• JAPAN
KOSOYU IN MEMORY by Michal Martychowiec

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what's ko-so-yu

“Micro mecenat”, a platform for contemporary art, will hold an exhibition by Michal Martychowiec, an upcoming contemporary artist from Poland. Using “Ko-so-yu”, Kaga, Japan as its stage, Martychowiec releases his site-specific brand-new creation “In Memory”.Martychowiec, who throughly released conceptual artworks themed by relationships between an object and its observer, considers Japanese public bathes as special spaces controled under non-verbal communication and intimacy. “In Memory” is an installation creates a context of "colors" in Ko-so-yu, inspired by colored grasses, one of the features of buildings.

2013. 23rd March 〜2013. 5th May
6:00 〜 22:00
(27th March, 24th April, closed in morning time)
Opening: 23rd March 14:00 〜 16:00
Preview: 23rd March 14:00〜15:00

18-128, Yamashiro onsen, Kagashi, Ishikawa, Japan

Yamashiro-onsen tourism association



The Japanese bathhouse - 銭湯has a very particular and important function for the Japanese, as the function is not purely physical, its importance is on the mental level. The Japanese term スキンシップ – skinship has been created to refer to a certain physical intimacy – it has been often used in the context of the bath house, which is supposed to facilitate a physical intimacy leading to an emotional intimacy. The bathhouse is thus the place, basically, depending on the communication, which is not related to language.

"In Memory"is an installation work which creates contexts, depending on the audience rather than the space, although they take their place in a space. The bathhouse is a space but at the same time it is a context of a permanent happening, exchange of this very special communication. Creating contexts will be operated in this project with colors.

The colour does not signify. It rather holds certain memory, a primal memory- so a pre-memory and so is a catalyst in creation of our feelings. The green colour of trees evokes a feeling of peace, for to our ancestors seeing a green tree equaled to several possibilities: source of food and wood for building a house – shelter. The red is a proof of edibility of a fruit, etc. The color holds an encoded memory.Giovanni Anselmo’s “Particolare” in the early 70’s operates with a thought. The color operates with an emotion - according to Louis Kahn, it is the feeling, which allow human being to develop the economy of the thought. “In memory” does not point at an object, does not prove that something is “particular”, but rather that “we are particular”. The colour does not signify, but the projections of colour make us signify – the appearing and disappearing contexts as we move through the space. A projection at the wall, is not pointing at the wall, but rather at us looking at the wall and thinking-feeling. In “In Memory”, we are the context, just as the bathhouse is. The colour, of which important element is the emotion and feeling, also symbolises the bathhouse’s function: the place which transcend our present modernized society in where the logos=language predominate.


Michal Martychowiec

Michal Martychowiec

Born in 1987 in Lublin, Poland. lives and works in London, United Kingdom and Berlin, Germany. Studied visual arts at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2009–2011). After graduation, he has been creating number of topical photographic series, as well as video projections and extensive installations using diverse media: photography, film, drawing, objects. He has shown his interest on kinetic art and op art, released ”Blue, Red, Green”(2011), a homage of Jesús-Rafael Soto, and “moon 1.5ft→∞”(2009), series of photography with the theme of relationship between the moon and its watchers. Choosing relationship with the viewers as a theme of creation is a one of the outstanding feature of Martychowiec's work. From 2010, he has been working on various opera productions (Poland 2011, Korea 2009), creating installations, which are specific reinterpretations of time and space, and incorporate different media.

Selected exhibition
2012- FUTURE, LANDSCAPE. A changing exhibition., Venice
2011- Blue Red Green, gift_lab, Tokyo (solo)
2011 - Drawing Connection, Siena Art Institute
2011 - Stone in water, site specific installation, Palazzo Rizzo Patarol, Venice (solo)
2010 - Awake and Dream. Documentation, Patio Art Centre, 9th International Festival of Photography, Lodz (solo) …

Signum Foundation, Venice
Galerie Denise Rene, Paris
Cruz-Diez Foundation, Texas
British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection, London
Dawid Tomaszewski Foundation, Berlin

what's ko-so-yu

“Ko-so-yu” is a hot-spring bath house which restored “so-yu”(The name of the Bathhouse) in Meiji era. It restored the Meiji-style construction including a lounge in the second floor, "Kutani-tile" on the floor and walls, and colored grass called Giyaman. It is a unique public bath provides experiences of culture and history.

In Yamashiro-onsen, Kaga city, Ishikawa prefecture, lodges and shops are build around those “so-yus”, gives a historic atmosphere called “Yu no gawa” (a circle around the hot spring) altogether. The “Ko-so-yu” awarded “Good design 2012” because of the contribution for the restoration of the “Yu no gawa”.

Yamashiro-onsen tourism association