Three Studio- Action Figure re-art

August 19, 2013

The smell of burnt rubber pierced the air. And it only intensified as we climbed the steps up to the Japan Society gallery space where three were busy at work. To be clear, three is the name of the art group but it also represents the number of members in the trio. Heat guns hummed, air purifiers roared, and a fan spun as we entered the gallery. “We usually work with the windows open,” explained one of the members, powering down all the motors and removing his face mask. “we’re just not in our normal workspace.”

Indeed, this is the first time three have set foot on American soil, much less New York. Invited by gallery director Miwako Tezuka to participate in Japan Society’s inaugural residency program, three arrived in New York from Fukushima in late June to complete what will be one of their more ambitious pieces using 555 toy figurines – their way of paying homage to New York and its 5 boroughs. “We immediately ran into trouble at customs,” they say, explaining to us that they had been carrying with them a large bulk of their material. “We had a hard time explaining to the customs officers why we were carrying boxes of 500 figurines with us.” (The plan is to purchase the remaining 55 in New York.)

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