phile under: art review

Review: Jason Doizé’s Hikikomori

By Lisa Radon October 31, 2009


Jason Doizé’s Hikikomori at FalseFront is poignant narrative captured in an elegantly minimalist installation. On a wall text, one of Japan’s young shut-ins or hikikomori explains that years of torment by fellow students drove him to seek refuge in his room. The outside world is represented by white paper leaves blown into corners of the room, the hikikomori’s space behind a wall by a a white blanket folded on a low palette, votives, and a set of earphones on a high shelf playing the sounds of Japanese game shows. Bridging these monochromatic elements are three rows of dozens of identical drawings on yellow lined paper of outlines of potential boxes (cut here, score here, fold). The boxes are a smart stroke, their cool geometry providing the distance that prevents pathos from descending into bathos. The work makes a delicate balance between implicating the viewer in the hikikomori’s plight via the wall text and inviting consideration of the very few folds it would take to join him.

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