Mika Yamakoshi, Daniel Stubenvoll
Pieces opening in Tokyo on May 27th is a collaborative project between German artist Daniel Stubenvoll and Japanese jewelry artist Mika Yamakoshi. The exhibition shows a series of new works based on the creative dialogue surrounding a group of found images. The exhibition is the result of encounters. First, an encounter with a new place: Stubenvoll visited Tokyo during a travel grant in 2022. Second, an encounter of two artists combining their practice of storytelling through deconstructing and reassembling signs. During his time in Tokyo, Daniel Stubenvoll collected a bundle of magazines and books from second hand bookshops. Unable to decipher the text, he build a collection based only on the images. The three groups of images exhibited, can be understood as one series, or a multiple of series. Continuing the artist’s ongoing investigation into what makes and unmakes the concept of a series, each image group or image can stand on its own or be shuffled and combined in its many variations. The text carefully placed on the works exhibited at SOOT add a second layer of storytelling. Yamakoshi started to write during her daily life, starting to pay attention to details that would otherwise have been lost. Similar to Stubenvoll’s specific attentiveness to finding the special in the ordinary, her writing is finding the poetic and humorous in everyday life. She chose each word with care and spend time with every phrase, writing it over and over. The text eventually turned into an image itself, working as a second visual signifier. The final selection of her handwritten phrases are traced onto the canvas, joining both handwritings. With a humoristic wink the images, decontextualized from their original publishing context, become what they represent rather than what they depict. The series a,b,c demonstrates a bulky dynamic. The movement of an anonymous man is captured by a photographer unknown in a magazine from another time. The portrait series of three dissolves into a study of movement and body. The work *scenery is a representation of an ideal of a place. It does not matter what place this image depicts, it becomes the island each spectator has developed during their life as a place of longing. It is a commodified place, which is ownable, sellable or can be visited without taking responsibility. A place of relaxation, for the ones that can afford it. The final series 1,2,3,4 depicts a man dressed in a coat and scarf. The grain of the print hints that the image is a reproduction of a print from the pre- digital era. The young man’s eyes are hidden by the reflection of his glasses. His posture changes slightly in all four portrait shots. Although he remains anonymous, the text layer builds a space for him to come alive. Yamakoshi, known for her jewelry, crafted little silver nails. These fixate the prints, while the entire piece is encased by an acrylic box. These little capsules enclose the multiple elements of meaning making. And the objects themselves begin to speak.