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hiroshima, japan

I'm not here anymore."


Exhibition on for February through April, 2023. 




Tomosada Mutsumi 

Documentary Video​ 2021

Online Exhibition

Cluster online exhibition (Closed)

The online exhibition has ended. Thank you for your interest in this virtual event space. 

Production cooperation:

SpeakAir, Speak Art   Marie Chaumont


​ January 31st-March 31st (2022) 


The exhibition of the invited artist, Mutsumi Tomosada, was held at our facilities by reservation only in 2021 in light of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The artist's careful research has resulted in an excellent exhibition, but it is difficult for many people to actually visit due to social conditions. This fact, though unavoidable, was very disappointing. We wanted to deliver high-quality works to many people, and with the efforts of many people, including Speak Air, we were able to transfer this to a virtual medium as a record of the artist's research and residency.

Our staff also summarized the contents of the research and exhibition as a result report.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for your understanding and cooperation.      

Artist Talk


At Air motomoto, the 2021 invited artist, Mutsumi Tomosada, reports on the results of research and exhibitions based on the presence of coal mines whose history has been engraved in the memories of local residents over a long period of time. The event took place online in order to maintain social distancing.

About the Artist 

1989   Born in Hyogo Prefecture
2014  Graduated from Hiroshima City

      _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb 3b-136bad5cf58d_   University with MFA in Sculpture
In recent years, Tomosada has focused on “documentation” media such as film and photographs, sculpture to mold making and
reproduction, 3D scanning and 3D printers to create works both as an expression of and under the theme of “memory.”



Privately held Mutsumi Tomosada Artist Talk Participants: 2 guest curators + review of the work of the director of the museum


Exhibition Review "I'm not here anymore."


Tomosada Mutsumi's time at motomoto was reflected in the two works he presented at his exhibition, offering us a fresh perspective on how to engage with the past.  We rarely, if ever, doubt the visions of the past testified by recordings or photographs.  But it is certain that these are not the only methods that show us the past.  Tomosada utilizes video as a documentary medium to stimulate the viewer in a way that also entices the senses, thus transforming the way in which we look into the past. 


Crumbling brick walls, rusted fences, dark deep tunnels… The ruins appearing in the video are those of the Miike coal mine which once supported Japan's energy and modern industry.  Within the walls of this registered World Heritage Site, Tomosada used vibration speakers to resonate "the sounds of the present" into the coal mining pit as part of his performance.  "Miike Echo" is the record of this performance and it is also the video work in which Tomosada evokes "the sounds of the present" played in resonance with "the present scenery" -- an overlap with the remains of the mines (the past).  The key to this work is that the sound that is supposed to belong to the present emerges by touching the past.  The sounds echoed in the mine whisper as if they were saying something on behalf of the coal mine which had lost its voice, or as if the sounds were nudging the coal mine to remember the past.  This imagery is instilled further because of the motifs superimposed, one on the other, like tunnels and trains, tanks and estuaries, making you feel like there was a sense of familiarity.  As soon as Tomosada releases the speaker, the sound halts and the screen returns to the remains of the coal mine.  The two overlapping scenes seem to bring the viewers within arm's reach, as if to touch the memories sleeping deep within the coal mine, or memories that had long been on pause briefly playing for this moment. 


"Memory Memorial" has a strong sense of documentary at first glance.  Flowing in slide show format, we can see the black and white pictures taken to document the "Industrial Science Exposition," the event held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the municipal system of Omuta City.  Alongside the photographs, the voice of a man speaks about Omuta's past.  The audio is composed of excerpts from an interview Tomosada had with the cooperation of a married couple running the "Daiman Bookshop," in the shopping street of the same city (Arao).  Photos from the exposition captured the many people who packed the venue, events such as dance shows, as well as the exhibits dedicated to the coal industry.  On the other hand, the owner's recollection of the time begins with his family history and how they moved to the area, the prosperity of the town under the umbrella of the coal mines, the state of life, the eventual decline of the industry to a tragedy caused by a mine accident.  In between, the owner also brought up the topic of the exhibition, and while he was aware of the exhibition at the time, he could not attend because of family business or household problems.  It was in this part of the story that an incongruous feeling was perceived.  The root of this incongruity was the realization that the person behind the voice of this video has not experienced or seen the scenery that has been flowing from the beginning. In fact, if you take a careful look at the entirety of "Memory Memorial," you will notice that what is perceived by sight and what is perceived by hearing are completely different works.  Nevertheless, we are able to think of the scenery from the story painted by the bookstore couple, and at the same time we can see the scenery of the exposition (which they have not experienced).  The scenes of the past recorded by photographs and the sounds recreating the scenery overlap.  It is also here that we might find a way to combine these two landscapes. 


Within Tomosada's works we find the power to make things previously invisible to the viewer's eye rise to the surface through the "overlapping landscapes."  It can be paraphrased as an experience of reaching things previously out of reach, things that have no shape or form such as time, memory, or the past.  The experience presented by the video works is a dimension beyond just "seeing."  


(Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Curator)

Memory and a Sculpture of a Coal Miner in Omuta


Recently, there have been many opportunities to think about memory. 


In the park where I work now, there is a sculpture that is under consideration for removal due to management and restoration problems. When we were discussing the future of the work with the artist and whether we should preserve a part of the original work, or create a new alternative (work or archive), we realized the things the artist and our organization wanted to leave behind were slightly different. 


The outdoor sculpture was constructed from a 70-year-old pine that withered within the park grounds. How can one preserve a piece such as this one? Though the question is simple, the answer is difficult to pinpoint.  The artist wanted to leave proof of the tree's existence while what we wanted to commemorate was the outdoor sculpture and our time spent with the sculpture. 


When looking at the sculpture of the coal miner that Tomosada saw in Omuta, one would perhaps think about preserving it because of the importance of the symbolism it has for the coal mining town. Or is it perhaps we find it difficult to part with the memories of this nameless, unknown person that long inhibited the park, aware that doing so will mean completely forgetting them? How about the piece itself? The sculpture made of concrete - a material rarely used now - produced by the hands of Saga University students under careful guidance surely played an important role. 


Though there are many layers surrounding any particular work, in this case a statue, inevitably the most natural way to refer to it may be "a memory storage device." 


The amount of research and elements such as the 3D printed replica toy like version of the coal miner are still waiting to make their appearance in the exhibition. What I believe we do see present in the pieces and is reverberated through the works is the ongoing conversation which is, in turn, the work itself. 


In the way he  used a vibration speaker to revive the abandoned tunnel, the artist’s sincere look at the work connects the past and the present. The presence of sound is proof that this place is in fact alive, yet the place that is represented here is neither the past nor the present itself. 


We get a sense of the promising works and abilities of an artist who can reinvigorate our memories from the past through dialogue. 


( Ube Tokiwa Museum, UBE Biennale Secretariat in Ube, Yamaguchi )

Contributing As A Research Companion


"Maintain a certain distance."


This was the stance of our staff at motomoto with the artist Tomosada Mutsumi as a precautionary measure to safely assist in production, assistance, (research, phography, installation) and how we continue to feel today. Though it was not clear whether this was intentional or it was already a part of the process from the start, that same calmness was present in and affected the persuasiveness of the works. 


From the outside, Tomosada's encounter with the statue of the coal miner was dramatic, even down to the timing. The setting of their meeting was in a park the artist wanted to visit as part of the research, and there was the mysterious outdoor sculpture, with no clues to the artist's name, year, or anything. In this moment of initial contact, a person walking by informed us that this statue would be taken down in the fall. Naturally, I embraced a sense of duty, wanting to do something about this situation. 


In the report of the visit at that time, it is noted that the artist continued talking about these findings. A situation that seemed to me like the opening scene of a movie was surprising enough, but I was impressed with the artist's composure when he talked calmly about it. 


Then, the artist began to investigate and gradually examine the figure of the digger. The way it happened seemed like the manner in which a mystery unravels in a novel. I myself was beside myself with excitement, but in contrast, he was moving carefully through the motions. 


As a supporting staff, I was able to find this statue while participating in the artists activities, and imagining the background history, details of production, not to mention it is a formative art drew me in all the more, and knowing it would soon be gone, made me feel a sense of sadness. 


I can imagine that the artist himself was the one who felt these things directly, as an artist would, and had a realistic way of dealing with the situation. 


Tomosada's own background in sculpture in a professional setting meant he understood the difficulty of moving and preserving statues made of concrete, and he must have started production on his own work with that premise in mind. 


People develop strong feelings for what may be lost. 

Deciding to keep something, however, also means that you are letting go of the possibility of something new. When we are faced with events happening in our society, we try not to give into our senses or feelings, but rather we keep a certain distance to consider things objectively. By doing so, the artist can create works which convey the diversity of the situation to the viewer. Tomosada Mutsumi seemed to be a creator who understood this well. After careful research, his exhibition was held at AIR motomoto, an installation that overlaid pictures, sounds and images, a video piece that combined multiple perspectives. The work quietly conveyed to the visitors the multifaceted nature of their hometown. 


Tomosada was the first Japanese artist to be invited to our facilities, and he was an artist who worked on the creation based on careful research. As a companion, I was truly fortunate to be able to witness the work of an artist who confronts the pieces wholeheartedly. 



( motomoto Director )

Further Updates:

The statue of the coal miner, which was scheduled to be removed from Enmei Park, Omuta City, and which was the subject of research by Tomosada Mutsumi, was brought to the site of the Omuta City Coal Industry Science Museum in late January 2022. The pedestal is being prepared, and though the release date is undecided, but it will be relocated there.

Learn more about the artist:

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