World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 177 - Jean Sadao
Jean Sadao, born in Italy to a Japanese mother and an Italian father and now living in Tokyo, showed his newest videofilm “The multi-sensory Impossibility of a Worm” at the Body Link (First Part) exhibition at the Red Stamp Art Gallery in Amsterdam; this was the première of the film.
In blocks of fragments he illustrated a new possible way of communication: tactile communication, communication not so much with words, but with the body. It reminded me of the sign language of the deaf. But in Sadao’s work not only the hands, but the whole body was used.
Tactile and bodily language
The work raises questions about the body, the sensorial potentialities and their limits, and establishes the hypothesis of an unusual tactile and bodily language as a means of communication able to approach universality and naturalness, by questioning its possible implications in terms of influence on the person and on the community.
The artist looks at physicality in the possible expansion of sensoriality and reflects on the way in which methods of communication necessarily influence the formation of the structure of the self, culture and lifestyle.
Since he was a child Sadao always wondered what his real identity was. Jean Sadao: “My real taste, which directions I had to take, which were my real intentions. We are searching to follow our ambitions, instincts, wishes, aims, but what if all these things are too much influenced by the world around us and in real it is not what we really want and what we really are? Many of my friends, colleagues and people think that being born in different and profound cultures like the Italian and Japanese ones affected me. It has brought me to the point to decide or not, to mediate or not different directions, but I think that everybody has and brings different cultures in himself, above all now that it is easier to be influenced everyday by today’s world and time.”
The central theme of his work is identity, in all its meanings, in connection with today’s society. “Identity is made of multiple situations, conflicting moments and sudden transformation, which brings the human being to reverse perspectives, different perceptions, doubting of codified systems created by himself and reflecting on his role in the world and in the time.”
Jean Sadao, his artist name, is an homage to French director Jean Vigo and Japanese director Sadao Yamanaka, who both died at an early age in the 1930s. His proper name is Koji Geronazzo Ogawa.
Asked for a key work, a work that put him on a new track, he says that one is the first and the other the most recent: “The Mantis on the Taxi” and “The multi-sensory Impossibility of a Worm”. Sadao: “The Mantis on the Taxi”, presented at the Uppsala Shortfilm Festival in Sweden, the Flexiff Experimental Film Festival in Sidney and at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, is an allegory on the identity and sexuality of the male protagonist. Elements put together from different realities don't show something stable and defined, but a constant evolution. An evolution that distinguish the human being since his birth, but recently it is becoming more evident.
The video tries to give an interpretation, both physical and mental, on the nature of the human being in a global world which it is subjected in turn to sudden changes. A world where solid and definite boundaries between male and female, east and west, real and virtual, carnal and spiritual, are questioned to propose a critical consideration of the reality around us. “
“The multi-sensory Impossibility of a Worm” (you can watch an excerpt at this link https://vimeo.com/256026864) is a composition of images where Sadao raises some questions about communication, unexplored senses and their possible effects. “What would happen or how would the individual and the society develop or not if we could communicate differently or if we would use forms of senses other than those already codified and adopted? In this perspective, the video tries to call into question the conventional system of communication which stands at the base of our social structure and consequently affects the world we live.”
Japanese Art and Visual Art
Jean Sadao always tried to express himself in different artistic directions such as Music, Theatre and Cinema at first, but then he ended up to study Oriental Languages and Civilities at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. “It was because I wanted to know more about my mother's culture. There were many specializations in that field of studies and the decision to dive into Japanese Art and Visual Art was not a coincidence. During my studies I worked part-time as technical assistant in many cinema and commercial productions, but above all I was lucky to meet some artist friends that indirectly (in the sense that I observed, studied and interacted with them) taught me the honesty, the ethic and the passion for the art world.”
He experimented with different ways of expression such as painting, drawing and photography until he found that the moving images could incorporate all that he liked most: maybe he could produce something interesting?
His thirst to know his mother’s country better brought him then to decide to live in Japan. “Thanks to a Japanese friend of mine I started to teach Film History at the Vantan Design Institute in Tokyo and this chance brought me to know people involved in that world. It was the ideal moment to start producing a significant body of work. The first work I made “The Mantis on the Taxi” was presented on various Film Festivals in 2012 and I went on since then.”
We end this story with his artistic philosophy. Jean Sadao: “My aim in the process that permits myself to create something close to the artistic expression is essentially honesty. Through that I try every time to translate my subconscious which is obviously influenced by the world around me. I try to succeed in some ways to decode every minimal perception that usually we don’t care for.”
1) Jean Sadao, portrait of the artist; 2 – 4) "The Multi-sensory Impossibility of a Worm", video, 2017 (2 - 3: photos of the video on display at "The Body Link - First Part", Red Stamp Art Gallery, Amsterdam; 4: still frame from the video; 3: Ph: Elisa Superbi); 5 – 6) two still frames from "Heisei 28", 2016; 7 – 8) two still frames from "Tottori, province of Mantua", 2016; 9 – 10) two still frames from "69 - Episode II", 2013; 11 – 12) two still frames from "69", 2011; 13 – 14) two still frames from "The Mantis on the Taxi", 2011