Sometime in the mid ‘80s, I encountered a vintage Japanese-made tabletop battery powered game/toy at a small thrift shop. I bought it for a couple of reasons, most notably the lithography and graphics were excellent, all outer-space themed, and because the more I examined it the more I wanted to know the people that conceived of and made it. It’s long gone now, can’t even recall how or when I let it go. But the important thing is I still think of it and wonder what it was, I never really understood it (it did not work). In a way the enigmatic nature of that piece and the mystery that shrouds my knowledge of it makes it one of my favorite objects. My personal Venus of Willendorf I guess.
This “Shokuminchi 39” work is my exploration of the unknown, the enigmatic, the experience of both encountering and/or being the other. But it’s also the case, as the works are revealing to me, that no matter where we go, we take ourselves along, our predilections, the best and the worst of who we are and what we desire. As my dad told me before we left Oregon years ago to start anew in Kansas, “Randy, there are no geographical solutions.” He was right, but that doesn’t stop us from exploring, and wondering…
Welcome to Colony 39.