which there are varied marks and motifs, but they are often repeated in variations. I am currently exploring the relationships between my everyday activities and how they are manifested in my drawings. I am not sure what to expect, but I hope to glimpse a bit of insight into why I make the kind of drawings that I make.
3. Which artist or writer has had the most influence on you?
Without a doubt, On Kawara.
4. What do you think is the value of the humanities?
For me, the value of humanities and the arts is the fields' interests in asking "What does all this mean for us as a society and as a species?"
5. What does the future hold for your field?
The intersection of art and science is steadily being explored more and more by artists and scientists alike. The 21st century manifestation of this intersection is still relatively young and I think the potential to frame and answer questions in both fields in new ways is quite exciting.