From November 2015 until February 2016, I was the resident artist of PARADISE AiR , in the city of Matsudo, Japan. The LONG Stay Program gave me the opportunity to produce a large scale artwork based in the city of Matsudo while living and engaging with the local community. My modus operandi was very simple. Explore, draw & exhibit.
First, I’ve interviewed random people on the streets, parks, bars, coffee shops etc... asking about the city, their favourite places and opinions about the built environment.
From my (amazing) barber to the mayor, from kids to older people. I was planning on getting around 30 interviews but ended up with 92 new friends!
In those sketches it became clear how the city limits define my perceptions of the city.
The river on the west side. Cross it and you're in Tokyo Prefecture.
The train tracks that divides the city in two and the outer limits become a blur because of the sheer size of the city.
After gathering this memories, stories and key visual references from the Matsudo neighborhood, started some small drawings to understand scale and texture of the city.
This interpretation of the city limits became the limits of the drawing.
After having this settled, it was just a matter of time to finish the piece.
32 days to be precise.
The use different perspectives in the same drawing came because I had the feeling of always looking up and down when walking around. Sometimes focusing on small details, other times looking for wider view.
Switching from birds eye views of whole neighborhoods to buildings skyline to street level facades. Also I like that it gives my favourite tofu shop the same importance as the tallest building in town.
This allow me to show all these different features of the urban landscape.
Departing from the drawing, I've created a 20 meters installation to be placed in front of the JR station of Matsudo.