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Artist Statement

Emiko Agatsuma

My hometown was hard hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. I was struck by a strong sense of despondency, but I noticed the regenerative power that grows gradually by helping each other. I didn't speak so much when I went there as a volunteer, but I strongly felt their emotion (sadness, anger, regret, loneliness, hopelessness, hope, etc.) that is not to be talked about.


Since then, my working process has changed. I started thinking body experience is more important than knowledge. I want to explore primitive movements in our body that are before languages.


In 1999, I met Butoh and was shocked by the method "invites an image into an empty body and the body is moved by it ". Butoh, born in the 1960s, was driven by a sense of inferiority toward Western culture and doubts about existing values, and succeeded in creating a new expression by looking at Japanese culture. I include the meaning of "erase personal limitation" in the white makeup, moreover, expand the possibility by eliminating the ego.

​By being an empty body, I can dance like a baby who doesn't have any language and prejudice.

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