I Can Do It Too! | Batting LALALA Midori

22 November – 12 July 2023

Mitsunori Kimura
Batting LALALA Midori

How many times have you walked into a museum or any art exhibition, acrimoniously looking at an abstract, minimalist painting or any other works, and thought this to yourself: “I could have drawn that,” or “My 6-year-old can do better.”

I Can Do It Too! tweaks that sentiment and reinterprets it into a playful exhibition that may perhaps remind the audiences of a world of RPG, presenting 56 works in total, from sculptural artist Mitsunori Kimura in collaboration with 50 children and 6 other adults, including 3 professional artists. The exhibition’s title is a direct reference to a children’s book published in 2003 of the same name by Karen Baicker and Ken Wilson-Max, the book illustrates the childhood independence and maturity of a little girl, imitating and trying her hands on everything that the grown-ups around her do – putting on clothes all on her own, baking a cake and even learning to play the guitar, and most importantly the book goes to show the beauty of love from adults to a child when growing up.

Continue diving further into the theme of coexistence from the previous exhibition GROWING SPACE (2022) – an Aichi Triennale 2022 partnership event, in I Can Do It Too!, SYNONYM co-curates with artist Mitsunori Kimura, exhibiting the fruits from three art workshops that took place in Batting LALALA Midori, led by the artist back in August. During these sessions, children and adults from both the local community plus Sakura Kids International, were guided to create their own imaginary living creatures using commonly found domestic materials. Without giving out too many directions when the participants were making their works, instead the artist chose to leave things open, letting everyone run wild with their creativities, the sensitivity of a child shows toward our reality and surroundings, the pursuit of pure and raw imagination once again demonstrates the infinite possibility of human beings.

Drawing inspirations from nature and the animals themselves, I Can Do It Too! is divided into three distinctive islands of habitat for living creatures: Titled Everyone’s Island (2022), we would like to present an installation work newly created by Mitsunori Kimura specifically for this exhibition, this centrepiece is composed of two separate islands, sitting above ground as if it has got a life to its own, intricately crafted by the artist designated for all the creatures living in the sea and roams around the land of grass and soil – “It belongs to the creatures that live on the island, it belongs to us who are looking at it, it belongs to the island itself”, says Kimura; Turning to the area of Jinko, the audience may find a treehouse lookalike installation with creatures residing on top, imagining a world of everything human-made, including human themselves; Right next to Jinko we have Sora, one may easily relate this section to the open sky where you would find works resembling dragon and god, hanging above from the ceiling. The exhibition design was created with an easy-to-understand approach for children, we hope to provide an immersive experience that serves both educational and inspirational purposes for all adult and children visitors, that they will be able to enjoy the exhibition in an exploratory manner. Also as a part of the exhibition, the children at Sakura Kids International also contributed to the creative process of graphic design and illustration.

Due to the fact that children created a large part of the exhibited works, undeniably there’s a disparity that lies between the quality of the final outcome, compared with the works created by professional artists, nonetheless, it was essential for us to treat the works of children’s like any other artworks, making the collaboration within the space between the curator, the artist and the children genuine, in an attempt to convey the importance of art during a troubling and uncertain time, by exhibiting children’s work from the workshops we hoped to explore the nuanced relationship between contemporary art and children in turn drawing the distance closer. Despite that the exhibition is buoyant and jolly on a surface layer, the exhibition isn’t just meant to be ‘kawaii’, beneath that layer there’s a subtext raising questions about the upbringing of a child, empowering the creativity of children with a renewed sense of confidence for them to engage and interact with this constantly changing and evolving world, while it also acts as a reminder to all the parents and adults that, on many occasions exceeding our expectations, the children can actually do it.

「これならわたしにも描けるかも」、「6歳のウチの子のほうが上手だ」―― 美術館や展覧会を訪れて抽象的なミニマリズム絵画や作品を目にするたび、このような辛口コメントを心の中で呟いた経験のある人は少なからずいるのではないでしょうか。

「I Can Do It Too!(わたしにもできる!)」は、こうした感覚にひねりを加え再解釈した、遊び心あふれるエキシビジョンです。ともすれば訪れる人にRPGゲームのような世界観を想起させる本展では、アーティストの木村充伯氏と50人の子供たちと3人の大人たち、そして3人のアーティストのコラボレーションによって制作された合計56点が披露されます。本展のタイトルは、2003年に刊行されたカレン・バイカーとケン・ウィルソン・マックスの同名の絵本からインスピレーションを受けたものです。絵本のテーマは、子供の自立と成長。主人公の幼い少女が誰の手も借りずに服を着たり、ケーキを焼いたり、ギターの弾き方を学んだりなど、周りの大人たちの真似をしてさまざまなことにチャレンジする姿を描くことで、大人たちの愛情を受けながら子供が成長することの素晴らしさを物語っています。

国際芸術祭「あいち2022」とのパートナーシップによって開催された前回の展示「GROWING SPACE」(2022)に続き、本展は共存というテーマをさらに掘り下げます。本展の共同キュレーターを務めるのは、アーティストの木村充伯氏とSYNONYM。2022年8月に木村氏自ら司会役を務めた、バッティングららら緑店を舞台に3回にわたって開催されたアートワークショップから生まれた作品を展示します。ワークショップには、地元のコミュニティの子供たちや大人たちに加えて、名古屋市名東区を拠点に英語教育を展開する「サクラキッズインターナショナル」の生徒たちも参加。日常生活でよく目にする素材を使って架空の生き物を制作していただきました。木村氏は、参加者たちが制作に没頭しているときは細かい指示を出すのではなく、自由度を重視してひとりひとりが想像力の翼を羽ばたかせられるようにと配慮しました。こうして生まれた作品には、私たちを取り巻く現実や世界に対する子供の敏感な眼差しが投影されています。純粋で素朴な想像力を探求することよって、人間がもつ無限の可能性が改めて証明されました。


展示されている作品のほとんどが子供たちによるものということもあり、プロのアーティストが手がけた作品と比べると大きな格差があることは否めません。それでも、私たちは子供たちの作品をほかのアーティストの作品と同等に扱うことにこだわりました。この空間を舞台にキュレーターとアーティストと子供たちの誠実なコラボレーションを実現し、子供たちにコンテンポラリーアートの世界に触れてもらうことで両者の繊細な関係性の探求を目指したワークショップから生まれた作品を展示することは、この困難で不確かな時代におけるアートの重要性を発信する、という私たちの試みを体現しています。本展は、一見すると華やかで陽気ですが、私たちのねらいはただ“カワイイ”展示を披露することではありません。華やかで陽気な表面の下には、子育てに対する疑問や、絶え間なく変化・進化する世界と積極的に交わるための新たな自信とともに子供たちの独創性や創造性を育むことの大切さなどのテーマが潜んでいます。それと同時に本展は、子供をもつすべての親や大人たちに次のことを教えてくれます ―― 子供たちは、多くの場合において私たちの期待を超える力をもっているということを!

Exhibition Flyer / Exhibition Statement EN / Exhibition Statement JP



22 November 2022 Exhibition Preview 5pm – 8pm



January 2023

月刊ケリー KELLY MAR 2023 No. 422


Artist: Mitsunori Kimura 木村充伯
Curator キュレーター: Axel Wang アクセル・ワン @SYNONYM
Producer & Project Direction プロデュース &プロジェクトディレクション: Soichiro Kimura 木村宗一郎 @SYNONYM
Construction: Yamanobu Construction 山信建設
Graphic Design: Tracy Truong トレイシー・チュオン
GROWING SPACE Partner: Hémash co.,Ltd エマッシュ
Special Thanks: Sakura Kids International サクラキッズインターナショナル

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