Producing Artworks

Who are we? Difficult to explain jobs related to art

We have been working with artists to produce artworks for more than 20 years. Yet it is still somehow difficult to explain our friends what we are doing. People would generally think that art is made solely by artist struggling in the studio. This understanding is sometimes right, but not always. We always have to start explaining that "artists may sometimes need other people for a help...".

If you lookup Japanese dictionary, there are 3 different Chinese characters applied for "tsukuru" (meaning "to produce" in Japanese). When you say "tsukuru an artwork", it implies all the meanings included in the three different characters【作る/造る/創る】with slightly different meanings. It is like English having synonyms such as make / create / fabricate / produce, etc.

【創る】 to plan, to making an idea, to initiate

【作る】make, draw, build up, shape 

【造る】install, make an environment                                 

“創る”implies to create the core of the work and this is mainly artist's own job, like a sanctuary. But “作る”and “造る” might sometimes be a collaborative work, and an experienced craftsman or a mechanic may work for the artists sometimes.

Not only installations or large scale art projects, there are even painters who work with many assistants in the studio, or a sculptor who does not curve stones or woods himself and ask a professional factory or a studio. There are divers processes and each artist has different working process.

As each artist may work in different processes, it may not be same in any project, but from our experience production process which many people need to collaborate have diverse possibility to be develop the project further from the original idea. Or sometimes the collaboration would give a hint to the artist to come up with a new idea or new different work in the future. We frequently see these kind of situations working in art projects having different collaborators in different level, art professionals, community volunteers, architects, people in factories, supporting artist to develop the work. Human beings are strange creatures who loves to "create" something.

It is always interesting working with works which have more possibility to be developed. But we must be sure that work would not be developed somewhere out of the artist's intention. The artist has to be the captain of the team. We see unfortunate shipwrecks as well.

In any art projects, it is a difficult job to collaborate with artist understanding and keeping the core without blurring the important element of the work. A skill, to understand the necessary condition to make a good work and develop with artist, is quite important and may also need experience working with different artists, as all the artists are different. There are divers issues we need to know as a skillful collaborator understanding about social issues, requirements, conditions, material and tools, processing the material, factories, architectural drawings, structure design, construction and installments, and of course art and artists, new trends, curation, art coordination, workshops and events, and many more. May not need to be an expert of one skill, but need to deeply know various issues. ArtTank is that kind of specialist.

Going back to the first question on the first paragraph, it is still not so easy to explain our friends what we are doing. We are working together with artists to produce works and realize their projects. And we, ArtTank, hope to develop more with artists in order to make life and the world more interesting.