Soy sauce containers and anime figurines | the politically charged work of three


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Tokyo Electric’ (2013)

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‘Consisting of three young artists who generally choose to remain anonymous, three creates whimsical sculptures and space-altering installations using everyday materials such as plastic anime figurines and small, plastic fish-shaped soy sauce containers,’ explains Miwako Tezuka. As gallery director for Japan Society in New York, Tezuka has invited three to participate in their inaugural summer residency program ‘to foster new artistic talents from Japan.’

Hailing from Fukushima, the artists were direct victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear fallout. In fact, their latest work ‘Tokyo Electric’ was created for the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake. The imposing cubic structure stands over 3 meters high and is built to the same scale of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, explains the artists. It was made from 151,503 soy sauce containers – another symbolic number that happens to represent the number of displaced citizens.

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‘Saikoro (27 cubes)’ (2012) | images courtesy the artist

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Multiplicity is a common element in Three’s work. And their medium of choice – often objects that are cheaply mass-produced – is a reminder of our increasingly inorganic society and the death of the individual. I’m immensely looking forward to seeing what they bring to New York.

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‘Tokyo Void’ (2010) | images courtesy the artist

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Last January the artists staged an interactive installation at Shiseido Egg Gallery titled ‘eat me.’ Roughly 7000 individually packaged candy was hung from the ceiling in the shape of a house. Visitors were encouraged to eat the candy but dispose of the wrappers in the corner of the gallery. The house eventually disappeared at the hands of the visitors, leaving just a pile of trash.

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‘eat me’ (2012) photos by Ken Kato

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