Welcome to the Umeyama Time Teleportation Museum (UTTM)!
I make paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures to make an installation of this fictional museum within an art gallery as if a large exhibit was on loan to that real-life gallery. The protagonist of the museum, the first time traveler, Umeyama, who was originally from the Japan of the mid-1800’s, created ink paintings/reports as his record of what he saw in this modern-day world of the US. He analyzed things utilizing his knowledge (he was a scholar in the Tokugawa shogunate), and made the paintings as his way of making sense of this world.
It might be because of my science background, but authorship of a work of art was one of my concerns, as well as seeing things from a different perspective. In addition, the body of work can be my way of critique of contemporary art. I forced myself to see things from his perspective, and made ink paintings/reports. Since the museum collections are “Umeyama’s works,” I became a docent of UTTM and gave museum tours as my performance work. (In addition, the museum has a gift shop.) The mission statement of the museum is also an important part of my statement for the body of work. The following is a modified excerpt from that mission statement: We (UTTM)/I (myself) believe that that maintaining and being aware of diverse perspectives is crucial for mutual communication, compassion and surviving in this contemporary milieu.
* Time-teleportation, (noun)
The act or process of transporting or travelling an object or person through time and space into the past or future.
The word was coined by combining time travel and teleportation.
Photographs: Courtesy of Ansen Seale, Ansen Seale Photography
About my work Umeyama Reports:
In the body of works, entitled The Umeyama Time Teleportation Museum (UTTM), I reflect on some ideas in contemporary art. Some of the salient ideas are as followings;
How an object becomes an artwork? (Duchamp’s ready made)
To what are images in artwoks referring? (as in Rene Magritte’s Treachery of Images)
Including references of art history in artworks
Requirements for the viewers having knowledge on aforementioned matters.
Contemporary artworks are reflections of the era in which they are created.
The body of works UTTM is a series of installations of an imaginary museum. The main content of the installations include the Umeyama Reports (ink drawings), Umeyama’s collected items (sculptures), museum labels (graphite drawings) as well as various museum ephemera, for example, pamphlets, quality reproductions and stickers as souvenirs. Below is a mission statement from the imaginary museum, which also serves as a part of my artist statement.
The mission of the Umeyama Time Teleportation Museum (UTTM) is to represent the achievements and legacy of the historical time-teleportation traveler Shoei Umeyama.
UTTM collects, classifies, preserves, exhibits and loans Umeyama Reports, his collections, and related artifacts that represent an alternative perspective on contemporary society.
For the benefit of the broader range of communities, the museum organizes traveling exhibitions, publishes books and manages an online database making the material more accessible.
UTTM promotes dialogue and evokes intellectual curiosity toward the contemporary world by allowing patrons to view it through Umeyama’s eyes.
We believe that maintaining and being aware of diverse perspectives is crucial for mutual communication, compassion and surviving in this contemporary milieu.