"Yosuke Amemiya: Translator's High"

by Samantha Sinnayah

Yuka Sasahara Gallery
Closes in 10 days

One problem with video art is that the screen’s two-dimensional world can’t always hold its audience. What to buy for dinner, the pressures of work or the simple fact that often there’s no space to sit, sometimes seem more pressing. At Yosuke Amemiya’s current show however, thoughts of dinner maybe a little easier to ignore.

With a video screen and an evocative installation, Amemiya turns Yuka Sasahara Gallery ( into a bizarre space that is hard to dismiss. “Translator’s High” refers to the high that Amemiya hopes viewers will get from translating between the video and the reality he presents. The installation consists of a slightly off-the-wall living space in which something has obviously happened. The video art — which appears to show what took place in the gallery prior to our arrival — hangs on the wall, housed in an ornate mirror frame. We the audience, sit in between.

Just like “The World,” a prior work at Mito Art Tower and Yokohama’s BankART NYK, “Translator’s High” leaves us in a constant state of guessing. Is it real or fiction? Is something about to happen? Are we at a crime scene or merely trapped in the absurdities of someone’s mind? Even after translating, there are no clear-cut answers. But if you do pop down to Yuka Sasahara, one thing’s for sure — go on a weekday when the masses of Tokyo’s art-goers won’t cloud your perception.