Tokyo Harbour and Slogan #7 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

Tokyo HarbourTokyo Harbour description

Tokyo Harbour detail Above: a photo of full work, Coupland’s description of the work and a detail.

Yes, echoes of Warhol here and not surprising because Coupland’s past and present art is infused with Pop sensibilities. Like the artist I too was drawn by the colours and “bold graphic treatments.” The text for me is in a language I cannot read but can enjoy as textual cryptograms. Arrayed as they are in linear formation I can also appreciate the sculptural qualities of the containers.

I admit to a few disturbing thoughts and feelings evoked by Coupland’s description. There are karmic links and confluences here that don’t sit easy in my head. What do you think?

Slogan #7:

Slogan 7Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first β€˜Slogans’ post to understand #7.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

All photos by clinock.

11 thoughts on “Tokyo Harbour and Slogan #7 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

  1. Hi John, interesting again, not too sure I agree with emptying all those bottles in the toilet… He could have kept them full and later given away, also think of pollution and besides it is rather dangerous to mix different cleaning products. But the photo is bright, the subject surprises us, something so meaningless can look so great πŸ™‚


    1. That was one of the things that bothered me about his description of his process and how it all connected later with the tsunami and oil spill. I assume he emptied the bottles to make them lighter when transporting them back to Canada. The question always arises as to what extent we reject an artist’s work if we don’t agree with his / her life decisions. Do we refuse to recognize Picasso’s creative mastery because of his mistreatment of the women in his life?


      1. True, though I never knew that of Picasso. Maybe work and artist should be seen as different items… ? But the fact that Van Gogh had mental problems only make his paintings deeper I think. My end conclusion is that what we know or don’t know about an artist probably has an impact on what we think of an artwork. We are only human πŸ™‚


    1. The containers are real, not sculpted copies. They were removed from Japan and transported here. Slogan #7 had no connection in the show to Tokyo Harbour. I’m not sure if that answers your PS Ina but thanks for your comments…


      1. I understood the sculpture were real bottles πŸ™‚ I meant that he didn’t throw them away afterwards, it is an object in it’s whole. πŸ™‚


  2. This “art” is perfect for cleaning the bathroom. Sculpture ? I can’t believe people swoon over such nonsense. Financially he must be “cleaning up” a fortune from his hypnotized following.


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