top of page

Public signs refer to visual displays used to convey information in public places or spaces. For example, restroom signs, emergency exits, road signs, and so on. Can these public signs become works of art?


There exists a concept called readymade. It's an alchemy that removes the function from mass-produced ready-mades and, by placing them as objects in the context of art, transforms ready-mades into works of art. Then, what happens when ready-mades are placed in the context of art in a state in which their original function appears to be retained?


In this context, ready-mades are public signs. Let's suppose that public signs are housed in a museum as works of art.


Various public signs exist within a museum. However, the public signs installed in the exhibition room of the assumed museum here are signs that have been housed as works of art.


Public signs as works of art, such as No Photography, No Eating or Drinking, No Smoking, and Emergency Exit are displayed in places where such public signs would normally be located.


Visitors to the museum would be puzzled by the absence of exhibits in that room. This is because the functional and practical nature of the public signs appears to be retained as they are. However, the museum is properly exhibiting them as paintings or artworks.


This piece, by intentionally placing public signs within the museum's exhibition room, removes the functional and informational aspects as public signs, representing them merely as paintings. In other words, it is a readymade itself.


There exists a presumption that things present in the context of art – museums, galleries, and art fairs – are works of art. Readymade utilizes this presumption to the fullest. But this piece utilizes it in the opposite way. In other words, it questions why visitors do not appreciate them as paintings or art, despite being in a museum.


Based on the information that museums are places to appreciate artworks, visitors should come to the museum to appreciate artworks. However, these visitors end up perceiving public signs on display as information, not artworks.


Perhaps humans are not truly seeing the things themselves, but only the information they emit.


Information known as the museum, information known as public signs. This artwork portrays the figures of humans swayed by such certain presumptions.


By presenting this and encouraging thought, it would become possible for the first time to appreciate the things themselves (the public signs) stripped of their information.


No one yet views public signs merely as paintings. However, if information can be stripped away from them and they can be transformed into paintings, it would be a new art that no one has ever appreciated before.

bottom of page