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MARC BLAKE & KO MASUDA “5”

HAPPENINGText: Yasuharu Motomiya

The exhibition of installation “5” by Marc Blake and Ko Masuda recently took place at BankArt Studio NYK. BankArt Studio NYK was built this year to enhance communication and creativity of the city and artists. This effort is a part of Yokohama city’s cultural project, and BankART Studio NYK is administrated by BankART 1929. BankArt1929 is a renovated old bank building from the 1920s, established to provide space for various artistic expressions. The building of BankArt Studio NYK is a refurbished warehouse that once belonged to the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line). The gallery boasts 1,600 square metres of exhibition space and studios for various uses. The studio is open to everyone. Available spaces are provided after artists go through a series of regulatory steps.

With this “open” concept and studio space, Ko Masuda and Marc Blake created a series of works and exhibited an installation at the end of their studio residency. They both worked in the same studio, but each artist used different tools. Ko used chisels while Marc used pencils for the artworks. At the entrance of exhibition hall, their two months of work was presented in a clear box; shavings of Ko’s chisels and Marc’s pencils. We can actually view the artists’ experience and the memories of space.

Ko Masuda studied Fine Arts in New Zealand. He also has been trained as a Shingon buddhist monk. His works reflect his world view and both quite different experiences from New Zealand and Buddhism are blended into his works.

His works remind us of wood engravings because of its uses of lively colors and chiseled lines on a two-dimensional canvas. At first sight, it seems chaotic and there is no top or bottom in his work. In addition, it is viewable from four different positions so viewers can approach differently from each position. Some find faces of men and others see imaginary animals in Ko’s complex paintings. Ko made most of the works alone but he also made several collaborative pieces with Marc.

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