Text for"colony"(Oct.,1997), text/Toshihiro Sakuma

When I watch ants and bees at their nests, they make me wonder why they all work so hard for their nests. What gives them the energy to 'stick' together to their nests when they could endanger their own lives while working and could easily be 'replaced' with new ants and bees that are born one after the other?
The behavior of ants and bees can also be applied to the relationship between cells and a tissue, or that between tissues and an individual organism. Each cell is an independent life, but by metabolism, the death of one cell is 'replaced' by the birth of a new cell. Where is the source of energy that makes cells support the tissue and the organism they belong to? To begin with, where is the source of energy that 'sticks' the cells together to form a tissue without causing them to scatter? After a wound stops bleeding a scab is made, and a new skin like that of a baby is reproduced. In other words, it is the process of 'replacing' dead cells with new ones, and they 'stick' together to keep the damage to its minimum. If this mechanism could be called a healing power, then this mechanism applied to ants and bees with their nests, that to human beings with their family/house, and that to individuals and homes with society, could also be called a healing power as the principle of the entire biological world when they are categorized into members and classes.

Since the beginning of the modern age, 'individuals' have the tendency to feel ashamed to accept the fact that we cannot exist without 'sticking' together, and also the fact that our existence could be 'replaced' by others. However, when we experience the death of a member of our family or that of a friend, we realize from our behavior, and through the process of overcoming such deaths, that we have an innate nature to 'stick' together and that we are also 'replaceable', similar to ants and bees. I realized this from my experience, otherwise not perceptible when looked at from the viewpoint of the modern 'individual'. I also felt relieved to know that we 'stick' together and that we are 'replaceable' because these erase opposing factors, such as 'self and others' and 'life and death'.

The objective of the ongoing series of works entitled "healing", is to consider 'the site' of 'sticking' together and being 'replaced' from the viewpoint of a home in connection to a family. The style I have taken to create this series was based on my personal life, so I could create my work from the viewpoint of my own daily life. However, in order to enrich the process of my work, I have broadened my view to some extent in my new works.
The new series of works for this exhibition, entitled "colony", consists of three pieces, that have motifs which are not directly taken from my personal life. However, they all pursue the same interests and theme as "healing", but with a broader point of view. I utilize 'names' to guide me to reconsider how today's 'individuals' exist in assemblages='colonies' of different aspects.