Even before the shut down of "After 'Freedom of Expression?'" — the Aichi Triennale exhibit that included the "Statue of Peace," a work symbolizing "comfort women" that has stirred debate over what can be publicly displayed — artist Bontaro Dokuyama had a solution to its removal. At his 2018 exhibition "Public Archive," he presented, along with video interviews of Korean women speaking about the controversial issue, scanned digital data of comfort women statues in Seoul that could be shared and reproduced. Memory isn't so easily buried, he seemed to assert.
If the 35-year-old's work is about the resilience of memory within cultural narratives, it is also about the mutability of it. I sat down with Dokuyama at the Aichi Triennale press preview to discuss his work and his new project for the festival.
"I am interested in the little changes within the big changes," he says.