The multi-channel video installation talks about the history of modern bodybuilding, born in Prussia in the 19th century and soon spread from Europe to America and thence to Japan via Yokohama under post-WWII allied occupation. The work unfolds an unknown story of post-war Yokohama via a new dramatic piece narrated by a fictional storyteller reminiscent of a Japanese author, poet, and playwright Yukio Mishima who was body builder as well. The extreme nationalist Mishima attempted coup d'état at the Japanese military and then committed ritual suicide by seppuku in 1970. In 1945, the U.S. Army indiscriminately bombed Yokohama’s city center, reportedly killing approximately 10,000 people. After the war, Yokohama fell under the control of the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces (GHQ) and the streets came to be known by American-style names. The Milky Bay is composed of a series of historical fragments imparted in a conversation between an older man and a youth. These are the reminiscences of a young man who was attracted by the muscled bodies of American soldiers as they swaggered through the streets of Yokohama. Though Mishima published Forbidden Colors in 1953, which describes gay community and started weight training in 1955, his sexual orientation was an obscure issue. He set off on a voyage to America, and later Greece, from Yokohama Port during the Occupation and his novel The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea issued in 1963 was also set in the city.
About the Artist
Born in Toyoma prefecture in 1977, currently he lives and works in Kyoto, Japan. Tamura holds a doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, and a Bachelor’s degree of Photography from Nihon University. He was a guest researcher for the Institut für Raumexperimente at the Berlin University of the Arts (2013-2014). Mostly, he produces installations with video and photograph as well as performance. He not only addresses a message towards the privileged contemporary arts audience, but also triggers an unconventional way of communication with the audience, through the works that utilize his unique form of reflection which is unconstrained by the conventional division among the categories such as video or visual arts.