Yamaguchi explores the theme of “living without division” through text, dance, video, performance, and interventions in public spaces. His work aims to visualize and transform the complex social structures inherent in collectives.

His creative process starts with research into the urban context and history, as well as interviews with individuals. He then selects the media and extracts concepts to turn into metaphors. Yamaguchi’s work often uses irony, humor, and poetic expression to critique Cartesian rationalism. Western thought has advanced science and technology by separating the observing self (subject) from the observed other (object). However, the limitations of this worldview are evident in the increasing divisions of contemporary society.

Against such a method of recognition, Yamaguchi draws on Eastern thought, particularly the ideas of Japanese philosophers Kitaro Nishida and D.T. Suzuki who translated Zen into English and spread it abroad. Nishida’s concepts of “pure experience” along with Suzuki’s “spirituality,” influence Yamaguchi’s work. He researches their philosophical roots in the natural landscape of Ishikawa Prefecture, where both Yamaguchi and these philosophers are from. Another is the theory of French thinker and film-maker Guy Debord. He criticised, with the concept of ‘spectacle’, the globalisation and unification of information power and the resulting society in which the masses become spectators who only receive information and everything in life exists as a representation on the media. The ‘psychogéographie’ advocated by the Situationist International, an organisation led by Debord, and the ‘dérive’ practised in the city, influenced Yamaguchi’s performance.

Yamaguchi resists the categorization and stratification of his identity by society. In “Are you looking for something?” (2022), he intentionally derails a conversation by responding “the meaning of life” to the routine question from a store clerk, which is the title of the work. In “The Railway Walk” (2024), he expresses the conflict of wanting to stray from the set path but being unable to. This approach has been consistent since his early days when he humorously called himself a “professional unemployed” before he began his career as an artist. In “Traveling with one smartphone” (2017), he addresses the complex power dynamics of national borders, performing a journey from Japan to a foreign country with just a smartphone.

By re-interpreting Eastern and Western philosophies in the context of contemporary society, Yamaguchi believes in walking through the gaps in the spectacle images provided by cities and media to discover the authenticity of people and achieve “living without division.”





山口は自身のアイデンティティが記号・階層化されることに対して抵抗を示しており、《Are you looking for something?》(2022年)では、「何かお探しですか?」という店員からの決まり文句のような質問に対して「生きる意味」と答えるなど、会話を意図的に脱線させることを試みる。《The Railway Walk》(2024年)では、敷かれたレールから外れ、道に迷いたいという(しかし迷うことができない)葛藤を表現している。山口のこうした考えは、美術家として活動を始める以前から「プロ無職」という皮肉的な肩書きを名乗っていた頃から一貫している。また、《スマホ1台旅》(2017年)では、複雑なパワーダイナミクスを持つ国境をテーマとして扱っており、日本から外国へ、手ぶらで越えていくパフォーマンスを行っている。


2024年6月18日 更新