Hiroshi Watanabe

Hiroshi Watanabe: The Day the Dam Collapses
Kopeikin Gallery
Los Angeles
Novemebr 15th – December 20th

Kopeikin Gallery will have their fourth solo exhibition with Japan born and Los Angeles based artist Hiroshi Watanabe. The exhibition The Day the Dam Collapses opens with a reception and book signing with the artist on Saturday, November 15th from 6:00 – 8:00. The exhibition continues through December 20th.

The Day the Dam Collapses

Disaster movies, like the ones with infernos, big earthquakes, or the arrival of aliens, often begin with depictions of normal daily life. For instance, we watch a mother trying to wake up a child, who resists getting up but then runs to school without having breakfast, while the mother shakes her head as her husband ignores the whole episode with his face buried in the newspaper. These mundane scenes are usually avoided in other types of movies, but they bear importance in disaster movies. The viewers know that what they are watching is a disaster movie, and so they sense these mundane scenes are in fact preludes to the terrible and unusual thing that will happen to the people on the screen.

What is important here is the fact that while the audience anticipates it, the movie characters do not know they may be involved in a huge, horrible disaster. The audience is in a sense like prophets looking down from above the clouds on the people who are living peacefully only because they are not aware of what is about to happen.

The truth is, we are all living like the characters in a disaster movie. We know we may some day face a disaster or a terrible event, but we keep living calmly because we do not know exactly what might occur and when it would be. But a disaster will surely come to us. And the largest disaster must be our death, which we all have to face sometime in the future. We are like people living at the base of a dam that has no outlet for the water that is filling it. We cannot see the other side of the dam, where water is constantly increasing. We don’t know how much water is accumulating or how fast. We are only vaguely aware that the dam will collapse some day when it cannot hold the weight of the water any longer.

In this frame of mind I look at my own daily life and I see many signs, as if someone is trying to give me hints. How am I coping with these signs that appear before me from time to time?

– Hiroshi Watanabe

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