The artist Yuko Kamei studied contemporary dance at Roehampton University, U.K. and received an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London. Based in Tokyo, she travels to locations with her camera and tripod to realize her artistic ideas, while enjoying working at a global real estate firm.
Her works emerge from her interests in creative relations between the human body and built environment. Deploying the body as a point of reference, she investigates the physicality and meanings of spaces. Her current interest is the mechanism of looking at the performing body of the artist in the space of photography.
She will speak at the second Tokyo Humanities Cafe in September 2017.
1. Can you describe a turning point in your career?
I think it was "on concrete" in 2009, a group show which I organized with two of my best artist friends. The exhibition was realized as part of a program run by Tokyo Wonder Site, and made me continue to work as an artist after completing my MFA in London.
2. What question are you currently exploring in your work?
I'm interested in how the experience of dealing with materials informs and influences our thinking. My focus used to be on human body movement and man-made structures, and now it's expanding into more of a planetary perspective.
3. Which artist or writer has had the most influence on you?
Steve Paxton and Bas Jan Ader. Both of them looked at the physics aspect of human body movement.
4. What do you think is the value of the humanities?
If culture is an inseparable part of being human, and if we are all happy being human, I think it's worth providing time and resources to humanities. However, being a practitioner myself, I often ask: "what's the point of all this?"
5. What does the future hold for your field?
As an industry I don't know where contemporary art is going. However, at a basic level there are greater numbers of people curating their vision daily nowadays, as well as more opportunities to be creative rather than appreciative. In that sense artistic practices may become nothing special among future generations, and with raised awareness of representation the world may become a slightly better place.