山本 篤

1980年 東京都生まれ・東京都を拠点に活動





Born 1980 in Tokyo, based in Tokyo.
Overseas study program: 2018 (one year) in Hue, Vietnam.

I wonder why it is that since having to scale down my day-to-day activities due to COVID-19, I’ve felt as if I am drifting, ungrounded. Even though the constant reality throughout history has been surely, that we cannot determine our own future entirely independently, but only by taking the helm to navigate the current of time, plotting a course between the environment, and our own will and behavior. But perhaps under the present circumstances the future is harder to discern, and the waves buffeting our boats, more powerful. It is worth remembering that even amid dramatic alterations in the environment, some things stay the same.

Here I present two works on video that drift on the “eve”: I and Conversations of drifters; images from an “eve” when we were still free to move around, and communicate with others. If we imagine ourselves to be alone in our boats to begin with, perhaps COVID-19 has made us more subtly aware of the ways in which we connect with others, and the depth of those connections.

We go about our lives, accepting change in this irreversible world, where we may summon up the past, but are unable to return to it. Solitary, yet not alone. With luck we can assume this to be the universal human condition, and recall hope from the “eve.” I would like to keep making memories of “today,” for tomorrow, while finding joy in being able to meet with friends in Vietnam this way on the “eve.”

Conversations of drifters – extra note from the artist

The multiple conversations that take place in Vietnamese in this work are among young people living in Vietnam’s former capital of Hue. They exchange a few words and part, then meet again—one discussing everyday life since moving out of the city center and closer to nature in the suburbs, another a student exchange in Japan and their future after graduation, and yet others enjoyable diversions such as karaoke, video games, or motorcycle touring. Though random snippets of idle chit-chat, they encourage us to imagine the lives and social circumstances behind each of these exchanges, and ponder afresh the ways we connect with others.