Pola Museum, Tokyo


“Kizuna” curated by Kaori Ikeda, Pola Museum Annex in Ginza-Tokyo

A little girl moves her hands nervously: she composes, creates, undoes or draws, works absorbed nonstop until she stops to stare straight at the observer as if she wanted to leave the work, the video animation of which she is the protagonist, as if seeking complicity . Kizuna – this is the title of Valerio Berruti’s first Japanese solo show (exhibited from 22 January to 13 March 2011 at the Pola Museum in Tokyo) means just that: the moment when two glances meet.

On the last day of the exhibition’s opening, Japan was overwhelmed by the terrible earthquake, followed by the terrifying tsunami in 2011. Sakamoto thought it might be interesting to extend the animation-music combo to other artists. And so, starting from the original, other musicians have created a different soundtrack on Berruti’s video while other artists have created an animation on Sakamoto’s original music. The various revised and transformed Kizuna videos were made available on iTunes, and the proceeds from the purchase went to finance the Red Cross to help disaster-stricken Japan.

“Berruti represents innocent little girls bearers of pure joy and pain in the world, in other words, little girls who exist everywhere. In her two-dimensional works, the faces of the girls are expressed following four minimal codes (two modest eyes, nose and mouth). Their simple and soft shapes with a mixture of shy curiosity are clearly painted on rough canvas with few materials, as if they were spiritual signs. His works also suggest a new sensitivity deriving from the relationship between individuality and collective consciousness. “

Yuko Hasegawa