Tetsushi Higashino studied scenography and design at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Since then, he has been researching, working and presenting his work in Japan, London, Australia, Hungary, Austria, Taiwan, and Korea. In his work, he explores the connections between art and everyday life, he tries to re-examine and re-evaluate the fleeing things of our everyday lives, and bring art closer to people again. He combines various media and methodologies, and prefers to use commonly found everyday materials and objects, which he uses to create site-specific installations.
During his residency in Maribor, the artist wanted to explore connections between art and everyday life, and the influence of art on the lives of the local population. At the same time, he also wanted to develop a concrete method of bringing art closer to people by using their own stories, as well as including local artists and art institutions. He focuses on seemingly unimportant everyday things, which, however, play an important role in his creations – both content-wise, and as a source of inspiration. His art credo is thoroughly reflected in the installation Beautiful Banality, which was presented in Kulturni Inkubator in Maribor. The site-specific work, for which the artist used objects and materials he found (common everyday objects, as well as discarded, thrown-away, or seemingly useless things), gives these objects a new function and value, and makes them a constitutional part of the whole.
The artist further developed his concept in the exhibition place Hladilnica (Cultural Centre Pekarna), where he let himself be inspired by the fire damage in the place. The burn site was a veritable goldmine for him; in it, he saw a workshop, full of soot-covered objects that ignited his imagination and boosted his creative spirit. He reassembled and reconstructed objects he found in the place, among others two big objects, representing the letter E. He rearranged those to spell out MW, which is the name of the chemical weapon from the Osama Tezuka's manga series. This is how he got the idea to rearrange the storage room and turn it into a chemical weapon, and so he created the spatial installation Chemical weapon MW.
Since the artist comes from a different cultural environment, he saw his residency as a chance to confront his own creativity with this new environment, and examine its universality by seeing the audience responses here. With that in mind, he created the project Lost in Translation, which was presented in the Čajnica Čajek teahouse. During his residency, he also worked on the project Man of the Day, which consisted of him making a figurine of a man from different materials each day of his stay in Maribor, thus turning ordinary things into small objects of art.
“During my residency, I write a personal journal, which I call GuestRoomMaribor (http://www.workth.net/grmdiary.html). I use the online translation service Google translate to translate the Japanese texts into English, and then into Slovenian. With that, the diary becomes meaningless, bizarre, but at times also poetic, so I wish to stage a poetry reading of it in the centre of Maribor. Each ordinary everyday thing can be art, that is my belief. If I get a simple or a crazy idea in my head, I realize it and I work on the subject. So you could say I am actually writing a diary. What I'm working on in Maribor are 4 diaries, in which I approach subject matters from different perspectives. I make figurines, I feed my nose hair, I reassemble objects I find in the workshop in Hladilnica, and I lose myself in translation, on daily basis.”