Landscape, 2007 (detail)
March 6th - May 11th, 2009
Curator: Dr. Ilana Singer
Watanabe Go was born in 1975. He holds an M.A. degree from Aichi University of Art and Music. He creates his works digitally and transfers them to a generated computer-image format.
His work landscape presents a woman's white, almost translucent face with large pale blue eyes of an albino, or perhaps of an android. Watanabe has compiled the face from shots of several women, creating a kind of genetic clone of the image. This process, rather like plastic surgery, has almost completely obliterated individual traits. The work appears on the screen very gradually, revealing a different area of the face each time as a "landscape". When the eye appears, it looks at the viewer with a strange expression, as if it were drawing out her/his soul.
In the era of the Internet, anyone can become whatever or whoever s/he wants to. The computer screen becomes a means of communication and interaction, though of itself it remains a cold, hard, impenetrable entity. Thus it contributes to the isolation of the viewer. In Watanabe's work, the woman and the spectator are separated by this technological membrane - two sides displaying antagonism, technology versus nature, virtual versus actual, computerized image versus soul. Will human intelligence be replaced by virtual intelligence? Will the soul of man be re-formatted, and personal memories be edited or modified? Perhaps we should start thinking seriously that the membrane separating the digital world, real spaces and places, and artificial intelligence is becoming more and more vague, indistinguishable.
Their isolation in front of the screen is why young people of our time are unable to see themselves as real, tangible entities existing beyond their computerized identity. Wanatanabe's melt presents an image of a doll-like figure dangling from an invisible string, collapsing and falling in seven different versions, like a garment falling off a hanger - as if, daily, it is trying to evade the manipulations of a virtual "puppet-master".
Watanabe Go has had solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions in Japan, China, and Korea.