Hideki Toyoshima

Translation by Jerry Goh
Coordination by Maho Masuzaki
Photographs courtesy of gm projects

The exhibition spaces that Hideki Toyoshima designs remind us of childhood memories, dreams and visions. While the world revolved around sleek, whitewashed minimalism, he built little rustic houses, resembling mushrooms popping out in deep forests. His approach to every one of his projects is unique as he seeks inspiration from the individual elements of each show. Previously, as one of the founding members of graf in 1993, he ran the arts and cultural branch, graf media gm. Today, he runs gm projects—a team of members working individually, where he continues to investigate relationships between a subject and its surroundings.

Hi Hideki, can you introduce yourself and tell us more about your role in gm projects?

I am Toyoshima Hideki, one of the founding members of graf. The direction of graf media had been formed since the start of graf and last May, graf media left graf and became independent. gm projects consist of seven members and all of us share an equal position—we are all directors. The company runs in the form of LLC (Limited Liability Company)—depending on each project’s requirement, we may form a team or we may have just one person execute it.

You have studied at SF Art Institute and Chelsea College of Art & Design before. Even so, we have always felt this Japanese sense of authenticity and aesthetic from your projects. What is your inspiration?

Japanese aestheticism is not particularly my conscious decision while creating, rather I am more influenced by bricolage way of thinking, or using something already there as my materials. It is a bagworm-like process. A bagworm uses something already there—leaves—as material to build itself a wonderful home, the colour of its home may vary depending on the colour of its host plants’ leaves.

Same goes for the way I approach my projects, which you could compare them to a curry dish that is prepared by a chef or a mother. Before cooking, a chef has a recipe that decides on the procedures and ingredients needed, whereas a mother uses any materials she can find from a fridge and cooks them with instant curry paste. Sometimes her curry ends up as a stew. As long as this dish is delicious, healthy, and fun to eat, it doesn’t matter whether it is curry or stew.

Read more in N˚2: Constant.