Artist Statement"Collaborations necessitate seeing things from different perspectives. Collaborations keep me from forming habits and force me to learn new skills. Collaborations, as communicative social experiences, allow me to hang out with hip, fascinating people."
With Atsushi Nakano
"Atsushi has been my partner in crime since art school, when we both adored all the artists our teachers adored - Anselm Kiefer, Richard Diebenkorn and Gerhard Richter. I don't know how we both managed to eventually graduate, considering how close our studio was to the 3B Tavern, where we treated our livers as experimental canvases. Our 'Battle of the Pacific' was the first student exhibition held at the Viking Gallery, and I believe it still holds the record for best attendance. It was there that I sold my first work. It is also where I had my first work stolen. However, thanks to the university's comprehensive insurance policy, I actually received more money for the stolen work than for the one I honestly sold.
Our second major collaboration, the 'Dogg Show', was almost too much fun to write about. Two months of nothing but dogs. In addition to the Asian 'Year of the Dog' (2006) looming around the corner, Atsushi had just finished an exhibition of animal paintings while I was hard at work on a documentary about a 'dog park' - a place where petless people can rent dogs by the hour. Though the theme of the show was dogs, the conceptual basis of the collaboration was a Japanese activity called 'shiritori', a game in which each participant says a word beginning with the last letter of the previous player's word. Instead of words, we used paintings and photographs. Atsushi sent me a dog painting and I sent him several photographs of dogs. From there, a massive portfolio developed and our bank accounts were severely dented by postal fees. Works spiraled out of controlled, hitting viewers at Osaka's City Gallery square in the mouth. It was all good fun. Occasionally, I still get emails from Atsushi out of the blue that say something like, 'Up for Wolves?' or 'Feeling penguintastic?' I know it's best not to reply.