HIROKO

TSUCHIMOTO

Grasping a hot coal6

 

The work of visual and performance artist, Hiroko Tsuchimoto is a continuous investigation of the human experience. Prompted by concepts found in psychology and sociology she researches human behavior – particularly empathy, discomfort, curiosity and confrontation – through the gaze of group or social situations. She intersects the lines of observation, intervention, influence and collaboration to produce works that can be described as ironic, humorous, and thoughtful. Tsuchimoto gathers controversial issues and subject matters and uses them as cues in her performance work to reveal individual and collective hurdles within the human experience. Through physical and interactive exercises, the viewer becomes involved in the performance, creating a concealed layer of personal introspection or surprise. Personal encounters caused by resistance to her gender, ethnicity, nationality and race become the sites of power struggle that she disrupts through unexpected channels and like irony and humor. Within her practice is the technique of method acting, a technique which actors use to arouse sincere and emotionally expressive performances through memory. In her work it is not difficult to perceive the many definitions of power; power in the context of physical and personal capabilities (strength, extroversion), power in the context of influence (authority, prerogative, dominance) and power in the context of energy (abstract, environment). They all affect the development of Tsuchimoto’s artistic practice and its execution. It’s a deliberate act from Tsuchimoto to explicitly deal with emotion and not the idea of it, and a mindful act to creative ephemeral work that has a time a place. (text by Chumisa Ndakisa)