There are many artworks that are less interesting than yours, so please study how those artists create them.

"There are many athletes who are slower than you, so please study how they train." These were the words of Keisuke Sawaki, the director of Juntendo University's Track and Field team (currently the head of the JAAF's Strengthening Committee) when I was a high school student and I was allowed to participate in their training. 
*JAAF is Japan Association of Athletics Federations

Walking, jogging, preparatory exercises, stretching, thigh-up run, swinging knee run, hip-twisting run, heel-tugging run, flowing run, spike-flowing run, start-dash 30m x 10, 50m x 10, 70m x 10, acceleration run 100 x 5, corner run 200 x 5, bike run 100m x 10, interval 200m x 20 (2 sets), 300m run (until I could break 39 seconds), cool-down, jogging, walking, exercise, stretching. Day after day, we go through practice after practice, preparing our bodies to perform at our best, and confirming our own fastest movements. Then we begin the ritual of going into the unknown to surpass that fastest, to meet the unknown self. We experience various rituals in every single day: the bike run, where we run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds while being pulled along by a motorcycle, the intervals, where we dash and jog forever, the repetitions, where we dash and rest repeatedly, and the 300-meter run, where we try again and again until we break 39 seconds at the end of the practice (if we can't break 39 seconds at the beginning, there is no way we can break it all the time). Despite the fact that it is not easy to go into the world of the unknown, we practiced going into the world of the unknown again and again and we were so happy to be able to jump into the world of the unknown one hundredth of a second earlier.

The world of the unknown awaited us at Juntendo University. The world of the unknown awaited us at Juntendo University. Although it was located not far from our high school, the world of the unknown lay before our eyes continuously, and one new world after another kept being created. 100m, high jump, long jump, 110m hurdles, 400m, 800m, etc... There are many new world creators from all over the country, including Akira Nakamura (Juntendo University Ekiden coach at the time of writing), a freshman who has just joined the club, who is surpassing the real world at a blistering pace.

These were the words of Keisuke Sawaki as the new world was being produced more and more. Meticulous jogging, elaborate stretching, taking the initiative in preparing the starting blocks, paying attention to senior members, checking the details of running, such as arm swing and hip sharpness, and maintaining the ground conditions on a case-by-case basis, etc.: the world that is often overlooked was happening at the same time as the stars were creating a new world. When I heard Keisuke Sawaki's words, I didn't immediately swallow the meaning, but lightly swept it away and immersed myself in practice, hoping to dive into the world of the unknown, but my eyes fell on a university student who was practicing carefully and meticulously. When I saw the movements of a university student who was considered a slow athlete, I was shocked beyond the increase of production of a new world. I wondered where I was running to, and whether it was fun or important to go to a new world that always existed behind the usual world, to the extent that I happened to jump into the world of the unknown.

Keisuke Sawaki's words were the main street that stood quietly, entering a hidden dimension that could not be seen on the usual route of searching for the world of the unknown. After that, rather than jumping into the next world that is connected but not yet seen, I grew an awareness that it is best to see, hear, and move for what is necessary, not acrobatically, but unobtrusively, so that I can run down the real main street to reach the hidden dimension.

This is not the reason why I am making artworks, but I try to see them every single day, observing the situation carefully and unobtrusively, rather than deliberately aiming at acrobatics to reach the world of the unknown, whether in making artworks or in conversations with people. I try to replace Keisuke Sawaki's words to make artworks. "There are many artworks that are less interesting than yours, so please study how those artists create them." It is difficult to be aware of the authors of uninteresting works, but I hope to reach the hidden main street while being conscious of my awareness.

Related work: "Aim At The World New Record Before The Wind" (2001)


March/April issue of "KIRARA", a supplementary teaching material for Kyoto University of the Arts Correspondence Education (partially modified from the content of the article) 
Art Time
Published February. 2009
Edited and published by Kyoto University of the Arts Correspondence Education







関連作品 「追い風に乗ってねらえ世界新9秒78」(2001年)


発行  2009年2月
編集、発行 京都芸術大学通信教育部