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4. KONMASA BLDG (2021-2024)  by Genki Watanabe

With eyes wide open, hands clasped overhead, he sits in meditation in a Japanese-style room filled with mandala-like scripts,

wearing a tank top, and shouts.

This is KONMASA's profile picture. When I first visited the KONMASA Building,

the only impression I had of him was from this photo, so I remember being quite anxious about who would appear.

However, while sipping KONMASA's homemade plum tea in the café on the first floor and listening to his stories,

I felt a certain fondness for him. It was as if I was connecting with a genuine person,

and his dedication to his work was palpable.


If that's the case...

"About that profile picture, some people have mentioned that it looks scary. Do you think so?"

"No, from that picture alone, it's hard to imagine what you're really like."

Though we cautiously touched upon the intent behind the photo,

out of politeness and nervousness from our first meeting, we didn't explore it deeply.

Afterwards, I was given the opportunity to meditate in the dimly lit back area of the first floor.

On the second floor, I observed photographs of a robot donning a tank top.

On the third floor, I confronted a self-portrait, a Nirvana tableau evoking Munch's 'The Scream.'

On the fourth floor, I admired an array of tank tops,

all the while the rhythmic sounds of the Meitetsu Main Line echoed from outside the window.



When you assume that the creator of a piece is truly serious about it,

it prompts you to ponder the intent behind the work.

Holding onto that belief of seriousness prevents thoughts like

"I don't understand," "It's beyond me," or "It's probably a joke."


That must be the essence of it.

While touring the KONMASA Building, these were the reflections I had.

Afterward, I was also asked by KONMASA to edit descriptions for the artworks,

and I got to know the intentions and backgrounds of each piece in detail.

However, that profile picture remains a mystery to this day.

So, I think I'll bring it up the next time we meet.

Whether the responses that come back are satisfactory or not,

the attitude of trying to understand others is important,

both in KONMASA's work and in this world, I believe.


Literature and Art - Genki Watanabe

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