"IKIRO Factory“ at Nisijin - Kyoto, Japan, May 1999.
I write the word “IKIRO”, which means, “to be alive”. I have been writing it every day since 1997, as a project shown in many places around the world, both in museums and on the street. Initially I merely wanted to express myself in public space by staging an installation art piece using my body.
After my first performance I realized that writing the word “IKIRO” had somehow become my means of expression, so I decided to continue writing it as an ongoing project. As I developed this project, it gradually changed, though I never ceased to write the same word. Among others, I put up boxes in an exhibition in order to collect money, half of which was used for the project, the rest being donated to refugees in the world. I always try to make not “just” a contemporary artwork, but something spiritual as well.
Sometimes writing “IKIRO” seems to make no sense in a practical way, but I believe my action stands for “what art is and (even) why we live here”. I also believe I make these actions for people living in the future. Writing “IKIRO” has become my lifestyle and philosophy. In the near future I intend to make this project a permanent artwork including my body – knowing, of course, that it cannot be permanent because I will die some day.
29.03. – 15.04.2006