SUZUKI Yasuhiro’s Mitate Laboratory

2014.9.13(Sat.) - 2014.11.24(Mon.)



2014.9.13(Sat.) - 2014.11.24(Mon.)
10:00 - 18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Mondays, September 16, October 14, November 4, (Open on September 15, October 13, November 3, 24)



For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800
Facsimile: +81-76-220-2802

"This reminds me something else," we often wonder to ourselves. The technique of representing one object with another is called mitate. Yasuhiro Suzuki likens a boat’s wake to a zipper or the ball of a kendama cup-and-ball to an apple and, in this way, rediscovers familiar objects and phenomena from his own perspective. The artworks he creates using this technique help open up our perceptions of the world. This autumn, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is holding a "project exhibit" of mitate theme. The exhibit will occasion a fresh look at the art museum and around Kanazawa.

Related Projects

"Mitate Laboratory" Exhibit (9/13-11/24)
Lab members hold the "Mitate Laboratory" at 14:00-17:00 on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & holiday
Varying events for visitors to experience mitate will be held
Program of events with Suzuki:
9.13 (Sat) Opening Program
10.25 (Sat) Workshop
11.3 (Mon-holiday) "Let’ s Make the Museum of Baumkuchen"
11.24 (Mon-holiday) Closing Program

Artist Profile

  • SUZUKI Yasuhiro

    Born in Shizuoka in 1979. Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University in 2001. The same year, he was awarded the NHK Digital Stadium Digista Award 2001 Grand Prize for his work, Perspective of the Globe Jungle (a video work incorporating a rotating globe), featured in NHK's Digital Stadium program. In 2002, Suzuki won the Philip Morris Art Award 2002, Grand-Prix for his Inter-Reflection (2001). He has exhibited Blinking Leaves (2003), Ship of the Zipper (2010), and other works, as well as participated in design exhibits such as SENSEWARE directed by Kenya HARA. He is co-author of the book Digital Public Art in Haneda Airport (BIJUTSU SHUPPAN-SHA CO., LTD.), as well as a book of collected works called BLINKING and FLAPPING (Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc.). Today, Suzuki is a Nakamura Laboratory Cooperative Researcher at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, as well as a full-time teacher at the Musashino Art University
    Department of Scenography, Display, and Fashion Design.

    "mission [SPACE x ART]–beyond cosmologies"
    (6/7-8/31 Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)
    Yasuhiro Suzuki — Neighborhood Globe
    (8/2-10/19 Mito Art Tower Contemporary Art Gallery)
    "Odyssey of Wind" stage art director
    (10/4 Nagareyama Culture Center; 10/8-13 Kichijoji Theatre)

Artist Statement

  • Baking the Museum of Baumkuchen 2014 © SUZUKI Yasuhiro

    I began with the thought that, for the museum’s 10th anniversary, I wanted to gather everyone and make a huge baumkuchen layered cake so large that one person couldn’t even carry it. And I drew a sketch to convey my image to the art museum staff and the lab members. What I have realized, only recently, is that I was unintentionally making a mitate by likening the activities of this museum—which expand outward into the city like tree rings or ripples on water for sharing by all the participants—to the structure of a delicious baumkuchen cake. In conducting our laboratory this time, I would like everyone to keep this image of a huge baumkuchen cake in mind, as the lab members and I search for methods of expanding and unfolding this mitate method of looking at ordinary things.

Lab Members

  • "Making a human baumkuchen cake"

    Suzuki’s Mitate + Everyone’s Mitate = Mitate Laboratory

    As a result of our recruiting "people of all ages to join Suzuki in starting up an experimental laboratory at the museum," 65 people signed up. These "lab members" consist of people of all backgrounds from children of age 2 to people in their 50s. At the explanatory meeting, Suzuki explained his intention: "I want to create a laboratory in Kanazawa and transform the way people look at making and presenting things. For this, I need companions, so I will want all of you who felt an interest and volunteered to actively take part." Suzuki began by comparing "this round art museum greeting its tenth anniversary" to "a round slice of baumkuchen layered cake." His one-slice "Museum of Baumkuchen" (page top) is an open space with connection between inside and outside. The slice’s rings evoke the years since the museum’s opening and each visitor’s experiences and memories related to the museum. As a first step in setting up a laboratory, lab members shared their opinions about activities to do under the mitate theme and things they wanted to create, and they brainstormed for ideas. "Mitate Laboratory" will no doubt become a place where lab members, visitors, and "everyone" actively exchange thoughts and ideas, guided by Suzuki’s creative vision.

Activities Thus Far

  • Kanazawa "Mitate" Survey
    (Last year 9.2013 and this year 4.2014)
    Suzuki visit Kanazawa and walking around the city and art museum making sketches and taking photos of "things that look like something else" and got ideas for holding a participatory art exhibit.

    "Lab Members" Explanatory Meeting
    As a result of recruiting "about 30 people of all ages," more than 80 people turned out and 65 people signed up. These "lab members" consist of people of all backgrounds from children of age 2 to people in their 50s, living in regions as diverse as Shimane, Kobe, Kyoto, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Kanazawa, all of them with their own motives for participating.

    Preparatory Activities by Lab Members
    July: After getting acquainted, lab members brainstormed for ideas of things to do under the "mitate" theme.
    August: Lab members and Suzuki held a workshop under the theme "Designing the Mitate Laboratory"



Organized by:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)

Supported by: