Weekly Conversations… with Yuji Oshima

Yuji Oshima, DJ Flying Carpet, 2006, GIF Animation

Yuji Oshima is a Vienna-based Japanese artist working in new media projects, sound installations and is collaborating in urbanist projects with the architecture office bauchplan ).( on a regular basis. He studied at Le Fresnoy / Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, ERG Institut Superieur Libre d’art Plastique in Brussels and Tama University of Art in Tokyo. Oshima participated at La Seine Paris as an assistant of Muntadas and Gary Hill and was a resident artist at the Cité Internationale des Arts and the Centre les Récollets Paris. His work has been presented in various exhibitions at venues including Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Espace Paul Ricard (Pairs), Flux Factory (New York), Intercommunication Center (Tokyo), Dena Foundation (Milano) among many others. As a sound artist, Oshima has worked with choreographers such as Pierre Droulers, Michikazu Matsune and Doris Uhlich.

How do you like your new working space at studio das weisse haus? Why did you decide to share it with Ryts Monet and Yoshinori Niwa? 
Thank you for giving us this great opportunity. I find this studio program very unique because the artists occupy the space of former stores in one street next to each other. As I am DJing occasionally in the name of DJ Flying Carpet, I would say that I’m lucky to move into the former Persian carpet store. 
It was very natural to get together with Ryts Monet and Yoshinori Niwa. I met Yoshinori in Japan at the Setouchi Triennale just before he moved to Vienna, and saw him here again by incidence. We moved from Japan to Vienna for different reasons, but being a contemporary artist and Japanese you feel a strong solidarity here. Our approach on art is very different which I find very inspiring in discussions. With Ryts Monet we turn into an international team again. We don’t know yet what will come out of it, but I am confident it’ll be productive.

Could you tell us something about your work and your upcoming projects? 
I started my artistic practice with sound installations. In the beginning, I worked a lot with scientists and technicians. We experimented to make multi-media installations.

Later on, I started to collaborate with landscape architects, urbanist and choreographers through the sound work. I think sound work can deliver its full potential when connected to other fields, such as architecture, urbanism, performance, movies and new technology. I am attached to sound because of its immateriality. 
Currently, I cooperate with the German/Austrian urbanists bauchplan ).( for an urban competition with a focus on art in Germany. Moreover, I’m working for the performance artist Michikazu Matsune, we are just preparing for his next tour to Lebanon and Germany. Apart from that, I’m developing a photo/film project. I recently visited the Karlovy Vary Region in Czech Republic. This area is famous for its radium spa resort. Beside the touristic attraction, I found a small museum in the town of Joachimsthal. When I learned that not only the discovery of radioactivity but also the name of Thaler/Dollar comes from this small town due to its rich resources of silver, I had mixed feelings that the world I know derives from this small town. This is the base of the project which I have in mind. I would like to work on and give form to this experience in the next months. 

Interviewer: Teresa Wally