The Matter of Facts

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Location: Tokyo, Japan Date: August 2021 Area: - Function: Installation Status: Built Structural design: Yohei Tomioka, Takayuki Fujimoto Lighting design: Lighting Roots Factory Contractor: accamplish Supported by: Nomura Foundation Cooperated by: Robert Walters Japan

The Matter of Facts, we make use of printed matter as a building material. The printed matter is related to the cancellation and postponement of events and other activities due to the coronavirus crisis. For the most part, it is PR information issued by public agencies and commercial facilities in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The work, consisting of a large quantity of accumulated printed matter, serves both as a means of communicating facts and preserving traces. It was intended to confirm the urban memory of the coronavirus crisis while urging viewers to reexamine their present place. The project is commissioned to PAN- PROJECTS by The National Art Center, Tokyo, and realized through generous support by Nomura Foundation and cooperated by Robert Walters Japan.

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This work was designed to urge viewers to reexamine their present place based on an accumulation of perceptible facts. Since ancient times, human beings have attempted to create social stability by constructing objects that people can rely on in order to ward off the invisible and powerful fear created by things such as epidemics. This method of bolstering the spiritual foundations of society, which in the past was supported by our faith in a god (i.e., a supernatural entity), was replaced by science as the human race developed. This information enabled us to understand our situation, and provided us with a sense of social and spiritual stability. However, the emergence of COVID-19 has exposed the extremely precarious nature of this scientific foundation, which underpins the era in which we live, and shaken the social order to the core. This unstable situation, which has given rise to a variety of phenomena that disparage science, and a whirlpool of constantly updated, dubious information, poses a threat to our lives, and has caused a hazy, elusive sense of anxiety to envelop our society. This anxiety has upended the foundations of our beliefs. Assuming that this situation emanated from the tangle of dubious information, it would seem that the only option we have is to amass only recognized facts, which can be verified as the truth, and through this action, reaffirm our present place. The Matter of Facts is an object made up of an accumulation of printed matter dating from and after the time that COVID-19 began to exert an effect on our society. These materials are reflective of things that occurred, or as the case may be, did not occur, as part of wide-ranging trends. In other words, this collection of information mirrors facts that disappeared, changed, newly emerged, and remained the same in our daily lives. By taking a bird’s-eye view of the changes that occurred in our surroundings, and joining them together, we arrive at a technique of counteracting the elusive sense of anxiety by reaffirming our present place on our own scale as individual people.

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