AKIO SUZUKI

Born 1941 in Pyong Yang.
Lives and works in Tango, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.


Otodate-Room,1998
two curved walls made of concrete bricks,
each 2mx1,40m constituting a listening chamber by the lake
(photography Q.Bertoux)

Otodate-room
Akio Suzuki is a Japanese artist who works and on and with sounds. He both invents sounds during his performances and focuses on the sounds around him. His outdoor interventions are thus based on the aural qualities of the site, its singularities - the point being to find for each place a situation in which one is receptive to sounds, able to hear a set of sounds that seem to be accord, without any one sound dominating. Modern man usually perceives the world first and foremost with the sense of sight. Akio Suzuki invites us to rediscover the world with our sense of hearing and, if possible, to forget our insistence on analysing. Thus noises become sounds and no one sound is set above the others. Modern man must learn to free himself from his selective habits in order to discover himself as a "receptacle" of sounds.

the work for Enghien :
In 1997 the artist came to Enghien to study the town's acoustic qualities, to locate the best points for listening to everyday aural reality as well as those that possess an echo. This intervention is entitled Otodate III. "Oto" is the Japanese for sound and "odate" is the contraction of "nodate", meaning "open-air tea ceremony". In other words, each sound is invited to a ceremony with no hierarchy, and the listener is encouraged to take part in the event by taking up position at the best listening points. To this end, Suzuki has marked out the locations of echoes by drawing footprints on the ground (Otodate Step), so that each passer-by can appreciate the aural qualities of the site at that particular moment. The playfulness of this experiment goes along with a listening to the world in a proportionate relation between the human being and their environment. These points are situated in various locations, near the station and church, on the banks of the lake, and so on.
For 1998, a room has been built on the same axis as these various points to serve as a place of listening and discovery during the summer months of the biennial. Listeners who enter the Otodate Room must abandon the primacy of sight over their other senses since all they can see is the wall which now blocks the view of the lake. Forgetting for a while the usual reflexes that always diminish their auditive faculties, they can discover the surprising aural richness of the site. The experience may be a chance to discover an unknown reality, to give oneself up to the pleasure of sound, to be a guest at the concert of the world.

suzuki4.jpg (20218 octets)

Drawing for Otodaté-Room

Description : two curved concrete walls, (both 200 centimetres high, respective widths 140 and 90 centimetres), facing each other, with a narrow access to standing room for one person between them.



Akio Suzuki

Junko & Akio at work