Cultural Ecosystem” as a Resistance to Symbolization
ーYou just mentioned “cultural ecosystem” as a vision for “EASTEAST_TOKYO2023. I also participated in the “Imagining/Creating a Cultural Ecosystem” talk event held during the exhibition, and took part in the discussion. On your website, it says, “We aim to create a ‘cultural ecosystem’ in which the market economy and culture/art interact in a fair manner.“
Kurotaki: I don’t know if it directly leads to a “cultural ecosystem,” but for example, our booth was approached by a gallery in Shanghai after we held that exhibition. In this sense, we can say that we have created new opportunities for connections. Or, we have received several other proposals, and we said, “If that’s the approach you want to take, why don’t you ask another team you met at EASTEAST_TOKYO2023 to join us?” And so on. We are now in the stage of sharing offers. I think that we are naturally supporting each other, or the possibility of mutual support has emerged.
ーSo, not only within the team, but also horizontal connections with other artists and galleries have been created.
Kurotaki: Yes, we have developed relationships and contacts with people and spaces that we had previously been distant from. I don’t know if this is the right way to put it, but I have come to realize that people who I thought were acting in a way I didn’t like, have a surprisingly common perception with me, just because they were performing in such a way (haha).
ーIt’s true that some of the discomfort I felt when I only read what people said on social networking sites can be easily resolved through face to face communication in a real space (haha). This may also be an important element of the “cultural ecosystem.“
Takeda: My personal view is that in the information society, not to mention SNS, people and events are often consumed as “symbolized information.” It is true that extending “symbolization” is sometimes the best way to do business, but there are still areas where misunderstandings and divisions are created by this. It’s a sense that something connective is missing.
Therefore, I believe that we must be conscious of the trend in society to “symbolize” and consume people and events.
Takeda: What was often said at the “EASTEAST_TOKYO2023” event was, “There were more people from various communities than I had expected.” “There are this person and that person!” and so on. Actually, that is not something that we, the secretariat, created by ourselves. The liveliness that existed at that venue was something that each gallery and artist had originally. But by combining them, we were able to create a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. In other words, it was not so much that “EASTEAST_TOKYO2023” created excitement, but rather that it proved how interesting the community was that had worked so hard against symbolism. I think what was present at that event was “the sense that each and every one of us is regenerating our own community.” There were many encounters that made you say, “Oh, it’s been a long time!”
ーI felt that very much myself.
Takeda: But that is something you have built up on your own. As a result, I think that everyone has regained a sense of community that they had almost forgotten.