Poetic Spectrum – Images, Objects, and Words of Gozo Yoshimasu

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Location One is proud to present:

Poetic Spectrum – Images, Objects, and Words of Gozo Yoshimasu

September 3 – September 23, 2003
Opening Reception: September 3, 6 – 8pm

Listen to a sound clip of “Ishikari sheets” (music by Scott Fraser)

Poetry reading by Yoshimasu: September 23, 2003 at 7 PM
Live translation by American poet Geoffrey O’Brien
Improvisational music by guitarist Jean-François Pauvros
Poems translated by Hiroaki Sato
Admission: Free – Doors open at 6pm

Curated by Miwako Tezuka
Gallery hours: Tue – Sat 12-6 PM
Tuesday, September 23 12-7 PM

Location One is pleased to present the New York debut exhibition and special performance reading by renowned Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu, recent recipient of the Purple Ribbon Award from the Japanese Government for his significant cultural contributions. Poetic Spectrum will present Yoshimasu’s photographs and copperplate calligraphies for the first time to the New York audience, and will also bring the legendary poet to New York to perform after a ten-year absence.

A highly acclaimed avant-garde poet since the 1960s, Yoshimasu is a poet of migrant vision, creating his works while he travels to different locales and cultures, composing his poems through vision, touch, and sounds. He has more recently expanded his poetic works to include the media of photography and calligraphy. The exhibition Poetic SpectrumPoetic Spectrum captures the multi-faceted nature of the poet’s work through 30 photographs and 15 engraved calligraphies, each treated as a word, and interwoven to create textual complexity in space. explores Yoshimasu’s poetry as a web of interconnected images, objects, and words that reflect on a conflicting sense of nostalgia and estrangement.

In a rare event, Yoshimasu will come to New York City to read/perform selections from his most recent poems on September 23rd. Through his unique performance style, his voice, ultimately weaves together the visions and touches of the past, and revives the singularity of those encounters. The amalgamation of images, objects, words, and reading as performance, will present a possibility of transcending the limit of language, and reveal the trans-cultural fertility of poetry.

This performance will last just under an hour and will include a live translation by American poet Geoffrey OíBrien, as well as improvisational music by experimental guitarist, Jean- François Pauvros. The event will be streamed live on the Location One website beginning at 7PM EST.

Poetic Spectrum – Images, Objects, and Words of Gozo Yoshimasu is made possible through the generous support of The Japan Foundation, as well as through contributions from members of Location One. Poetic Spectrum is a participating event of “US-Japan 150,” a two-year nationwide festival commemorating the 150th anniversary of the inception of relations between the US and Japan in 1853. Thanks to Itoen Tea for its generous contribution of beverages.


Gozo Yoshimasu was born in Tokyo in 1939 and published his first book of poems entitled Shuppatsu (Departure) in 1964. Juxtaposing imagery of reality and memories of various locations, his poems open new vistas that reach one’s collective consciousness. Yoshimasu is also known for his unusual, trance-like reading through which he has collaborated with artists such as Kazuo Ono and Nobuyoshi Araki. Considered to be an emblematic presence in postwar Japanese poetry, many of his poems have been translated into various languages. He has given readings at Centre Georges Pompidou (2000), Taipei International Poetry Festival (2001), and has exhibited his photographs and calligraphies at São Paulo Biennale (1990), Chambre de Commerce et Industrie, Strasbourg (2000), among others. In May 2003, he received the Purple Ribbon Award from the Japanese government for his significant cultural contributions.

Miwako Tezuka is an independent curator and a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. She specializes in postwar Japanese avant-garde art. She was a recipient of the Luce Foundation Museum Fellowship in Asian Art at the Asia Society, NY. Her recent work includes curatorial consultation for The Legacy Project’s 9/11 commemorative exhibition, In Memory: The Art of Afterward, at the Mishkin Gallery, NY (2002), and co-curation of Making It Home: Three Contemporary Asian Artists, at the ISE Gallery, New York (2002).

Jean-François Pauvros, guitar, was born in France. A well-known avant-garde guitarist composer and performer, he made his debut in the late 1970s, forming a trio called Catalogue with Gilbert Artman (ex. urban sax) and Jac Berrocal (trumpet, voice). He is considered one of the foremost European experimental guitarists.

Geoffrey O’Brien is a widely published poet, critic, editor, and cultural historian. He has been honored with a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Institute for the Humanities. A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, he is the editor-in-chief of The Library of America. His most recent publication is A View of Buildings and Water. He lives in New York City.

Poems by Yoshimasu in English translation:

A Thousand Steps…and More: Selected Poems and Prose 1964-1984. Translated by Richard Arno, Brenda Barrows, and Takko Lento. Oakland: Katydid Books, Oakland University, 1987.

Osiris, the God of Stone. Translated by Hiroaki Sato. Laurinburg: St. Andrews Press, 1989.

“Kadena” (To appear in Simple Vows, #4. Ed. Kemp Gregory, San Antonio.)