Yuichiro Tamura, ‘Milky Bay / 裏切りの海’, 2016, Singapore Art Museum (SAM)
Yuichiro Tamura, ‘Milky Bay / 裏切りの海’, 2016, Singapore Art Museum (SAM)
Yuichiro Tamura, ‘Milky Bay / 裏切りの海’, 2016, Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

The image and the idea of the body is central to Yuichiro Tamura’s installation, Milky Bay. Enfolded within the work are subtle references to various episodes of post-war history in which bodies and the male physique feature prominently. These narratives include, and are informed by, the story of Yukio Mishima, considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. Mishima attracted controversy for his right-wing political views, and was a proponent of bodybuilding, regarding bodily strength as the basis of national prowess. Milky Bay presents an immersive environment that recreates the interior of the seamen’s club in Yokohama, from which Mishima set sail for his world tour, ending in Greece, on Christmas Day in 1951. The work also includes narration by two male voices, one of which portrays the character – reminiscent of Mishima’s bodybuilding coach – who had been attracted to Allied occupation soldiers in post-war Yokohama. Other references in the work include a murder case from 2009, in which two dismembered bodies washed up in the sea near Yokohama; the episode bears certain parallels to Mishima’s novel, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. Also cited is the 1972 discovery, in the sea near Riace, Italy, of the famous Riace Warriors, two full-sized Greek bronze statues of nude male figures. These disparate narratives are embodied in fragments of concrete sculpture as well as several videos.

About Yuichiro Tamura