Japanese Flower Meadow
David Gobber
Artist Statement
The piece is a metaphor of the Japan I remember. Seeing the cosmopolitan city of Tokyo and other parts of Japan felt overwhelming and rich, yet it didn't come about as an unstructured mess. Things were clean, organized and everything seemed to have its carefully selected place. Tokyo gave a dense and agitated impression while simultaneously offering numerous clean, calming spaces that didn’t appear to be accidental exceptions but felt like an intrinsic part of the whole. In many ways there were two supposedly contrasting impressions I didn’t expect to be experiencing simultaneously. The metaphorical image that came to my mind was that of a rich and exuberant flower meadow, that instead of growing wild, is a field of well-coordinated and harmonized elements. The graphic was created by combining and modifying the shapes of the Japanese and Austrian flag and is intended to be physically exhibited as a textile print.
As a reflection of my visit in Japan 2019, where I had the chance to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, the work relates mainly to the “Then” of the Then-Now-After concept of JapanRevisited202x. The piece shows a metaphorical image of what a European situated gaze does and does not notice when wandering through these Japanese cities. One could of course argue that the work does also relate to the “Now” like Benjamin would probably do by claiming a radical “Jetztzeit” as eventually, every past and future is reflected upon, (re)constructed and therefore only exists in the present.
Artist Bio
David Gobber (*1993, AT) finished his Bachelor studies in the graphic design class of Fons Hickmann at the University of the Arts Berlin with top marks. He deepened his knowledge at the Basel School of Design where he obtained the academic title Master of Arts with his master’s thesis on metaphorical thinking in design. After and during his studies he has been working alone and collaboratively with studios such as Hoang Nguyen, NODE Berlin, Thomas Lehner Studio for clients like HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt, MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of the Arts Berlin, Kunstmuseum Luzern and others.