500 Yen

500円

On the street in front of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo, October 2000

Mixed media

Imagine if you bent to pick up a coin on a street and suddenly a strong light flashed on you with the sound of a shutter release.  You would be surprised and embarrassed at being photographed, even though perhaps a photograph was not actually being taken.  Despite its simple trick, 500 yen leaves the people who experienced it with an intense impression. This project is very popular for people outside of the art world, including children, because it deals with money- a subject that everyone is interested in. The coins are placed in various settings on a street, on a floor or on a table in a gallery that look natural, as if a real coin had been dropped by someone, not looking like a part of the art piece. All the surroundings of the coins are staged and props.  He chooses a strobe light for theater that has more intensity than the ones used for photographs, as well as his using fake shutter sounds hugely amplified from a nearby speaker. The trick is that the coin itself is a switch for the strobe and the shutter sounds.  An auto-winding wire attached to the bottom of the coin means that the coin - picked up and then dropped by the shocked person - would immediately spring back into its original position. Masuyama has titled this project applying the name of the coins that he used for the trick so that the project's title varies depending on the country in which the project takes place.

 

様々な状況下で落ちているお金を、見つけた人が拾おうと硬貨に触れれば、直ちに自動で強力なストロボ光とシャッター音を浴びせられてしまう。つまり、拾った人は、あたかも現場の「写真を撮られてしまった」という印象を受ける。一見するとシンプルだが、その実、体験者に強い印象を残す。万人に興味のあるお金をモチーフに使ったことで、様々な年齢層のアート関係者に限らない普通の人を始め子供の反応はすこぶる良い。コインは一見すると作品には見えず、ごく自然な落し物に見えるように、路上あるいは美術館・ギャラリーの床、テーブルの上等、様々な環境にさりげなく設置する。コインのまわりにつくられた状況全てがフェイクであり、ストロボ光にはカメラ用よりも強力な舞台照明用ストロボ、シャッター音にはアンプで増幅されスピーカーより発せられる巨大な音が使用される。仕組みは硬貨自体がストロボやシャッター音等を発する装置のスイッチになっている。コインの裏に繋がれたワイヤーが自動巻き取り式になっているため、拾った人が驚いてコインを放せば元の位置に自動的に戻るようになっている。作品タイトルは実施国それぞれの仕掛けをつけた硬貨の名称となっている。

Photo : Masaya Yoshimura

Contact detail :

Shiro MASUYAMA

Flax Art Studios
Havelock House, Ormeau Road
Belfast, BT7 1EB, Northern Ireland, UK

shiromasuyama@me.com

© 2020 Shiro MASUYAMA

All Rights Reserved

Artist 北アイルランド