Japanese artist Tatsumi Orimoto surprised shoppers in Penzance when he made one of his famous Breadman performances in the town. Central to this performance is his use of bread, as Orimoto and other participants become living sculptures. Their heads and faces are covered with bundles of baguettes which are then tied with string. Onlookers stopped and stared as Orimoto led his band of assistants through the town centre.
Starting at The Exchange Gallery, the Breadman will led a tour of tourist sites through the centre of Penzance, stopping for photo opportunities and offering bread to the public. The use of bread is multi-layered, with associations ranging from its function as a staple of the western diet, to connotations of consumerism and poverty, or its meaning in Christian iconography as an emblem of sharing on the one hand and sacrifice on the other.
The focus of his exhibition at the Newlyn Exchange Gallery, Penzance 'Live in Translation' is the work made in partnership with his mother, Art Mama, who he has nursed full-time since she developed Alzheimer's. The exhibition features video, performance and photographic works from his archive such as, Bread Man with Mama, Art Mama: Big Shoes, and Mama in the Box, which span from the 1980s to the present.
The Art Mama series documents the physical and mental decline of his mother, Odei.
The artist lives and works with his mother in Kawasaki City, Japan.
photos by Julia Waugh.