Born in 1993
“Gather here, 1993 born-ers” is a love call from Mariko Kobayashi,
a photographer, to the creators of her same age.
While we were in a school, we didn’t really feel special about being
“the same age” with the other classmates, but when we start to work in a society,
we really feel connected when we meet someone who’s at the same age as ours.
1993, Mariko’s recent exhibition, was produced by the young creators who were all born in 1993.
Today, we interviewed some of the main members of the exhibition
about their creations and their visions in the future.
Shukei Tamaoki and Seijun Kato (MIZ),
the members of MONONO AWARE,and UMMMI., a screenwriter,
were gathered to work together with Mariko, the curator, for the first time,
but Mariko said she instinctively knew their philosophies and creations would match with her vision.
- What did you think about the exhibition, 1993, when you were initially offered?
- Tamaoki: Honestly, the very first time I heard about the exhibition was when I was drinking, so I don't really remember it haha… Yet, creating something cool with the same-aged screenwriter was something very attractive to me since I was strongly interested in creators in a different field.
- Kato: Initially, the concept wasn’t so sure to me, but the other members were the creators who stand ahead of us, so I was purely glad and honored to be a part of the team.
- UMMMI.: For me, a video project was very intriguing which is neither a general movie nor a music video that I handled before.
- How was the team?
- Tamaoki: Generally, when we are creating a music video, we usually focus on music rather than the video, yet this project was vice versa which was really simulative hence fun.
- Kato: I initially felt that the project would go slowly with some upcoming issues since it was a very new team, but everything actually went very well without major problems.
- UMMMI.: Our teamwork was super impressive, and everything went so smoothly like a miracle.
- What was that miracle particularly?
- UMMMI.: Our theme was determined in a lot of coincidences. We came up with an awesome idea in which our theme was decided as “the dawn of a paradise”. During early twenties, we don’t really care about our future, but around 25, we got to acquire responsibilities of any action we make, so the paradise refers to irresponsibility and dawn means the end of it. Thus, the dawn of a paradise denotes the end of being irresponsible.
- Kato: We used a total of three songs in our video, but one of them were made even before working on the project. And, in a song, Haru, there is a lyric “I love you, dawn” in which the line was generated even before UMMMI. came up with the concept.
- Tamaoki: So when we heard about the theme from UMMMI., I got to select that song and also another song, Yamamichi, which matched with the video that we spent our summer in Kushiro where we rode a canoe going through a thick fog. We were looking for a BGM for the scene, and the song perfectly suited with the concept, so there was no doubt to use it.
- Kato: In this video project, we wanted to incorporate the sounds of the environments, so we recorded it in a mountain.
- UMMMI.: And, many other ideas were matched perfectly where the camping scene was determined smoothly as well. Everything was so miraculously gone well.
- So how was the shooting itself?
- Tamaoki: Nights in the heart of a mountain was too freezing!
- Kato: I never felt such a great warmth of a human being than the time I was there ever before.
- UMMMI.: One of my acquaintances who is a camp master accompanied along us for the shooting, and that was a big help too!
- Tamaoki: Oh actually, there was one thing I felt during the shooting. In the midnight during the shooting, there was a scene that we all sit around a bonfire in which I perceived the distance between the others was so far away, yet it became narrower when the sun gradually rises. The sunlight somehow makes people’s distance too close.
- UMMMI.: “Dawn” usually is used for a positive figure, but we felt it as a negative term in this project.
- Do you have any sentiment and consciousness about being 25-year-old?
- Kato & Tamaoki: Nope.
- UMMMI.: I love Kyoko Okazaki, and female characters in her manga is often around 25-ish girl who is wealthy, elegant, and attractive. Personally, I wanna have about 10 kids in the future haha.
- Kato & Tamaoki: Seiously!?
MONJOE (DATS/yahyel) and Zo Zhit, a truckmaker and a rapper,
have been friends for a long time where they’ve been working together
on generating music since they were teenagers,
but seemingly, the collaboration in this field was their first time.
We asked about their past, present,
and future on the day after they finished the shooting.
- What was the catalyst for you guys to join 1993?
- MONJOE: Even though we are working in different fields, I’ve known Mariko since this spring, and we’ve been talking a lot that it’s gonna be fun if we could work on something together. Then I was officially offered for the project, and I obviously accepted it. At that time, I was offered because I was born in 1993, and so we had no idea what kind of a creation we were gonna produce then.
- Zo Zhit: And for me, MONJOE offered me to work together on it. In the past, I produced music for someone’s videos, but it was my first time to create a video for someone’s music, so I was really intrigued with it.
- You guys knew each other for a long time, right?
- MONJOE: We were in the same high school but different classes, and both of us somehow bought guitars at the same time. Then I heard there is a guy in a different class who purchased a guitar, so I was like why don’t we befriend and establish a band.
- What a coincident timing.
- Zo Zhit: I was so affected by the tune of an electric guitar. I was like “it’s super cool! I gotta cop a guitar!”
- MONJOE: Oh really? I was actually influenced by Nirvana. After we formed a band, I was so into music and since then I never stopped loving music.
- Zo Zhit: Me too. That was a turning point in my life that I played the guitar, composed music, and noticed that I can produce something myself!
- In the exhibition, 25-year-old is a key theme. Have you considered about it particularly?
- MONJOE: My image of 25 is mostly about the Japanese soccer team haha. I never consider the age deeply, but I feel 25 is really mature. Additionally, my impression of 25 during my childhood is that a person is an adult with such wealth. In the entire planet, people at the age is already a core of a business, especially in sports such soccer, tennis, or basketball. Thus, I think 25 is a real big deal.
- Zo Zhit: Me neither. I didn’t care about the age much before. In the past, the age I cared the most is 14. When I was an elementary school kid, my big brother borrowed me his manga where most of my favorite characters were 14-year-old like the characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Therefore, 14 was something special to me. By the way, I don't think MONJOE is a guy who’s influenced by manga.
- MONJOE: Definitely not, haha.
- Zo Zhit: I like that part of you. Recently, I was talking to one of my friends, and he said he has no confidence in him. However, you told me before that you always have a strong confidence in yourself and you never lose it, and I think that’s a really valuable thing and such a unique strength of you. What made you so confident?
- MONJOE: Well… I was like this since I was born haha. I’ve always been doing something I desired to do and that’s what constructed me. Even when I have an anxiety, if I want to do it, then I gotta just do it. I follow my instincts.
- Zo Zhit: So you do your stuffs even if you have anxieties, right?
- MONJOE: That’s true. Oh well, I just remembered something about aging. I always thought musicians would die at the age of 27.
- Is there anything else you guys wanna try in 2018?
- Zo Zhit: I wanna produce my own music like an album as a solo.
- MONJOE：Both bands are going to be busy next year, so it seems to be busy next year, but among them it is a personal work ... and music as well, of course it seems, but I also want to create some sort of work by stretching out to areas other than music.
- Zo Zhit: Wow!
- MONJOE: I wish to manage all my activities including my two bands and my own creative works where I can physically visualize my thoughts and philosophies.
- In 2018, what kind of an adult you wish to become?
- Zo Zhit: Well for MONJOE, you wanna become a clean fat ass, right?
- MONJOE: Hell no! Though I kinda admire a fashionable elegant fat person with thick beards. Yet, that’s not what I wish to be…
- Zo Zhit: In fact, there isn’t much people in that style in Japan.
- MONJOE: In overseas, musicians who are talented, fashionable, and sensitive but a bit fat people such as Chet Faker or Jack Garratt are someone I love a lot. I really respect their styles, but I don’t think there is any musician in the similar taste in Japan, so I feel like I gotta be it.
- Zo Zhit: You can propose MONJOE-like boys in the future. A stylish elegant fat boy with beards haha!
- MONJOE: It is fashionable, elegant and fat man with cleanliness.
- Zo Zhit: You're talking a lot!
Daigo Sakuragi (D.A.N) and Yoko Kusano, a photographer,
said that they purely reveled in the exhibition.
Despite the fact that they’re mature creators,
they apparently rather focused on child-like perspectives and creations this time.
- What was your first impression of the exhibition?
- Sakuragi: I was merely thrilled.
- Kusano: Usually, I work individually, so collaborating and cooperating with someone else was something so fresh and fascinating.
- Sakuragi: Since it was a new attempt for both of us, I wished to discover a more experimental and chemical reaction with her.
- Kusano: Until this project, I haven’t really cared about the aging, but I thought there are a lot of connections only people at the same age can discern or maybe not. Thus, I wanted to figure it out during this exhibition.
- What was different from your usual work?
- Sakuragi: I just knew this challenge will be something very impactful.
- Kusano: I’ve always thought photography is a very lonely work, but merely incorporating music into a picture will display very different vibes.
- Sakuragi: Producing a creative space was my first attempt ever, so everything we worked on here was so new to me.
- Is there something that was very special in the methods of its production?
- Sakuragi: We were mostly drinking all the time while talking about the project, and we were like “that’s good. Let’s do it.” for most of the ideas.
- Kusano: Our concepts were honestly very vague and broad, but when we visualized the work with a photo and music, it was already a completed creation. Both of our works were already in completed forms, so when we added together, there was actually no reason for them to be a mess. Additionally, communicating about the project casually by drinking beers was an exceptional process to be honest to each other too.
- Sakuragi: Every time when we see our work, we acquire different impressions which is interesting as well.
- What was the theme of the project?
- Sakuragi: The horizon of a life and a death in a random incident.
- Kusano: I took images based on the fears of an instant moment or a loophole of an incident, and I also used pics in the similar concept from my past collections.
- You two are becoming 25 in 2018. Is there any upcoming goal?
- Sakuragi: Try not to be conservative. Will purely enjoy everything I do.
- Kusano: I wanna be honest to myself and also be flexible to absorb positive influences.
- Is there anyone whom you respect among 1993-borners?
- Sakuragi: Rena Nounen. I like her aggressive attitude.
- Kusano: Ariana Grande!
- What kind of generation do you think you guys are?
- Sakuragi: We are a quiet generation. Everyone does what s/he desires to do individually and solemnly.
1993 ExhibitionDirecter：Yuka Eda