Due to a lack of materials for producing coin money in Japan immediately after the war in 1946, 50-sen coins were made out of scraps of things like cartridge cases used during the war. Interested in the histories and causal associations of all kinds of events and things being reused or reborn in different shapes, KUBO Gaëtan makes creative reuse of such objects once again by transforming them into his own artworks. The aforementioned 50-sen coins he reverses to their original shape, melting and casting them into bullets again. Dry paint peeling off from Tokyo Tower, for which tanks provided the construction materials, he crushed to produce pigment that he eventually used for drawing, and made ceramic works from scraps of the remaining “Ghost Chimneys” of the Senju Thermal Power Station, a 1964 demolished plant erected to replace the old Asakusa Thermal Power Station, which was originally built from materials taken from a battleship built in Kubo’s mother’s hometown of Bordeaux.
This exhibition features a variety of works developed from facts and events that came up in the process of the artist’s research. Made from waste materials, items include objects, models, documentary videos, photographs and diagrams, all of which are based on careful research into historical subjects. Inspired by the fact that his great-grandfather was a crew member on a destroyer of the Japanese Navy, which after the war was reused as an escort vessel of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, in his newest work KUBO documents and turns into art the history of weapons dismantled after the war, and thereby elicits the hidden associations involved in such matters.