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emergencies! 021
MAETANI Kotaro ‘further/nearer’

October 29, 2013–March 2, 2014

emergencies! 021
MAETANI Kotaro ‘further/nearer’


Two types of bright, orange-colored light—blurred, round-edged squares, and horizontal bars with bleeding edges against a black background—are projected onto screens. As their light intensity decreases little by little, both types’ silhouettes gradually become clearer discernible. When the projections are dimmed and seemingly melt into the black around them, they transform into clearly outlined shapes of rectangles or horizontal bars, after which the nearly black objects’ intensity of light increases, and their silhouettes are blurred again.

For these projections, the artist uses a self-built device, the construction of which resembles that of a pinhole camera that transfers light through a tiny pinhole without using a lens. Equipped with a video camera inside, the device’s body has an approximately 10x10 cm square opening instead of a pinhole. That is why here the subject is translated/reduced to elements of light, color and shape, without completely focusing into an image. When shining light onto this device, and then slowly moving the light source away, the figuration of the light that falls through the opening changes, and so do the square silhouettes and the texture of the light, resulting in a gradual decrease of brightness.

Recorded in this work is the transforming relationship between the light source and the camera that projects it while existing outside the state of the visibly projected light, portraying a situation of interrelation between the distance, intensity and configuration of the light. By reducing images to elements of light, color and shape, the artist aims to encourage the viewer to reconsider the viewed object and the act of viewing as such.




Born 1984. Graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in 2008, and from IMI / Global Visual College in 2010. Is currently enrolled in a Master's Course at the Graduate School of Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. At university, he majored in linguistics, and began to make photographs based on his interest in the relationship between imagery and language. While still enrolled at university, he started sampling and reassembling natural light in the form of videos and photographs as manifestations of light itself.

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