My name is Goshi Uhira, an artist and designer based in Tokyo. My past works include ‘Skin’, a serial work of art that displays the complex textures of human skin in photography; and ‘Glass Balls’, an installation using thousands of glass balls. In recent years, I have held a few solo exhibitions, one of which called Unknown Skin in 2021 at the Yokohama Civic Art Gallery (Kanagawa), and another called Breathing Books in 2020 at the NADiff a/p/a/r/t (Tokyo). Among the publications I have worked on the designs for are “Practicing Aesthetics” by Futoshi Hoshino (Suiseisha, 2021), “Dynamics of Painting” by Ryo Sawayama (Shoshikankanbou, 2020), and “Donald Judd” by Toru Arakawa (Suiseisha, 2019).
This monograph, “Cosmos of Silence”, consists mainly of my past artwork and designs. Additionally, the book contains “The Ethics of Texture”, a text written by art critic Ryo Sawayama; “The Design of Love”, an essay written by Futoshi Hoshino, associate professor at the University of Tokyo; and “Slow and silent images – The perception of a delicate domain”, an interview with me talking about my upbringing and future practices. In the closing, you will be able to see the specifications of the paper materials I’ve applied to this publication, as well as the credits.
“Silence” as used in this book title refers to the silence within visual arts. Basically, rather than aiming to capture the attention of many people, I base my ideas on a completely differentiated set of values in which the surrounding space and time is quiet and slow moving. I have an interest in the cosmologic, mystic depth that pervades when we slowly and delicately feel a sense of the objects right in front of us, and the space that surrounds them. By “objects”, I am referring to a variety of things from organics such as plants and paper, to inorganic substances such as water and glass. Spaces with delicate molecules like oxygen and hydrogen adrift are also part of the presence of what I am referring to.
In the past, I had the chance to work with Mr. Yohei Sanjo from Ordinary Books in a book design project while he was working as a clerk for Tsutaya Books. Since then, I have continuously shared my passion and values towards paper books with him. When he went out on his own as Ordinary Books this year, I was the one to work on the creations for the logo and business cards. Mr. Sanjo was always so observant of my work, and when I came forward with the idea of a monograph of my artwork, he kindly agreed to help me out and that is how it all came about.
In the compilation, I made sure to not make the contents simply retrospective, but also something that can lead to future practices. In this monograph, art critic Mr. Ryo Sawayama and aesthetician Mr. Futoshi Hoshino, both very close friends of mine, gave their points of view and insight on my work through written text. In designing the book, I adopted UV offset print in FM screening, and gave a matte finish to the colored pages. This matte finish granted the images a calm and profound texture while still keeping them high-resolution, and the silver for the fonts (Pantone 10394 C) gives off a unique, graphite-like feel. The main text print is the work of Sun M Color, and the foil stamping that can be seen on the cover is that of Cosmotech. The beautifully done hand-binding by Shinohara Shiko is also worthy of special mention.
All of my projects are based on the core question, “is it possible to directly come in contact with various objects as unique, living entities?” Artwork and design are neighboring practices. To rephrase this, the fact that numerous existences including myself are quietly in action at this moment gives me pure joy, and the exciting sensation that derives from this is the origin to my creations. To frugally experience the existence of objects is equal to experiencing the dynamism and significance of the space between each element and each object, and putting my body in the middle of the back and forth between existence and non-existence. I was mainly active in the designing field at the beginning stages of my career, but as I willingly began inserting myself into these kinds of practices, my projects have expanded into the field of artwork. There is a difference in whether the motives of a project are internal or external, but I feel that this slight difference is part of what makes the practices of art and design positively influence one another.
The book launch fair of my monograph “Cosmos of Silence” is being held at Tsutaya Books in Daikanyama until November 30th (Wednesday) of this year. Also, in the coming year, I have another solo exhibition scheduled to take place at N&A Art SITE in Nakameguro in March of 2023. I am planning on displaying my serial work “Skin” which I am continuously working on, a new piece called “White Papers” that fully acknowledges the presence of pure white paper and its texture, and another new sculpture production using glass.