I only know Mifune and Kitano
Matthias Klos
Artist Statement
The work explores the question of how clichés affect the communication of cultures. In a concentrated and intuitive process, I made silhouettes from writing paper - without preliminary drawing and without removing the cutter - and then photographed them on colored cardboard. In this auto reflexive process, my own ideas, projections and assumptions of Japan developed into pictogram-like "motifs" with an associative surplus. The result is a kind of Rorschach test of a self-referential cultural iconography in which the title of the work provides the associative framework. The silhouettes turn into a projection screen and create a basis for associations, attributions and stereotypes of Japan. Such as Handicraft, Paper, Manga, Samurai, Mifune and Kitano, that result in a "Japan feeling“. It is the unmasking of an individual cultural appropriation - in the form of a handmade mimesis with excerpts of an unknown strangeness - in a globality conveyed by the media.
How do I understand Japan at present? How, if at all, can I experience Japan from afar? My work explores on an individual level how stereotypes and clichés of a culture affect our reception of the world. It is specifically about the question of how images and ideas of Japan, its historical and contemporary culture, circulate in a globalized world of media and tourism and how they shape our perception and expectations of Japan.
Artist Bio
Matthias Klos (* 1969) lives and works in Vienna. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg. 2002 – 2009 artistic and scientific assistant at the Institute for Fine Arts and Cultural Studies / University of Art and Design Linz. Exhibitions and projects (selection): Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz; Friedrich Kiesler Foun-dation, Vienna; University Galleries UC Irvine (USA), KW INSTITUTE FOR CON-TEMPORARY ART, Berlin; Salzburg Museum; Kunsthalle Krems. State Scholarship for Artistic Photography / Federal Ministry of Art and Culture (2013), scholarship of the State of Schleswig Holstein (2018). Collections (selection): Austrian Federal State, Wien Museum, City of Linz, Salzburg Museum, private collections.