Photos: Guillermo Ueno


May, 2013

Every journey to West Encounters East´s world has its unique characteristics. The city that we visit is re-signified by each new encounter. This time, Miami –where we traveled to witness the première of the documentary film West Encounters East at the Lowe Art Museum—was transformed by Yutaka Toyota, a metamorphic artist, sculptor, painter, engraver and philosopher of extremely rich thinking. Each day with Toyota made me think how lucky we are.

In the documentary, the artist Takahashi Fukushima says that “art is part of life. It’s not something we can study. We have to live it.” To experience Toyota while having breakfast, talking about art or about life, is a complete master lesson. Or to have a drink together and share a chat while walking, like French Situationists, late at night, when the whole city seems to belong to us.

One night we didn’t catch a cab to go back to the hotel so we decided to walk slowly, almost feeling every inch of land, photographing buildings, oxygenating the head with pearls of wisdom from this great artist – short but concrete phrases about creative freedom, about not deviating from the path – simple and essential, always with an enchanting mood.

This trip confirmed the tolerance and the positive interchange between the photographers Jade Matarazzo and Kazuo Okubo, painter and architect Takashi Fukushima, Gianni Toyota—a multifaceted fellow –and Dr. Peter Erber,  a philosopher who understands perfectly these crossroads.  Japanese in Brazil, Japanese in Argentina, and now Japanese in the United States: we travel together, promoting a relentless light in the space where West Encounters East.

Guillermo Ueno