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Japanese

Translator's Afterword
(or Middle-word)

Casshern

Yesterday, Ryan came back with a video Casshern (Japan, 2004) and we watched it together. I heard that this film received some recognition for its screen images, which was true (we used a projector); I quite enjoyed it.
But... I thought the film was a bit too abstract – and this was not because it was fantasy. ‘Conflict’ ‘peace’ ‘hatred’ ‘forgiveness’ – in the film, they are just ‘words’ or ‘ideas.’ It seems to me that these ideas are put onto the fancy image – superficial. To me, ‘love’ or ‘peace’ is something closer to us, stable and fixed. This is probably why this film – these nicely ‘mixed’ images – failed to embody these ideas. Or maybe it is the effort to turn it into a story that I don’t like...? At this point, I realized that Ryan was asleep; maybe for the director, the images were only what mattered.
Well, check it out when you have time.

Image: Nothing to do with the content - a drawing I made yesterday.

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Nothing to do with the content… a drawing I made yesterday.

September 29, 2005 11:51 PM

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Mr. Skater (Skate Ojisan)

The day is getting shorter. During the summer, it is light till about 11 o’clock in the evening; but now it starts to get dark at around 8 o’clock.
I heard that in Amsterdam, there is a famous guy who makes his appearance only in the winter. I heard this yesterday from a person who lives in Amsterdam for ten years; she assured me that I will surely see him in the winter. That ‘famous guy (ojisan)’ wears T-back and a tight bright-pink top, and a backpack on his back, and roller-skating on the bike road, in an incredible speed. I MUST SEE!
He was already famous ten years ago. The arrival of the freezing winter (it can get minus 15 degree...) was not something that I look forward to... but now I have something look forward to.

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Rabbits and rice cake (mochi).

September 25, 2005 4:50 AM

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In My Studio

Hey, it's a special day! Two drawings!

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A copy of Hokusai and a running (fleeing) tree.

September 23, 2005 11:52 PM

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Autumn is Here

Time flies. It is two months and a half to go till the end of this year’s programme. The open studio, the largest event of the year, will be our final event. It is an opportunity for us to present what we have achieved (?) this year. There will be lots of visitors, both those who related to art and those who are not, not just from the Netherlands but also from the neighbouring countries. For us, the result of this show will decide our future; whether we get any good offers of exhibitions next year or which galleries will offer a contract. The artists here are beginning to look different.
And suddenly the autumn is here. It is chilly. Last week Maurice said, with sense of sadness, ‘in the Netherlands, autumn comes all of a sudden. Probably this is the last day of the summer.’ It was really so! The season has changed just as he said. The spring came all of a sudden, so did the autumn. Will it be cold from now on till around April-May? Aargh.

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Today’s drawing: A wood-cutter.

September 14, 2005 10:37 PM

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Installing

Today I installed my work – not for exhibition, but for the collector who bought my work, into his office.
As my painting is large, I first pulled it apart in the gallery, transported it to his office, and then put it back again. I was responsible for the whole process.
The office is the largest low firm in Amsterdam. It is a huge modern glassy office building.
It is not easy to put the painting back again as it was. I have to be careful. On top of that, this time, the collector was watching me; sometimes he even asked me some questions. Although his office was air-conditioned, I was drenched with sweat.
The painting was put together on the floor. Finally, it was raised slowly from the floor and made its full appearance. It looked handsome; it is big but fits well into the office. I was truly happy.
The collector was also very pleased with the painting. He called his wife and she came to have a look. They watched it together, saying ‘next time we’d like one for home. A big one like this.’

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The man in front is Maurice, the gallerist.

September 12, 2005 4:47 AM

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Gingnan Boyz

While I was in Japan, I got a CD by a punk rock band called Gingnan Boyz. I rented this because their CD jacket was by Hisashi Eguchi (I’m a big fun of Okamura-chan), but this CD is really gooood! (Note 1)
This is my favourite punk. In a way, they are not smart. But I am sure that their music – songs of dilemma in a sincere and honest manner – is attracting lots of teenagers. This is very important (well, I am thirty-one, though).

A while ago, I saw on TV a punk band by Kudo-kan (Note 2) and Sadao Abe. One of their songs goes ‘Get a job!’ According to Kudo-kan on TV, not to get a job used to be a rebellion against society, a kind of punk attitude. But now there are so many people who are not willing to get a job; it is a phenomenon. So now ‘get a job’ is punk. Do you agree? Ummm, something is wrong.
For me, a punk can never be about such a smart idea. It is a cry, a lonely desperate cry. It is about an emotional struggle between our desire and the demands of the society in which you are only accepted once you are ‘normal.’ I don't agree with him about this, but I think Kudo-kan’s TV dramas are quite interesting.

Note 1: Yasuyuki Okamura. Hisashi Eguchi’s illustration = Okamura-chan’s music. This is a kind of formula.
Note 2: Kankuro Kudo. Most people would know him as a popular writer... except my parents. Just in case.

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September 7, 2005 8:04 PM

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Amsterdam Index

I’m back in Amsterdam.
I found that there were lots of messages left on my answering machine. Most of them were from an editorial group of a magazine called ‘Amsterdam Index.’ They are going to publish a special issue next year, a kind of yearbook, focusing on Amsterdam art scenes and the young artists there. It seems that they are offering me five colour pages to introduce my works. Variant size B4, 100000 copies – I don’t know what kind of magazine this is yet... but thank you, editors! It was an encouraging start back in Amsterdam.

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September 6, 2005 7:50 PM

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LA Again

I am on the way back to Amsterdam.
I had to stop at LA because of my ticket.
Due to the time difference, I had not slept properly for about two days when I arrived at the airport. Iwan and Jewse were there to pick me up. eWhat shall we do today? What? Clearing up the exhibition?f with heavy eyelids, I managed to clear up the exhibition, and had dinner at Marthafs place (our gallerist). As they did not know anybody, Iwan and Jewse seem to have spent rather unexciting holidays there so far. All they did was to cycle around every day. eLetfs go for a drink!f they were trying to take me out, but as I was so tired that I lied down and went to sleep straight away.
They must have been really bored; I found out later that they were having fun taking pictures of me sleeping. On the place back to Amsterdam, I found lots of those pictures left on my digital camera. My stay in LA was like a dream, just as I was edreamingf in those pictures.

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I remember that there were endless reports on Hurricane Katrina on TV (on the right).

September 1, 2005 7:59 PM

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