HIRANO Kaoru arrangement

Unravelling artworks
text by Hitoshi DEHARA

The work of Hirano Kaoru centers on the painstaking unravelling of fibers one by one from old clothing and other fabrics. The bundles of fiber left after dismantling garments until they are no longer recognizable as such are spread across walls, floors and entirerooms as works of art. Note first of all that one attraction of Hirano's work is this successful spanning of a spectrum from intricacy that demands close attention, to expansion into space. Even so, how ought we interpret work that requires such a huge investment of time and labor? By viewing it from a number of perspectives, perhaps.
For example, the task of unravelling by hand garment woven in elaborate detail and of uniform quality by machine could be read as a symbolic act of questioning, examining and dismantling existing things or systems by the individual. Correlation of this kind with a relatively grand narrative is perhaps what gives Hirano's labors the stamp of authenticity as art.
Alternatively, as a quest of sorts : an attempt to shed light on the history of the body that once inhabited the clothing. Even if difficult at times for the viewer to detect, the task of stripping clothes of their form and function is in a way a small wager on the part of the artist that a link with the body can be maintained, and probably one of the few certainties to be encountered through the process.
Then there is the formal aspect. That is, regarding the garment as a plane and fibers as lines. Imagine here a progression of what Kandinsky referred to as point - line - plane, and the dismantling of a piece of clothing into fibers becomes what one might call a shift to a lower dimension, a return to elements lower in the hierarchy, a manifestation of powers and power relationships such as kineticism, traction, and tension. Hirano employs these innumerable lines as the compositional elements of her installations.
The latter two, physicality and form (or, spatiality) provide the main subject matter of her work. As each is an independent subject, they can also be used together, or separately.
The strengths and weaknesses of each differ according to the individual work. And the intriguing thing is, the most recent pieces retain a certain unity, meaning Hirano herself thinks of them in a sculptural way. If one considers the foundations of sculpture to be the human form, then perhaps it is also permissible to read into Hirano's work the possibility of interweaving a physicality different again to the traces and memories mentioned earlier.
How does the act of dismantling (and recomposing) connect, or sever the threads of the body, and those of the space? And does this give rise to any inversion or reversal of meaning?
Before Hirano lies a vast realm indeed. No doubt she will continue to weave her fabrics using these two key threads, and unravel each issue that emerges therein.

出原 均=文

 しかし、それにしても、この、膨大な時間を労力を要する彼女の制作をどう捉えるべきなのか。おそらく、そこにはいくつかの視点を設定できるだろう。  たとえば、機会によって緻密かつ均質に織られた衣類をほどく手作業は、既存の事物やシステムに対しての、個による疑義、検討、解体といったシンボリックな行為として読むことができる。このような、より大きな物語への照応は、彼女の労働を芸術として保証する手形のひとつといえるかもしれない。  あるいは、探索の行為として。それらを身に付けていた人が刻み込んだ歴史を明らかにする試みである。それは、たとえ視る者にとっては看取しにくい場合であっても、この作業が衣類としての形態や機能を解体してしまう中で、身体と繋がるための僅かな掛金であり、また、おそらく作業を通じて触れることのできる数少ない確実性である。