川北 英 | 公益財団法人 ギャラリーエークワッド 館長

國府理氏は2014年4月29日、国際芸術センター青森(設計安藤忠雄)で開催中の展覧会『國府理展 相対温室』において展示作品の点検中の事故で亡くなられました。展覧会が始まって3日目の事故で展覧会はその後閉会となりました。享年44歳、これからを期待されながらのあまりにも突然の死でした。ギャラリーエークワッドでは、3回忌にあたる本年春に彼がたどってきた道を振り返り、作品の背景にある思想や制作意図などを探りたいと考えました。


Ei Kawakita | Director, GALLERY A4

On 29th April 2014, Osamu Kokufu died in an accident while inspecting an exhibit in the event “KOKUFU Osamu Solo Exhibition: Floating Conservatory” being held at the Aomori Contemporary Art Centre. As a result of the accident, the exhibition was closed on its 3rd day after opening. This was a very sudden death at the age of 44, when he had so much to look forward to in life. On the occasion of the second anniversary of his death in spring this year, at GALLERY A4 we want to do a review of the journey that he has travelled on, and explore the ideas behind his works and his intentions in creating them.
At this exhibition Floating Conservatory and other works that were exhibited at the Aomori Contemporary Art Centre will be re-exhibited as faithfully as possible, and in addition other works, drawings, etc., will be exhibited.
Kokufu, who was born in 1970, produced many works that dealt with industrial products such as automobiles, bicycles, propellers, etc. Most of these also moved. On the other hand, natural phenomena such as growing plants and water or steam were incorporated into the works, producing a contrast between the arti cial and the natural, so that the focus of the work became the relationship between the two. However this relationship was not assumed to be one of confrontation, but of “co-existence”. By working out the “mechanism” of this co-existence, Kokufu seemed to bestow a faint hope on the feeling of despair towards industrial society.
The place where he produced his works was more like a workshop that an artist’s studio. To look at, his production process was full of the skills and spirit of “manufacturing”. It probably appeared to be more like “pure manual labor” than the creative activities of an artist struggling to bring out to the maximum extent the nature and attraction of the object itself. In this digital age his working style in which he carefully selected the materials and continuously produced by his own hand down to the last detail is peculiar, and therefore valuable.
Through this exhibition we hope to relive the experience of Kokufu’s world view and to regain a perspective on his works and ideas.
In organizing this exhibition we received the co-operation and assistance of many, in particular the Kokufu family and the Aomori Contemporary Art Centre. We would like to take the opportunity here to express our thanks once again to everyone.