We went to see: Natsumi Hayashi!

Posted on 03.02.2015

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IMG_0161I’ve posted about her work before: she’s the artist living in Japan who is behind Yowayowa camera. In 2011, she did a different ‘levitation’ every day (until June, it seems), and photographed it. The work is currently on exhibit at the Takashimaya Department store in Shinjuku, until next Monday.

This is one of her smaller shows. I know she’s had larger exhibitions with much larger prints, because I follow her on Facebook and get to read about ALL of them. However, this was the first we were in town to catch.

It started over in Nihombashi at the end of last year. I work over there, and had wanted to go catch it before it moved. However, we chose to go on January 1, and everything was closed that day. So, no dice. We then had to wait for the show to come down and then go up again in Shinjuku, which was much closer to home anyway.

I’m not sure what kind of work she’s making now, since she’s been silent on that front. I think she may just be in a cycle of showing, since it seems she’s gotten really popular since making the images and posting them on her site.

IMG_0297The show yesterday was small and the images weren’t really big, but it was still nice to see them printed on paper, hung and framed.

I said to Mark while we were there, though, that I almost felt bad having looked at her work so often in the past week online with students (a common question is ALWAYS: “what are your plans for the weekend?”), because there were very few images at the show which I HADN’T already seen online.

Of course, seeing them in person is a far different (and I think BETTER) experience. It just felt a bit like knowing the end of the movie before you watch it.

hayashi-natsumi-305x412Also, I’d really, really like to see one of her shows where the images are printed REALLY large. I have a feeling that these make quite an impact at life-size or larger.

The gallery the show was in is kind of common here in Tokyo: department stores often have 10 floors or so and are housed in large buildings that also have a floor for restaurants, a floor for travel agencies, some offices, a grocery store in the basement, etc. So this  tiny, immaculate gallery was on the 10th floor of a department store, just past the cushy recliners in the housewares department.

There are always tiny shows going on on the top floors of these buildings, you just have to go up there and look. Thankfully, I had the dates to know, otherwise I wouldn’t have guessed she’s be showing around town. So if and when you come to visit Tokyo, don’t bypass that 10th floor art gallery on the floor guide. There will ALWAYS be a show in there, by someone you’ve probably never heard of who’s awesome.

Posted in: art, Japan, life