Suzuki Knife, Social Cooking

Yuichiro Tamura

Yuichiro Tamura, Suzuki Knife, Social Cooking, 2014. Two channel video, color, sound. 20 min 30 sec. Commissioned by the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014. Collection of Seoul Museum of Art

The Joseon Tongsinsa (communication envoys) were sent to Japan 12 times during the Edo Period. When the eleventh envoys were staying in Osaka during their visit to Japan in 1764, the Joseon envoys’ entourage Choi Cheon-jong was murdered. It turned out that the culprit was Suzuki Denzo, an interpreter. As for the murder weapon, there is information that it was a 15 cm long spearhead made in Japan by the blacksmith Kanesada in the city of Seki. This case attracted the attention of the public in those days, and soon it was dealt with as a subject of kabuki or kyogen. One of the earliest kabuki performances was Suzuki Knife, Social Cooking. In the title Suzuki Knife, Social Cooking, Suzuki (sea bass) refers to the name of the murderer Suzuki Denzo and the knife indicates the murder weapon or the kitchen knife. Tamura met an old blacksmith who still makes kitchen knives in a traditional way in the very city of Seki and requested him to produce a kitchen knife. The artist fished sea bass in Tsushima island and trimmed it at the Seoul Museum of Art, where the old Korean Supreme Court building established by the Japanese Government-General of Korea. (Excerpts from the SMB08 Guidebook)

Yuichiro Tamura (b. 1977, Tokyo, Berlin)

Yuichiro Tamura graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate School of Film and New Media. He has pursued the possibilities of the moving image, taking photography as a point of departure while straddling various media including film, installation, and performance. His film NIGHTLESS received the excellence award at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2010 and has been shown internationally. Tamura participated in numerous exhibitions around the world including SeMA Biennale Mediactiy Seoul 2014 Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers.

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