Millennium Court Arts Centre is delighted to present ‘Self Sufficient Life’ a new solo exhibition by Shiro Masuyama which brings together three international projects made between 2012 and 2015.
Taking animal husbandry as his point of departure for the theme of self-sufficiency Masuyama travelled in Ireland (2012), Peru (2014) and Mongolia (2015) to make the three projects: ‘knitting the woollen jumper for the sheep I sheared using its own wool’, ‘weaving the scarf for the alpaca I sheared using its own wool’ and ‘making a saddle for the Bactrian camel I sheared using its own wool.’ In each location he learned the place specific techniques of shearing, spinning and weaving, in order to make an item of clothing for the sheared animal to wear.
Masuyama’s approach is collaborative and the work is shaped by the specific materials, skills, knowledge and energies of people in each place. The locations and landscapes in this series of works vary wildly, between rural Ireland to rural Peru and Mongolia which present more remote and self-sufficient environments. Ultimately the processes and dialogues involved in creating the three objects become central to each project.
The exhibition is composed of video documentation, photographic portraits of the animals and the objects themselves. Though realised with characteristic humour ‘Self Sufficient Life’ is motivated by genuine inquiry and raises political issues. Masuyama cites the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the resulting shockwaves through Japanese society and the implications of nuclear power for the future global energy landscape, both as prompting a significant shift in his own outlook and as a catalyst for this project, and its central theme of self-sufficiency.